They treated the affected kids by correcting the blood pH level via administration of sodium bicarbonate. After the kids recovered, they were fed their dam's milk via a bottle.
This caused a reoccurance of metabolic acidosis and prolonged their recovery, in comparison to kids that were weaned and fed milk replacer. Pasteurizing the milk before feeding it prevented occurance of further cases.
The researchers concluded that milk ingestion plays a central role in the pathogenesis of D-lactate elevation in newborn goat kids. They recommend that goat farmers hand-rear affected kids with milk replacer or feed them milk that has been pasteurized.
Source: Bayer Animal Health News, 12.23.10
Editor's note: Goat kids affected with floppy kid syndrome are normal at birth but develop a sudden profound weakness at 3 to 10 days of age. They can swallow, but not suck. They show no other signs of disease. A significant percent of the kid crop can be affected. The disease is not known to occur in lambs.
Floppy kid links