Retained afterbirth?

Well, it has now been more than 24 hours that Fatty-fat has not expelled all of the afterbirth. I’ve tried massaging her belly to get her uterus to shrink down some more. I’ve also hung a wet towel from the cords of the afterbirth itself which has managed to bring some more of it out but not all. I retied it this morning at 4 am (the 24 hour mark) but it still persists.

This much of her afterbirth is still attached to her this morning, 24 hours after giving birth to triplets.

This much of her afterbirth is still attached to her this morning, 24 hours after giving birth to triplets.

I tried gently (EVER SO GENTLY!) tugging on it but it won’t come that easily and I’m scared it will break off inside and I’ll have nothing left to tie the towel to. I’m going to call the vet this morning and see what he or she (depending on whose on call) says. I’m fairly certain the placenta was delivered as there was quite a mass of stuff on the ground with the kids yesterday when I found her that looked like this:

A picture of a goat placenta.

A picture of a goat placenta.

But then what is this still attached to inside her? And, is it worrisome?

On a lighter note, here are some photos of the kids:

Enjoying hanging out with mama and kids.

Enjoying hanging out with mama and kids.

Fatty's little boy.

Fatty's little boy.

I love just being with them. You can see the towel tied to Fatty's afterbirth hanging from her back end.

I love just being with them. You can see the towel tied to Fatty's afterbirth hanging from her back end.

SPECIAL NOTE: I likely need not have tied the towel to the afterbirth. In fact, I was later advised (by one of the top goat specialists in England–thank-you Dreda!!) that this might encourage infection. The towel did help pull at bit of the afterbirth out and then dropped off of its own accord before this advice came in. I didn’t ever retie it on. Instead, I sprayed the cord with Betadine solution from the pharmacy (10% povidone-iodine topical solution, 1% available iodine). The next day the rest of the afterbirth dried right up. She leaked bloody mucus for a few days but is a very contented mum. Upon reflection, I probably need not have worried about her at all, but then that is the confidence gained with experience; something I didn’t have!


Filed under Animal issues, Educational, Goats, How to...

8 responses to “Retained afterbirth?

  1. If she’s eating, she should be ok. Give her some warm water and molasses. It can take up to 5 days. I was freaking out too the first time. Give it another day or two, unless she isn’t eating, don’t pull on it, and if it is still there, get to a vet.

    I am answering your goat recipe question on my post today.

  2. She will be fine if you just leave it. No matter how foul it may smell. Try not to worry and do everything you can to boost her immune system. In cows retained placenta is a symptom of low potassium, and selenium and even Vitamin A. She should be able to reabsorb anything left of the placenta and her kids nursing will help immensely.

    They are beautiful BTW – Good go Fatty Fat!

  3. I don’t know anything about goats giving birth, or any other animal for that matter. I do hope Fatty Fat will be ok and take care of her beautiful kids.

    Good luck!


  4. kim1708

    Fatty fat should have ad lib kelp. Also, the buck kid looks like Fred Astaire.

    Cant think of a name for the doe kid. Which when you do think of names for them, do tell what their names will be! And, since I dehorn my goat kids, I always recommend it because I could not own goats with horns, they were always getting stuck in the fencing and then crying, and it never was easy to get them unstuck from the fencing. Then when their horns grew too big, they could never get there heads in the feeders to eat. What a mess having horns here were. But your probably fine with the horns, fatty fat looks good for just having triplets.

    Hope all goes well, and that she clears up from the afterbirth alright. I’ve never had a doe retain anything, even with all the triplets I’ve had. Then again, I’ve never had a Pygmy give birth here.

    Oh, and what do the little tykes weigh? I had a doe have triplets this year, and they weighed 6, 7 and 10 lbs. I think the 10 lber should have shared 2 lbs with his 6 lb brother, that way they would have both been 8 lbs. And the doe kid 7 lbs. She sure was a feminine little thing. Her 6 lb brother sure was a solid 6 lb little thing.

  5. MMP

    We had a doe retain last year, our first kidding. It was an unpleasant experience and I have read a lot of conflicting advice. Some people think it is no big deal and others think a retained placenta is likely to lead to toximea. I can think of the right word for it, but my vet did a trcycline (sp) rinse of the womb and there were 5 days of penicilin. The doe leaked brown goe for about two weeks, but she never spiked a temp or developed mastitis.

    With all the reading I did after the fact, I think a large percentage of does probably survive a retained placenta without intervention. I think if we had a large herd I might skip the antibiotics and play the odds. But since we have a small herd and any pregnant doe would be a devastating loss, I would use aggressive treatment (prophylactic antibiotics).

    I now keep a syringe of oxytocin on hand for kidding season in case a doe is slow to expell the after birth. This year we had one doe look like she might retain after a breach kid. We did the oxytocin, but it took a marathon abdominal message by my wife to get it out. She was at it for over an hour I think.

    If you are confident in your vet, I would suggest follow their advice and put on blinders until after the crisis has passed.

    Here’s a link to my blog post after going through it last year,

  6. HDR, they’re gorgeous! Well done Fatty Fat. I tend to spend a lot of time over-reacting whenever I have piglets, learning each time. I figure it’s better to worry and learn than not.

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