Bloat in goats

Country Smallholding - - Ask The Experts -

QSev­eral of our goats ap­pear to be quite bloated, and we are not sure why. Can you ad­vise?

AAnke

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...,

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