Possible signs of trouble.
doe repeatedly starts pushing hard but gets up and stops labor, then lies down and starts again
doe repeatedly gets up and down and arches her back and elevates her rear end as though trying to line up the babies
discharge is rusty red and beginning to look septic
parts of a baby are visible but doe is unable to deliver in spite of straining very hard
doe is in hard grinding labor for more than 30 -45 minutes with no results
wash does vulva with mild soap and water
wash your hands and arms and scrub fingernails well
lather hands with betadine scrub and squeeze a generous ribbon of surgilube on the fingers
have an assistant hold or restrain doe
gently enter the vagina and dilate if necessary
feel and identify the parts of the kid that are in the birth canal
determine the problem and the corrective action necessary to rectify
head first with one foreleg; can be delivered this way but easier on the doe if you reach in and find the other leg and carefully pull it forward so the head is resting on both legs. The kid should deliver easily now. Just be sure the head and legs belong to the same kid.
head first with no legs; cannot be delivered this way. Similar to the previous case, but you will probably have to reach in and push the kids head back to make room for the legs. Slide your hand along the head and neck until you find the shoulders, then locate the feet and gently bring them forward with the head resting on the legs. Kid should deliver easily now but you may need to help pull.
breach position with hocks first; cannot be delivered this way but easy to correct. Just reach in and find the feet and carefully pull them forward so both rear feet are together and extended through the vulva. The kid should deliver easily now.
breach position with rump and tail; similar to the previous case; but you will probably have to reach in and push the kids rump back to make room for the legs. Slide your hand along the rump until you find the legs, then locate the feet and carefully bring them forward so both rear feet are together and extended through the vulva. The kid should deliver easily now but you may need to help pull.
front feet first with head upside down; can be delivered this way but may be easier on the kid if you rotate the entire kid so that the kid's back is upward toward the does back. Sometimes it is hard to turn the kid around if the feet and/or head are already visible. Just make sure that the kid curves around the doe's pelvic arch as much as possible even if it is slightly twisted. You will probably need to help pull the kid.
feet first with head thrown back. cannot be delivered this way. This is probably the most difficult of the abnormal presentations to correct, especially if the doe has been in hard, unproductive labor for a considerable time and/or the kid is very weak. You will have to reach in and follow along the body and then along the neck until you locate the head. You may be surprised at how long the neck is and how deep you have to go (up to your elbow). The trick is to get the head forward and keep it there! If the kid is weak the head will keep flopping back every time you withdraw your hand to pull on the legs. In this case you will need your OB puller. A rubber one is best but you can use a thin noose made of nylon cord. Carry the noose in with your hand and slip it over the kids head. Position the head on the front legs and snug up the loop. Keep tension on the puller with your free hand and then withdraw your hand and grasp the feet. Pull on the feet and the loop at the same time and the kid should deliver just fine. Use plenty of surgilube as this is time consuming and things start to dry out. The kid may be weak and the doe tired. See also complications.
two heads with somebody's feet; cannot be delivered this way. Although this situation is somewhat intimidating at first, it is fairly easy to correct. The trick is to match up the head and feet of the same goat. Usually one kid's head will be more advanced than the other so push the other back and feel along the neck to the chest and down each leg until you can locate the feet of the kid whose head is more advanced. You may have to push the other kid kid back quite a ways to make room to work. Then carefully bring the feet forward until the head is resting on the legs. The kid should deliver easily now but you may have to help pull the kid.
mismatched head and feet; cannot be delivered this way. This usually occurs because one kid is Presented head first with it legs back and a second kid's feet and legs have slid under the first kid's head. Since there is no room for the second kid's head it is usually turned back along its side. You will have to push the second kid back to make room to work. S1ide your hand along the first kid's head and neck to the chest and then down each leg until you locate the feet. Then carefully bring the feet forward until the head is resting on the legs. The kid should deliver easily now but you may have to help pull the kid. When you go back for the second kid the head will usually be presented normally or will come forward easily so that it is resting on its forelegs. The kid should deliver easily but you may have to help pull the kid. If you have trouble keeping the head forward see the previous discussion on using an OB loop.
no presentation, necessary to determine if the doe is sufficiently dilated and the cervix is open. The os, (opening to the cervix) should be dilated at least three fingers for normal birth. If not dilated then it may be too early. Wait a while and check the doe again. You can't hurt the doe by checking. If the cervix is open and all you feel is a side or ribs the kid is probably dead, but there may be live kids behind it: Push the dead kid back until you can turn it so that it is presented front feet/head first, or hind feet first Use plenty of surgilube as the dead kids seem to be dry. You will have to pull the kid since the doe will probably not push very hard.
infection; if invasion has been extensive or prolonged, may need antibiotics
swelling, if excessive may need analgesic
tears; either by the doe or the herdsman may require antibiotics and an analgesic
depression; if severe, may need a lot of comforting
an exceptionally traumatic delivery may require several days of treatment including intrauterine infusion. May need to call your veterinarian