Bloat in goats
QSeveral of our goats appear to be quite bloated, and we are not sure why. Can you advise?
Sieker says: A bloated goat will not be a happy animal. It is usually quite obvious that something is not right – she will stand looking sorry for herself, possibly grind her teeth as she is pain, her left side will be visibly distended and hard, and often this will extend to both sides quickly. The most common form is ruminal frothy bloat - often the result of eating large amounts of wet grass and greenery without having her rumen lined with a good filling of hay before going outside. Quick action to disperse the froth inside her rumen is needed – a drench of at least 100 to 200ml of any vegetable oil, with or without the addition of bicarbonate of soda (to change the rumen pH) followed by walking the goat to encourage her to dispel the excess gas in the usual way – either by mouth or the other end, as well as circular massage of both her distended sides. You will find that she may well be back to normal quite quickly. If the drench does not help, it is advisable to get the vet out to either insert a stomach tube or, if desperate, s/he can insert a thick needle/ tube directly into the rumen from the outside (trocharisation). Bloat can be easily avoided by making sure that the goats have a good feed of hay before going outside and only once the grass is fairly dry. In early spring, as the grass starts to grow, it is advisable to limit the time of grazing until their stomachs have got used to its richness.
Keep your goats healthy...,