4 Possible Causes of Limping in Goats

Goats, just like other farm animals, are possibly exposed to various diseases and injuries just like elaborated in common diseases in goats. One of the most common problems goats can get is limping.

Limping, which is also known as lameness, is the inability of an animal to walk normally. It is caused by damaged or stiff leg or foot. In some cases, limping in goats may not be serious or life-threatening, but it will surely cause discomfort for your animal.

Limping will surely affect your goats’ welfare too as they will experience pain and spend much less time grazing and feeding. Most of their time will be spent lying down as it may be too painful to walk around.

Limping in goats can also lead to serious health problems, such as difficulty in lambing or kidding. As a result, it will cause poor growth rates in lambs and reduced fertility. Get to know the other causes for goat infertility and how to prevent it.

As an owner, you should be knowledgeable of the causes of limping in goats. By knowing the causes early, then you can treat your goats immediately. As a result, limping in goats won’t bring harmful effects to your goats as well as to your farm. Let’s see the 4 causes of limping goats closer.

  • Scald

The first and most common cause of limping in goats is scald. Scald is simply defined as an burn or injury caused by hot liquid or steam. This condition mostly happens in the wet-warm conditions, specifically during the early spring.

However, don’t worry as scald is easy to treat by its own. The key is treat it immediately, as if not it can lead to more serious causes of limping in goats.

This disease is far more common in sheep than in goats, but still you need to be aware of it. Scald is a bacterial disease which is caused by a bacterium called Fusobacterium necrophorum.

This bacterium is naturally found in the environment but becomes problem in wet conditions. Your goats might get it while they are grazing or even locked inside the barn.

The target is usually the skin between the claws. It causes the area to become sore, inflamed, swollen and covered by a thin bit of white matter.

Read how to take care foot scald in goat include treatment to know further about the proper treatment.

  • Footrot

Footrot is really painful and contagious as well. If you suspect any footroot on your goats, then you should isolate them immediately. The most obvious sign of infection is the animal tends to carry the affected leg and may also lay down for a long period of time. In some cases, you may also notice that your goats walk on their knees, especially when both legs are affected.

Footrot shouldn’t be underestimated as it may cause your goat health to decline rapidly. You have to inspect the feet of your goat once you suspect it. There are two bacteria causing footroot, the first one is the same type causing scald, while the other is named Dichelobacter nodosus.

You will notice some areas that are swollen and wet around the hoof, and a break where the skin horn joins. You will also find infection spreading beneath the tissue of the horn, completely separating the wall of the hoof.

  • Broken Bones

A broken bone might be the cause of your limping goat too. Broken bones are easy to diagnose, as you will see the area where the bone has snapped and you will see the significant swelling too.

Broken bones can be catastrophic for many goats and sheep. So, it is very important to contact your vet as soon as possible for treatment. Broken bones can cause the goat to be unwilling to move and eat as usual. If your goat starts to lose appetite, then you have to read why your goat doesn’t want to eat.

  • Granulomas

Granulomas can be easily identified in the toe, with the appearance of red swellings. Granulomas is caused by over-trimming hooves or chronic irritation from the wounds or lesions if they are left untreated.

If your goat is infected by granulomas, you will see the red and almost bloody-looking area. Granulomas mostly needs a vet to treat it as it is quite difficult to get rid of it without the proper medications.

As an owner, you really need to be aware of limping in goats. You can do some things you need to do if you suspect your limping goats. For instance, avoid high stocking densities, both in the barn and out on pasture.

This will be helpful to reduce the rate of infection. Another example is by trimming the hooves regularly. Regular trimming won’t only prevent your goats from limping, but it also prevents your goat from getting any diseases or infections.

Limping can also be a sign of other problems in goats, so that it is important to figure out the root cause as soon as possible. The best way to do this is by contacting the vet as soon as possible.

As a goat owner, you also need to be knowledgeable about the essential nutrients goat should have.