The Dilemma of Goat Panting and Shaking After Giving Birth

Goat Panting and Shaking After Giving Birth

Goats panting and shaking after giving birth is a common occurrence that can be a source of concern for many goat owners. While the behavior itself may be fairly normal in the short term, it is important to identify and address the underlying causes in order to provide the best possible care for your goats.

Postpartum panting and shaking can have several different sources ranging from dehydration to hypocalcemia, an electrolyte imbalance, or even heat stress. In some cases, a goat may be in need of medical attention, while in other cases, simple monitoring or environmental adjustments may be all that’s needed.

By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatments associated with goat panting and shaking after giving birth, owners can be better prepared to keep their goats safe and healthy during this important period of recovery and growth.

Causes of Goat Panting and Shaking After Giving Birth

It is important to identify the underlying cause of a goat’s panting and shaking after giving birth, as this behavior may be indicative of an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Various potential causes of panting and shaking in goats include pain, shock, exhaustion, stress and dehydration. Panting and shaking after parturition may also be caused by specific conditions, such as hypocalcaemia, rumen acidosis, or difficulty delivering the placenta. In some cases, the behavior may be linked to illness or infection.

Pain is a common cause of panting and shaking after giving birth. This is often due to lack of pain relief during labor, or from the stress of delivery itself. In some cases, the behavior may be related to injury or trauma that was suffered during the birthing process.

Dehydration is another possible cause of panting and shaking. Goats may become dehydrated due to inadequate access to water during labor, or from loss of fluids during birth. This can lead to panting and shaking due to the inability of the goat’s body to regulate its temperature properly.

Hypocalcaemia is a condition in which the goat’s blood calcium levels are too low. This can cause the goat to exhibit erratic behavior, including panting and shaking. If left untreated, hypocalcaemia can lead to serious health issues.

Rumen acidosis is another condition that can cause panting and shaking in goats. This occurs when there is an overload of acids in the stomach, which can lead to discomfort and unpredictable behaviors.

Stress can also be a cause of panting and shaking. This can occur when goats are placed in unfamiliar environments or put in stressful situations, such as being separated from their herd. Stress can cause the goats to panic and exhibit physical signs such as panting and shaking.

Diagnosing the Cause of Panting and Shaking in Goats Postpartum

When a goat begins panting and shaking after giving birth, it is important to identify the cause of its behavior. To do this, your veterinarian will likely perform a physical examination as well as administer blood tests, fecal tests, and ultrasound imaging. Additionally, they may check for parasites or contagious diseases, look for signs of dehydration or nutritional deficiencies, and evaluate your goat’s environment.

It is essential that these tests and observations are conducted in order to rule out serious health conditions and ensure proper treatment for the postpartum condition. Some common tests include:

  • Blood tests to measure glucose levels and electrolyte abnormalities and check for underlying infection
  • Fecal tests to identify parasites and toxins
  • Ultrasound imaging to check for reproductive health issues
  • Observations of the goat’s environment to determine if there have been changes or stresses that may have initiated the behavior

By conducting these tests and making careful observations of the goat’s environment, you will be able to identify the cause of the postbirth panting and shaking and seek appropriate treatment.

Treating Panting and Shaking in Goats

When trying to treat panting and shaking in goats, it is important to first identify the underlying cause. A variety of serums, medications, and supplements may be recommended depending on what is causing the discomfort. It is equally important to provide plenty of warmth, rest, and space in order to promote healing.

In cases of hypocalcemia or “milk fever”—a common condition where there is a calcium deficiency before or after parturition—oral calcium and vitamin D supplements are often recommended. To reduce stress during parturition, pain medications can also be used. Other potential treatments include electrolytes, antibiotics, and fluids to replenish any fluids lost through dehydration.

Additionally, most goats panting and shaking after giving birth can benefit from being kept warm and comfortable. A hot water bottle wrapped in a towel can help to provide comfort and warmth, while a dimly lit, draft-free room can help to reduce stress.

It is also important to ensure that your goat has a healthy diet, especially during the last month of pregnancy. Offering strong, nutrient-rich hay and plenty of fresh water can help your goat stay strong and healthy. It is also important to provide minerals and vitamins in trace amounts to ensure optimum health.

Once you have identified the underlying cause of your goat’s panting and shaking, it is essential to follow the instructions of your veterinarian in order to treat and manage the condition correctly and safely. With proper care and treatment, most goats will be able to make a full recovery.

Care and Maintenance

When a goat is suffering from panting and shaking after giving birth, it is important to provide the proper care and maintenance to ensure successful recovery. The goal of this care should be to keep the goat comfortable and minimize any discomfort or stress that can further complicate the condition.

If the panting and shaking persists for more than a few hours after birth, then contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. The veterinarian may take x-rays, perform ultrasound scans, and take blood samples to assess the goat’s condition.

