This is a relatively unknown syndrome that is becoming more frequent as the popularity of meat goats increase. A typical case is a normal kid at birth that loses its muscle tone at 3 to 7 days of age. The kid becomes like a "wet rag' and is unable to stand or control its legs. In some herds up to 50% of the kids have been affected.
The kids are suffering from acute metabolic acidosis. If left untreated a few kids will spontaneously recover but most will become progressively weaker and die. Early recognition and treatment with oral bicarbonate or Pepto Bismol are effective. In more severe cases where the kids are down, you may need to treat with 1.3% NaHCO3 intravenously. Some of the treated ani- mals will relapse and need to be monitored for several weeks.
Clinical signs look a lot like "white muscle" disease which is a metabolic disease caused by a lack of Vitamin E and/or selenium. The first reported Floppy Kid Syndrome was less than ten years ago and the incidence has increased since the introduction of the Boer goat due to the increased popularity of goats in the Southern states.
It is unknown what causes the initial acidosis, but it has been found in all breeds and parities of goats. At the present time the only management tool we hae is early detection and treatment. Keeping the kid fed with a "tube feeding syringe" and preventing dehydration are the keys to survival. Check with your local vet- erinarian to diagnose the syndrome and differentiate the other possible causes of weak kids such as E coli or white muscle disease.