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Author Topic: Arthritis in ankles? Supplements?  (Read 348 times)

Tree Farmer

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • Herefordshire
Arthritis in ankles? Supplements?
« on: April 01, 2019, 11:05:09 am »
Hi everyone,

Our vet has diagnosed arthritis in one of my goats.

She is an anglo nubian who has had problems on her feet for a long time (I have posted before) and we suspect it is a mixture of things, but that arthritis is part of the package. Her fore ankles are pretty 'clicky'.

Just for a little history - she has been 'ginger' on her hooves for a long time, years. So we have not bred her. We have tried managing it as laminitis and I continue to be very careful with her feed and access to pasture and so on, and we often bathe her in Golden Hoof Plus to try and stave off any infection. The vets are flummoxed and have been for years. Her hooves are very misshapen - one cleat bigger than the other) and grow alarmingly - we trim every few weeks.

So it is a complicated picture but I think arthritis is quite possibly part of it... Can I ask does anyone use supplements or remedies to help with this?

Thank you,

Ps The vet has prescribed asprin to help with pain relief (as suggests this will be permanent now) and I already offer willow to help

« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 11:41:37 am by Tree Farmer »
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Arthritis in ankles? Supplements?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2019, 12:30:52 pm »
One of my older goats had dreadful arthritis last year, if you manipulated his knee (straightened it out) it felt so crackly and clicky it was horrible and he wouldn't put any weight on it at all. Vet advised to give Danillon to reduce swelling and help with pain. He was on 1/2 a sachet a day (in two feeds) for a week, then I started reducing it. He's been on 1 sachet a week all winter (a third of a sachet on alternate days). He seems fine without it now.

Remember that its not licenced for goats so can only be used under direct veterinary supervision and the animal must not enter the food chain.


  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Arthritis in ankles? Supplements?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2019, 04:07:21 pm »
Hmm,  I have one with a similar disposition. Not one I bred myself. I more recently got a full sister who has a similar problem.  In particular the shape you me tion and very rapid growth, needs trimming twice as often as any other goat and never really achieve a decent flat surface for her.


  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Arthritis in ankles? Supplements?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2019, 11:33:43 pm »
When you say "arthritis" - do you have a diagnosis of CAE or is it some form of joint damage/injury causing localised arthritis?

Several of my goats were "clicky" when they came but most have improved.  The old girl (12) still creaks a bit sometimes but it doesn't slow her down any and she's certainly not lame.

How old is she?

The fast growth would suggest a combination of laminitis and lack of "wearing surface" to me; but it's hard to say without seeing her moving.  Does she "goose step" at all?  If so, that's classic laminitis and can be down to hormonal imbalance as much as food.  What colour is the sole of her foot?  If black, again that can be an indicator of laminitis.  How easy/hard is it to trim the feet?  If they're rock hard then again that's an indicator. 

Any other symptoms/indicators (is her coat dull and staring or bright and shiny; does she suffer dandruff in excess or is her skin clean and clear, what colour are her membranes and have you run baseline bloods for deficiencies or elevations)?

You say you're using golden hoof to stave off infection, is there any sign of infection?

Have you considered having her assessed by a farrier or animal physiotherapist who may spot something the vet has missed (especially if not a goat specialist)?

Switching over to treatments - difficult to say without knowing what the issue is but:-
- a high quality oil - linseed, powdered coconut etc can help;
- good quality hoof growth comes from balancing biotin, methionine and zinc (the cornucrescine pellets for horses may be a solution if you need to supplement on these);
- I had a really bad experience with Danilon in one of my horses a few years ago; it caused colitis and put him in "horsepital" with a poor prognosis - a very expensive mistake and one I don't care to repeat.  Anyway the vet hospital spoke to specialists and as a last resort we tried using a combination of Thunderbrooks Gut Restore and Liquid Gold, firstly to rebuild his gut, but also because there was some evidence that it may help with the arthritic pain that had put him on danilon in the first instance.  I believe the explanation is that if you can get the gut  biome working effectively, a lot of other symptoms disappear of their own accord.   We also supplemented him with Turmeric with black pepper (powdered), powdered coconut oil and Ginger (fresh).  On bad days, he was also given "Bute Free" or an equivalent "No Bute" which is based on devil's claw.  He's made as full a recovery as an animal of that age ever will and whilst he'll never be fully sound due to an old injury, it doesn't stop him running, playing and going about his daily routine.

As for my goats, they get occasional supplements of turmeric, garlic, mint, linseed or powdered coconut, seaweed, as well as a small amount of good quality feed.  They get Christmas trees through the winter and willow, birch and hawthorn through the summer.

In terms of foot trimming, the current advice is not to unless the animal is lame on that foot.  My horses have been barefoot since long before it was fashionable and I used to trim them about 3 times a year myself... However, I stopped doing that about 10 years ago and their feet are in better shape now than ever before.  Initially they were overgrown, long and ugly but they then seemed to start wearing them according to their growth and the overgrowth chips off and breaks back to the correct position periodically.  I've been doing the same with my goats and am finding similar, the horn overgrows, turns over on itself and then gets worn off as the animals are walking on it.  I do still trim if we're going to shows, just so they look tidy, but I only cut the overgrowth rather than trying to "shape" them now... the animals are happier and healthier that way.

These are only my thoughts and what has worked for me, but I hope they help.  I wouldn't advocate doing any of the above without first talking it through with your vet who has assessed the animal in question.

Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.


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