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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Something is up with Pan, my 9 month old saanen wether who just came to live with us two weeks ago. I am not sure what to do because he is just acting depressed. In the last two days he has little interest in eating, he doesn't come running like he used to...he stands there with his head a little low and just closes his eyes, or he lays around a lot and he is not as vocal. Viola, my doe who arrived at the same time, is fine. I have watched Pan and he has normal poop, I saw him pee, I see regular rumen contractions and saw some cud come up once (although I didnt see him chew anything? maybe nothing came up?), and he does not appear bloated. His fur is fluffed up, like he is not feeling well, he just has an appearance of lethargy/depression and is very low energy...his personality has changed markedly...he is obviously not feeling well....Thats all I can say about it. He's off.



I gave him some probios, and a vitamin b injection (not complex, thiamine is only at 12.5 mg). He has the right now onyx minerals and they have always had baking soda.



I dont give him a lot of grain--I only give him a handful along with half an alfalfa cube to keep him occupied while Viola goes out the gate to be fed. Last two days he doesnt want to eat the grain--he just leaves it.



Changes in the last few days: after they had had a few days of the occasional alfalfa cube, I put about 10 cubes broken up in a dish in thier shelter for them to eat at thier leisure. I usually find some still in the dish in the morning so they are not eating them all up and its really not that much given for two goats in the first place. The reason I did this is because I wanted to give them a llitle something extra since they do not seem interested in the hay I am giving them.

I had first gotten coastal bermuda and peanut hay. They wouldnt touch the bermuda and too much of the peanut hay went to waste. A friend said his goats like orchard grass. So I got some of that--that was on Monday. When I gave them the first flake of it they seemed interested and excited about the orchard grass--probably because it was new. They ate it happily but not to excess--they have never been too interested in any hay I have put out and seemed more interested in eating leaves off the ground), but since I first put out that first flake, which they never even finished, I'd say they only ate 1/4 of it--they have lost interest and they again have not touched the hay much. Its just sitting there. Maybe Pan is having trouble because of the change to orchard grass, even though really I do not think he has eaten all that much of it?



If so, would he be bloated? Because he does not appear to be and again, I have seen his rumen contract (visually by watching his left side sort of roll at the rib line near that hollow before the hip...), a cud contraction roll up his neck and a small amount of chewing associated with that. He seems to be passing gas out the other end too....although I have to go out there and listen for rumbling I guess, I havent done that yet.



I checked a fecal recently and he has a low coccidia level and an moderate/average amount of barberpole/liverfluke. He has been wormed for both accordingly. His famacha score is fine. He is in good weight. He just doesnt feel good.....



What can I do? Give him vegetable oil? Give him a baking soda ball? Nutridrench? I dont have thiamine yet....would you give him thiamine? Or would it be too soon for that? Would it hurt to give it to him if he wasnt deficient? I dont have any on hand and would have to drive 2 hrs away to get some from a friend. Its Xmas and my vet is closed--just something I havent got in my stockpile yet...If he doesnt improve by tomorrow should I give it to him?



any advice would be appreciated. I hate this....



Thanks

Alisa~
 

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have you taken his temperature? not wanting a bit of grain is a bit troublesome. the better the hay the less they will eat. if they are in good flesh let them eat as much or as little as they want. I had access to excellent compressed bales of brome hay one year and I swear it seem they hardly ate any. but they were fine and kidded out good kids that spring :).
 

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I agree. Check his temperature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi again--
Here's what I did. If he gets better I won't know what did it LOL. On top of the probios and the vit B I went ahead and gave him 40 mls vegetable oil and a baking soda ball, and made him sit still for a major rumen massage. When I was done, he sort of stood there and made these funny short squeak-ma sounds, barely perceptible, while his left-side rumen area seems to be spasming a bit. Like every time his belly would jump a small maa would be forced forth, if that makes any sense.

The other thing he is doing is drinking--a lot. He goes to the bucket and just stays there drinking. Is that and indicator for anything?

Also, this is another symptom of whatever is going on: he lifts his tail very high, then walks forward while sort of s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g his back very long, like he is arching it to either get something in place or avoid pain. It happens abruptly, like he has to do it to alleviate something, like iot takes him by surprise--not like he is having a nice stretch, like almost a contraction of some sort is coming and he is dealing with it.

After all this treatment (now he doesnt want anything to do with me), I took them both for a walk to the pasture with good browse, just to keep him moving, and just watch his behavior. He goes to the honeysuckle, a favorite, and nibbles, but just lets it fall out of his mouth....:confused: At least he is showing interest...He seems to have picked up energy-wise, while in that pasture, and seemed to enjoy the walk with his people, Viola just blew him off browsing like mad while he stayed close to us. He did at one point try to headbutt her, so maybe he may be feeling a bit more chipper. I wonder if he did get some degree of bloat because he has looked a bit wider to me lately, but all this coincided with this cold weather that blew in and I assumed he looked just more fluffy because he holds his furcoat a bit fluffed up, I assumed he did this to keep warm, but maybe it has been a symptom of his not feeling well and it hid a wider belly--does that make sense? His belly does seem a bit larger, ever so slightly, on the left side, but not very much, but maybe its enough. I mean I have seen a full rumen before and my previous goats got way more lopsided than this just from loading up on browse, I thought the rumen had to be much more distended....perhaps not.

