April 12, 2013

Milk Goiter

When I was taking photos of the t-post pulling the other day, I noticed Alphie had a lump on his neck.

Alphie, "helping" pull t-posts. Note the lump on his neck.
Alphie, 3 and 1/2 weeks old.

It was soft and obviously not bothering him. As I tried to figure out what to do, I recalled reading somewhere about milk goiter in kids.

The best article I could find about it was at the Fias Co Farm website. I found that via the metabolic/nutritional disease page at www.sheepandgoat.com (the Maryland Small Ruminant page. I mention it because it is definitely worth bookmarking.)

Bottom line? It is not uncommon and not a problem. It resolves itself once the kid is weaned. The only action on my part was to make sure it was indeed milk goiter and not bottle jaw (parasites, a soft abscess located more on the jawline, found in adults usually, not kids), CL (Caseous Lymphadenitis, very bad news. Abscess is hard, not soft), or even an insect bite (small, hard lump).

It certainly doesn't slow him down. He's a very happy, active little guy.

Milk Goiter © April 2013 

15 comments:

  1. He'd be happier with playmates. COME ON, ZIGGY!!!

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  2. He is so cute, but he definitely needs playmates!

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  3. Ah, the movie star. He looks like he was specially painted!

    Glad to hear he is well.

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  4. You're such an observant, good goat mama! I'd never heard of milk goiter before, or seen it. Wonder just what makes it form? An over-worked muscle in that area??

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  5. Thank you for this post. I had not heard of the sheepandgoat website, and am using it to research cobalt deficiency.

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  6. Mwah, sweet Alphie! nom, nom, nom.....to that T-post puller.....lol!

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  7. Never heard of milk goiter before, but that Fias Co Farms site is the mecca of goat information. Glad goaty is gonna be ok! :)

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  8. Blogger ate my comment! Wahhhh.

    Michelle, Ziggy is taking her time! Or rather her babies are!

    Jacqueline, definitely. :)

    Barb, he absolutely loves attention!

    Mama Pea, I'm not sure that they know exactly what causes it. It's also called "milk neck" which is probably a better term because it really doesn't have anything to do with iodine.

    Michelle, you're welcome. It's a great site with lots of good links and articles.

    Pam, LOL. He is a curious one.

    Amy, oh definitely. And so is the Maryland Small Ruminant page.

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  9. Now that's a new one to me, too . . . milk goiter. But the best news is that it seems to be no big deal and will eventually go away. Come on Ziggie, Alphie needs a buddy to play with . . . or even two!

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  10. There is so much to learn when rearing animals Leigh. He seems very content. Interesting ... they say you learn something every day so thank you. :)

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  11. I see he was also being VERY helpful!

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  12. Leigh, I'll be interested to hear if the lump does disappear with weaning. One of my boyos, Betula, developed a similar soft lump which gradually got so large - about the size of a clementine! - that I asked the vet to drain it while Bet was under for wethering at 99 days. (I had hoped she could just remove it, but with proximity to nerves, she was reluctant.) It started refilling the next day, and was soon large again. Since then, it has drained (with my help, when I catch it) and refilled several times. It has never appeared infected, and it doesn't bother Bet at all, but it sure bothers me!

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  13. Janice, I first heard of it from one of the goat lists I belong to. I was so glad it came to mind.

    Pat, it's true, it's not bothering him. And you are so right about there always being something to learn.

    Sherry, he's a goat! They specialize in helpful, LOL

    Quinn, I will be sure to report on it. Odd about yours. They vet didn't have a clue as to what it could be?

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  14. Vet guessed milk goiter, too, because it was clearly not an infection. But she had never seen one or heard of a goat with one, so she really was only guessing. Before she left that day, the vet pulled up the scientific literature on milk goiter (on her phone - sometimes technology is awesome!) and the most recent article - actually, it may have been the only article! - was 1989, which is ancient history in research.
    If you know of anything more recent (apart from the anecdotal stuff on Molly's site) please let me know.

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  15. Quinn, it's kind of amazing that little more research has been done, isn't it? The other article at the Maryland Small Ruminant Metabolic diseases page, that was of help, was Milk Goiter in Goat Kids which had good information. It was that article that confirmed Molly's conclusion. It mentioned a 1988 study, likely the same one your vet pulled up. The conclusion is that milk goiter is part of the maturing of the immune system in young mammals and therefore a good thing. Since Alphie is otherwise healthy and happy, I decided not to worry about it and wait and see what happens after he's weaned. I hope that helps!

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