Monday, April 15, 2013

Preventing Floppy Kid Syndrome

Italian researchers undertook a 10 year clinical study to determine if separating kids from their dams at birth and feeding them bovine colostrum, followed by cow's milk, could prevent floppy kid syndrome (FKS). Floppy kid syndrome (view image) is a "metabolic acidosis" that manifests itself as a flaccid paresis or paralysis (kids have no muscle tone: they just"flop.")

Artificial rearing
The study was conducted on a private farm. Kids were divided into two groups:  1) those separated from their dam and fed bovine colostrum and milk; and 2) those raised traditionally to suckle their dams. Four hundred and fourteen kids were born from 2000 to 2010. None of the 146 kids from group 1 developed FKS. Sixteen of the 268 kids from group 2 developed FKS.

The distribution of cases in group 2 was 0, 0, 2.6, 69.2, and 71.4 percent, respectively, for January, February, March, April, and May births. Kids were most likely to be afflicted with FKS four to five days after birth. There was a 100 percent probability that no kids would develop FKS after 11 days of age.

In group 1, separation of newborn kids from their dams prevented exposure of kids via suckling/licking to the bacterial agent causing d-lactic acidosis, originating from the adult goats and/or their immediate environment.

Source:  Small Ruminant Research. November 2012.

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