I will take his temp and report back.

Thanks for your help.
 

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I would pat their rumens for comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The other goat is 90-110 days pregnant! I dont know if I will be able to tell considering how wide she is and I dont know anatomy-wise the difference between a bloated wether and a pregnant doe....:confused::rolleyes::confused: I mean, I have tried already...already thought hmm I wish I had another goat right about now so I could compare....
 

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Have you seen him pee and poo *today?*

Do you give him amonium chloride to prevent urinary stones?

I'm worried.
 

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It sounds like he is uncomfortable from either his digestion or uriniary. If he were my wether I would start aggressivly treating with AC. I would also do the probios/baking soda/oil route like you said you did. I would also take his temp to see if there was an infection. Why does this stuff always happen on a weekend or holiday! UGH! keep us posted
 

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that stretching sounds like urinary calculi or inflamed urethra to me- if he is otherwise eating and drinking normally, that's my thought. Could be the alfalfa- wethers and bucks should not get alfalfa at all.

keep him moving- you've done the probios thing and all, so he should be on the mend if it is indigestion- they can get impacted easily from eating too much hay too quickly and not enough water- make sure though that his CD&T shots are up to date- try to get a hold of some C&D antitoxin to keep around for immediate relief.

I live near Gatlinburg (just off I-40) and can supply you with ammonium chloride if you want to drive here to get it.
 

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Actually alfalfa is good for boys. It helps balance out the P:Ca ratio with it's calcium.

When you say he's stretching his back do you mean he's folding his hips under towards his chin? My goats do that from time to time and it means nothing.
 

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When a goat stretches, it usually has a belly ache. I give C&C antitoxin, baking soda and Probios. No grain for him and offer hay. Sometimes when mine have stomach problems, alfalfa hay is too rich for them, but they will eat grass hay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks to pouring over this board reading posts for the last few months I knew what to do to help this boy and he is all better now! I was really scared there for a while--it became very obvious yesterday how he was in pain, when the day before my radar picked up his not being quite right...I wish I had done something right then so he wouldnt have had to be in pain for another whole day. But no sense kicking myself--this was my first case of bloat and I guess I did alright. Here's to it never happening again! I really thought that his wider appearance had more to do with his fluffed haircoat due to the freezing weather we have had, coupled with my newbie status and the only other animal around for comparison being a very pregnant doe, his status was not obvious to me. Now that his bloat has gone away and I see how he has thinned down to his normal physique it is blaringly obvious he was bloated. He picked up yesterday after a nice hour long nap after my last post--I went out there and walked him around again--he hopped right up, ran around after me, jumped up on the fences to reach honeysuckle and he actually ate it! Then I took him back to the other pasture and went straight to the hay and started eating. I checked on them both at 3 AM and he came running like he usually does, vocalizing and jumped up on the gate to say hi to me. He's BACK! Woohoo!

Ok so straight hay for him. JUst to say though when I fed Viola last night he was very interested in getting at her grain dish...so appetite is back. I didnt give him any of the grain, but he definatley was trying to get at it like he usually does.

Ok, so for the future I need to have thiamine on hand, also C&C antitoxin (what is thia? I will look it up...) and ammonium chloride....AC is for urinary calculi correct? I checked his prepuce and did not find any sandy grit and he did pee normally so I dont think it was that at all, but I will be sure to have in on hand just in case.

Thanks everyone for your help!

Have a great holiday!
 

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Great news! I'm glad he is better WHEW! I think it's C&T Antitoxin you want. Yes, the AC is for Urinary Calculi...I give it as a preventitive to my wether every day in a dosage ball. And I think the Thiamine is in the Fortified Vit B...please correct me if I'm wrong. Merry Christmas! :)
 

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I STRONGLY disagree with feeding alfalfa to boys. Alfalfa is only somewhat acceptable for boys if you balance it out with phosphous- something like corn.

No way will I ever feed alfalfa hay to boys. And no way will I ever feed corn to boys either. Period. Good grass hay, mineral and sodium bicarb, plus Ammonium chloride.

There is a book about a diet for wethers- not sure who wrote it, but worth looking into- goole to see if it comes up- I think Caprine Supply or Hoegger's may carry it.
 

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From what the goat researcher at Langston told me and what others have said "most" stones are made from phosphorus not calcium although calcium stones are possible.

Last winter all I could get was alfalfa so that's what I fed my 3 wethers from October to late April. They also got a small amount of grain and AC each day.
 

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That would be an *imbalance* of cal/phos. There needs to be a 2:1 ratio- when you feed a diet less rich in either of them, but balanced still the same, stones are much less likely. The factor is usually the water when the 2:1 balance is kept, but skewing the ratio by feeding rich feedstuffs can be devastating.

Why take a chance?
 
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