Once the cause of the panting and shaking is determined, then you must provide the specific care and maintenance recommended by the veterinarian. Depending on the underlying cause, the goat may require antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, or other treatments. It is also important to offer adequate rest and recovery time for the goat, especially after labor and delivery. This means providing a quiet, comfortable environment with enough fresh food and water for sustaining energy levels.

In addition, it is important to practice good hygiene when caring for a goat that is panting and shaking. This includes regularly cleaning the goat’s coat with a soft brush and ensuring their stalls are free of debris and feces. Lastly, consult your veterinarian on the best way to manage nutrition for the particular goat. Proper nutrition is essential for a successful recovery and to help prevent future occurrences.

Nutritional Considerations

Proper nutrition is essential for the health of all animals, including goats. After giving birth, a goat’s body has been through a great strain and requires extra nutrients to help with recovery. It is important to pay attention to the diet of a goat who has recently given birth. A balance of adequate protein, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients should be included in the diet in order to ensure optimal recovery.

For pregnant goats, a pregnant goat feed may be recommended to provide the necessary nutrition for the mother and her unborn kid. This feed is typically composed of grains and high-quality forage, such as hay, legumes, and alfalfa. Grain-based feeds should be introduced gradually into the goat’s diet in order to avoid digestive upset.

Once the goat has given birth, a good quality mineral mix should also be added to her diet. It is important to use a mineral mix that is specifically formulated for goats, as certain minerals may be toxic in high amounts. In addition, it is also recommended to supplement the diet with additional vitamins, such as vitamin E, to support the goat’s recovery.

Finally, plenty of fresh water should be provided to the goat and her kids, as dehydration can quickly lead to serious health complications. To make sure that the water is always fresh, it should be replaced at least twice a day.

Pre-Parturition Considerations

When it comes to ensuring your goat’s comfort and safety before giving birth, there are a few key steps to keep in mind. Before parturition, it is essential to ensure that the environment is conducive to labor. In particular, make sure the temperature is comfortable, the lighting is adequate, and that the area is free of drafts and dampness.

It is also important to create a safe space for the laboring goat, away from other animals. Prepare a full supply of clean bedding materials and an area for feeding, such as a trough or manger. Make sure there is plenty of fresh water available at all times.

In terms of nutrition, consider increasing the goat’s caloric intake about a week before parturition. This will help to build energy stores for the labor process. Furthermore, adjust the diet to be higher in fiber and protein and consider supplementing with minerals.

Lastly, remember that some goats may show signs of anxiety prior to parturition. If possible, try to provide extra attention and reassurance in the days leading up to the delivery.


Goat panting and shaking after giving birth is a common postpartum problem that can be caused by a number of factors. It is important to diagnose the underlying cause of the behavior in order to provide effective treatment. Treatment should involve both managing or treating the underlying cause as well as providing quality care and nutrition to ensure your goat’s recovery. To prevent postpartum problems, it is important to prepare your goats for parturition by ensuring they have a safe and comfortable environment. By understanding the causes of postpartum panting and shaking, creating an appropriate care plan and providing your goats with proper nutrition, you can help your goat have a safe and successful recovery from parturition.

FAQs About Postpartum Panting and Shaking in Goats

  • Q: What is postpartum panting and shaking in goats?
    A: Postpartum panting and shaking in goats is a condition that can occur after giving birth. It is characterized by shallow, rapid breathing with a vocalization usually associated with fear or distress. The goat will also exhibit trembling or shaking movements as part of the condition.
  • Q: What causes postpartum panting and shaking in goats?
    A: Common causes of postpartum panting and shaking in goats include pain, dehydration, low blood calcium, and electrolyte imbalance. Stress and fear can also be contributing factors.
  • Q: How is postpartum panting and shaking in goats diagnosed?
    A: In order to diagnose postpartum panting and shaking in goats, the veterinarian must conduct a physical examination, review the history of the animal, perform laboratory tests, and observe the goat over time.
  • Q: What is the treatment for postpartum panting and shaking in goats?
    A: Treatment of postpartum panting and shaking in goats depends on the underlying cause of the condition. Pain relief medications, fluids, electrolyte supplements, and calcium injections can all be utilized to treat the condition.
  • Q: What care and maintenance is necessary for my goat to recover from postpartum panting and shaking?
    A: Care and maintenance necessary for successful recovery from postpartum panting and shaking in goats includes providing a safe and comfortable environment, ensuring proper nutrition and hydration, and monitoring the goat’s behavior for signs of progress.
  • Q: Are there any nutritional considerations to keep in mind when caring for goats with postpartum panting and shaking?
    A: Yes, good nutrition is key to helping goats recover from postpartum panting and shaking. Healthy diets and supplements can help optimize recovery. Recommended foods and supplements should be discussed with your veterinarian.
  • Q: What preventive measures should I take to ensure my goat’s comfort and safety during parturition?
    A: To ensure your goat’s comfort and safety during parturition, it is important to prepare their environment in advance. This includes making sure they have plenty of hay for bedding, water, and shade, as well as providing a safe and secure living space.

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