Help with goat injury on shoulder


In the Brooder
10 Years
Aug 15, 2009
Here is the scoop. I would really appreciate any advice that anyone can offer about our goat Rocky. He is about 6 months old and has is suffering from a shoulder injury of some kind. I don't know enough about goat anatomy to even tell if it is muscular injury or joint. If I were to take a guess I would say it looks like it is dislocated, but not sure if that is possible.

He had a leg injury right after we got him (about 3 months old) but it was not visible when looking at it and he eventual healed on his own. Then about 1.5 months ago I noticed that he was limping again and this time I could see the injury on his right shoulder. I thought I would give him a bit of time to see if he would heal on his own again, but it isn't happening.

Here are a few pictures to show the injury:








It does feel swollen right below the shoulder on the upper leg.

I would appreciate any ideas or mainly if it is anything that we can treat at home. We are not in a position to be able to take him to the vet and if we cannot figure it out, will have to put him down.

Thanks so much!
Ouch - poor guy.

I hope you get some answers. If I wasn't planning on going to see two goats on Saturday, I'd suggest taking him home and taking him to my vet in Olympia.

If you can't fix it, could you place an ad or find a rescue group to take him on to get his shoulder repaired?

He is so CUTE. It would be a shame to put him down.
I looked into rescue groups and asked a local vet, but I couldn't find any. The rescue groups I found required that a male goat be fixed, which ours isn't yet...I could try posting a craigslist ad, guess I figured that no-one else would want an injured goat especially not knowing what the injuring entailed. But I would gladly give him to someone if they thought they could help him, I really don't want to have to put him down either and feel terrible that we are not in a position to be able to get him some help.
I'm not sure by it looks a lot like CL.

We have our milk goats tested annually for both CL and CAE and thank the lord through our breeding Program and strict bio screening control of the farm they are free of both.

CL is extremely contagious. If I were to acquire a goat which ever developed it, I would have to cull it. CL stands for Caseous lymphadenitis (CL) is a chronic, recurring disease in goats. A slowly enlarging, localized, and nonpainful abscess may develop either at the point of entry into the skin or in the regional lymph node (superficial or external form), from which it may spread via the blood or lymphatic system and cause abscessation of internal lymph nodes or organs (visceral or internal form). Initial infection may cause no clinical signs or may be accompanied by high fever, anorexia, anemia, and cellulitis at the infection site. Superficial abscesses enlarge and may rupture and discharge infectious pus.

This pus if it gets in the ground can remain active for up TO seven years. That means you cannot put clean goats on it without the risk of getting it.

You can have the VET test for it. But if you find that's what it is, please don't give it away, as again it is a sick goat and will spread this horrid disease.

Hope that's not what it is.

Also there are some good university web sites on this - I believe it was either Miss. State or LSU.

PM me if you need more help and good luck!
It looks like CL. CL abscesses are hairless only when they are ready to burst. CL is also manageable and not nearly as big a deal as a lot of people, including vets, tell you it is. The primary way CL is spread is by exposure to pus. Therefore the key to controlling CL is to make sure no pus gets spread around the environment. Which means you lance ripe abscesses before they get a chance to burst on their own, and you keep the animal away from other goats until the abscess is completely healed. Keep an eye on the lump. When it gets ready to lance you will feel a spot on it where it feels softer and the skin feels thinner. PM me and I will tell you how to lance it so it will heal nicely and so there will be no exposure to other goats or contamination of the environment. Just for the record, I have had goats for over 40 years, and when I started breeding goats most herds, including mine, were infected with CL. I got rid of it and so did a lot of other herds I know, and we all did it about the same way. We didn't cull the whole herd or burn down the barns to do so either.
This particular shot...


...sure makes it look a whole lot like CL, but it's hard to say.

Someone made a good point that there's really no ball/socket joint there. Goats are basically built just like deer, and I know from processing deer you can easily and completely remove the entire front legs from the body simply by making a few cuts through connective tissue behind the shoulder.. Not sure what could swell like that except for some sort of abcess or tumor.. The above picture sure makes it look like it's in one of the correct places for CL, too..

Then again...he's apparently limping on it. If it were CL, I'm not sure he'd limp..


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