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How to Identify and Treat White Muscle Disease in Goats

| Updated August 11, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Injectable selenium-vitamin E blend, such as Bo-Se

  • 1cc syringe

  • 22 gauge needle

  • 400 IU vitamin E capsule


  • Selenium can be toxic, so talk to your veterinarian before administering it.


  • Check with your local agricultural extension office to see if you live in a selenium-deficient area.
    Speak with your veterinarian about having selenium-vitamin E blend on hand before you actually need it.

If you own goats, you need to be prepared to deal with white muscle disease. It is caused by a deficiency of selenium, vitamin E or both and is most often seen in kids at birth to a few weeks old. Living in an area deficient in selenium, coupled with feeding poor-quality hay that lacks vitamin E, will make your goats more prone to white muscle disease. An injectable blend of vitamin E and selenium will treat white muscle disease and other conditions associated with selenium deficiency.

Observe the newborn kid for white muscle disease symptoms, such as an inability to stand or legs buckling while the kid is standing. In older kids signs will be stiffness or an abnormal gait after playing, exercising or stress.

i newborn nubian image by Lee O'Dell from Fotolia.com

Dry and warm the newborn kid. Bottle-feed it some colostrum or hold it so it can suckle its mother.

Draw up the prescribed dosage of selenium-vitamin E blend into the syringe, based on your veterinarian's recommendation.

Pinch the skin around the goat's shoulder area, insert the needle, and push down on the plunger to administer the blend to the goat subcutaneously. Rub the area after you give the injection.

Pierce the vitamin E capsule with a pin and squirt the liquid directly into the kid's mouth.

Give the vitamin E once a day for one week.