Despite the perceived risk in social media groups and the advice to preventively dose antibiotics, which tear down the system in the long run, uterine infection is not that common. I have assisted delivery in at least a few does per year for over a decade. I wear no gloves, but wash my hands thoroughly before going in. None of my does has ever developed a uterine infection, even in the most intensive of interventions. I don’t say this to encourage you to be complacent, but to lend perspective to the fear that pervades this topic. Odds are highly favorable that the uterus, a naturally self cleaning organ, can flush out bacteria and avoid infection.
If, however, you determine that your doe does have a uterine infection, there are some herbal remedies you can try. Understand though that uterine infection can become serious very quickly, so time is of the essence once you have determined the need.
Common symptoms of uterine infection usually develop within the first few days after kidding and include:
- Off feed/greatly reduced appetite
- Foul smelling discharge
- Lack of interest in kids
Oregano essential oil is my go-to when antibiotic action is called for. I would immediately begin an acute regimen of oregano essential oil as described in this article. In serious situations, I add herbs in on the oregano dosing schedule but also in between the schedule. So if you’re dosing oregano essential oil at 8a, 12p, 4p and 8p, include the following herbs in that dose, but also add another schedule of dosing with just herbs and no oregano at 10a, 2p, 6p, or even hourly if the situation warrants it.
Herbs for Uterine Infection
- raspberry leaf
- Oregon grape root
Continue dosing the herbs on this schedule along with the oregano essential oil. If you feel the goat needs more of a boost while at the same time feeling comfortable stepping down the oregano daily doses, you can simply replace the oregano dosages with herbal dosages.
You can flush the uterus with colloidal silver as long as it remains open.
In her section on retained placenta for cattle, Levy states1:
The herbal remedies are as follows: big drenches of strong brew of raspberry leaves mixed with feverfew, three parts of raspberry to one of feverfew herb, a quart drench with one pound molasses added, given to the cow, fasting, who should not be allowed any heavy foods until the afterbirth has come away. French gypsies recommend a strong draught of beer and brown sugar with grated nutmeg, to induce the afterbirth to come down: an average draught of half a gallon of beer, one pound of brown sugar and two ounces of nutmeg.
Kat Drovdahl of Fir Meadow suggests creating a vaginal bolus using the herbs above in powdered form mixed with coconut oil which is allowed to harden just enough to be malleable, then shaped into appropriate sized pill shapes to be inserted vaginally twice daily during treatment2. If you wanted a premade herbal formulation to use for uterine infections or infections in general, I recommend Kat’s products wholeheartedly: HerBiotic™ Wellness Support for Challenges.
Healthy, active goats with balanced nutrition are incredibly resilient. The holistic approach looks at the entire system and aims to keep everything in balance. There is no single more effective prevention method than this.
Specific to uterine infections, I recommend intentionally creating opportunities for exercise for pregnant goats and paying special attention to proper mineral balance during the entire pregnancy. Also take care to create a clean kidding environment. This does not mean sterilizing and scrubbing; fresh, clean bedding is enough.
- Merck – Metritis in Production Animals – Reproductive System
- 1The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable by Juliette de Bairacli Levy
- 2The Accessible Pet, Equine and Livestock Herbal by Katherine A. Drovdahl
Continue the discussion in the Kidding forum.