Delivery by Cesarean Section

I am posting these pictures as a possible help for you and your vet should a c-section be needed.  Things don't always go as planned. Sometimes, despite our best efforts a c-section is the only answer if we want to save the doe and possibly the kid or kids.  It has been my experience that does recover a lot faster from a timely and properly done c-section than from a prolonged and difficult attempt to pull a large kid.  I will check the position on each kid before it is in the birth canal or just as it is entering the birth canal.  I choose to check the kids before there is a problem if at all possible. I have found it much easier to rearrange kids before they are squashed up against the pelvis in the wrong position.  This practice allows the doe to deliver with less stress and pain and both the kids and does are in better shape than if they struggle for hours in an attempt to deliver.  It also allows me to recognize when a c-section may be needed and I can make that decision before the kids are lost and the doe is exhausted.   You will need to decide when and if you are going to intervene according to your experience and philosophy.  I hope all  your does deliver normally and that you never need this information but, just in case, here is a proven method of delivery that results in little stress on the doe and kids. The traditional method of lying the doe on her side puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the heart and lungs and many time results in the doe's death.  Does done with this technique breathe normally and recover quickly. 

The pictures accompanying this article are graphic and show the delivery of live kids from a doe. These pictures were taken with the permission of the herd owner and the Vet involved. (Dr John Harris DVM at the Deer Park Veterinary Clinic) They are the property of Reuel Dairy Goats and may not be reproduced without permission. Please contact me for permission. 

Deer Park Vet Clinic started using this technique for C-sections on goats many years ago.  I have had 6-8 c-sections done over the last 30+ years by this method and all the does have survived and gone on to reproduce normally in subsequent pregnancies. The one doe that I had  that was done while lying down died on the table.

The doe pictured had scar tissue on her cervix that prevented complete dilation and so had her c-section scheduled.

In this photo you can see a very hairy doe that is shaved and scrubbed down several times with non foaming Betadine scrub. I use a 40 blade to clip followed by a 50 blade. For does in active labor I give them 1cc of Banamine per 100 pounds to stop labor and relax the uterus. This allows the vet to begin the procedure as soon as he arrives. (Usually within 30 minutes of my call)

The doe is given a local anesthetic along the suture line and allowed to stand for a few minutes while the anesthetic takes full effect.

The incision through the skin is made as high in the flank area as possible to help keep the rumen in place. The doe is alert and comfortable as the local anesthetic has worked well.

The uterus is palpated searching for a kids’ back leg. After the leg is located the vet makes an incision in the uterine wall equal to the distance from the hock to the pastern of the kid.

The leg is carefully manipulated through the opening and then the other leg is extracted in a similar fashion.


The kid is carefully and gently delivered and immediately handed off to be dried and stimulated and then is held by the doe’s head as she nickers to him and licks.

The second kid is quickly located and gently extracted. Then he is passed off to be dried and kept warm. The doe is quietly talking to her kids and very relaxed and happy.

Working quickly Dr. John and his technician close the incision in the uterine wall as the uterus shrinks in size.

The muscle layers are quickly closed. Often 3-5 cc of Pen G are squirted over the uterine sutures, into the uterus and over the muscle layer sutures as a precaution.

The skin is closed from top to bottom and carefully sponged off.


The doe was returned to the herd 12 hours post surgery and in 14 days the sutures were removed. She recovered rapidly. Post surgical care consisted of: administration of 2 shots of Oxytocin to help her clean and 7 days of Pen G injections 2X per day. The suture line was checked twice daily for signs of infection and triple antibiotic ointment applied for 3-5 days.

Her twins were healthy and thrived.

We will have some very nice show quality and family milker yearling and two year old does, as well as a few aged does for sale in the spring. All kid prices listed are for pre ordered kids that are picked up at 6 weeks or younger. Please E-mail or call (509)276-6207 to let us know your needs.

Please contact us to reserve your kids now. Also, check out our For Sale page.