Is there such a thing as chronic bloat?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by WV Goatman, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. WV Goatman

    WV Goatman New Member

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    I live with a long-time goat lady and I've helped her take care of hers for 15 years. I've just discovered this website and it seems a really nice resource and atmosphere... I don't consider myself ANY kind of expert but it is nice to see people talking about stuff like this, hard to meet folks who know much about the beloved goats, heh.

    But, anyways here is my current question... We have an older (7 or 8 year old) doe who has been fat (?), we refer to her as bloated (not sure the term is technically accurate in this case) but she's been this way for years. But it is her sides, they poke waay out... We don't feed her any grain, trying to reduce the bloat, if that is what it is. But that does nothing.

    I searched around this forum for "bloat" topics and people advise feeding baking soda. But this is NOT an accute case, just always for years... And she isn't the first goat I've seen like this. We had one before who was definitely not fat but had these huge (pregnant looking) protruding sides. That goat died years ago, not especially young or old when she died. So, do you guys think baking soda would help in this situation?

    thanks,
    Si Gilmore
     
  2. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    Howdy there, WV Goatman! Bloat is an acute condition rather than a chronic one. A goat can appear fat and poking out at the sides as you describe for several reasons. I will give you my two cents worth and perhaps others will come along and give theirs. I would think that if the goat has been like this for a long time and the diet has been essentially the same, and the goat is not pregnant, then the goat is either just fat, or is wormy. Is the hair coarse and shabby looking or is it slick and shiney? A rough coat is a sign of possible parasites. Bloat is a acute and genarally serious condition when a goat eats too much or eats the wrong thing and then suffers serious digestive problems which can be life-threatening. When i fear my goats have bloated on too much of something, I offer them regular baking soda from the kitchen mixed with a bit of regular table salt. They go after it and start burping right away. Back when i began with goats, back in the day, I lost many goats to bloat, I didn't know what i was doing. It was heart-breaking. Now I am almost paranoid. I watch them after any change in feed and I am careful not to overfeed or to allow them to over-graze in a fresh rich area until they are used to it.....Diane
     

  3. Ellie5

    Ellie5 Well-Known Member

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    I have one 8 mo old goat who always looks pregnant. The last time the vet was out I asked about her, but he said she was "just a pig". Right now she's just on pasture, but for a while there she was locked up during the day & let on pasture several hours a day with a cup of grain. No change-she's ALWAYS pregnant looking. I keep baking soda out free choice, but even so, she gets even bigger after she eats (which is indeed her slightly bloated). I never see her eat the baking soda voluntarily and sometimes I feel the need to make a paste & force her to eat some for my own peace of mind.

    I'm curious what others have to say also as I'm certainly no expert.
     
  4. Julia

    Julia Well-Known Member

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    Gosh, are you people horse people, or something? Do you not know that goats are ruminants, with 4 stomachs that are specifically designed to digest the coarse fiber in forage plants? And that the larger the rumen, the better job the animal is doing at this? This goat is not bloated, or a pig, it's using its rumen to its greatest capacity to transform indigestible fiber to milk or meat. That's a *good* thing. Be happy!
     
  5. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

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    All of ours look huge and pregnant by about 2 pm every day. By 8 pm, they look like little heads on giant goat bodies.

    First thing in the morning, they look a lot more normal - but that doesn't last for long once they get going on landscape duty.

    None of their non-rumen area body parts look fat, just strong and muscular. But their rumens - it looks like a daily contest to see who can shove the most leaves and brush in! Big Sandy always wins, but the others put on a valiant effort.

    Lynda
     
  6. Ellie5

    Ellie5 Well-Known Member

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    Julia,

    Was your opening comment really necessary?

    It is possible and indeed probable that some people are not as knowledgeable as you regarding the digestive tracts of goats. There wouldn't be a need for this forum if all users knew it all. The comment about being a “pig” came straight from the mouth of my vet when he was easing my concern while comparing her to my other goats. My intent was to ease the mind of a fellow forum user with my goats similar symptoms. Apparently I came across all wrong and will be thinking twice about sharing my experiences in the future.

    E
     
  7. GoatsRus

    GoatsRus TMESIS

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    WV Goatman- I'm sure your goaties are fine. My girls are grazing nothing but pasture right now and you'd swear that everyone of them is due to drop quads any day.
     
  8. dbarjacres

    dbarjacres Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I thought Julia's comment was funny. It's very true, me being a horse (donkey!) person. If you had a horse "bloat" up like that in the visceral region you'd be in deep poopoo and need the vet immediately. Goats certainly do change their daily "appearances" more than equine do!

    But I too have a little gal from March here, boer/nubian, she weaned herself off the bottle at only 4-5 weeks old and is a picky eater besides. She's got good tone everywhere else finally and a nice slick shiny coat, but this belly that distends out to the sides if you look from over her or head-on. She's current on all her dewormings, shots, etc, and we've finally just accepted that's how Socks looks. Period. She does appear "thinner" in the a.m. also.

    From what I've seen, a friend of mine has a few older boer does, about the age of yours and they honestly look to be 10 months pregnant with quints! They are simply huge. She was told it was the muscle break down from pregnancies and such and one doe was flushed, which she was told is very hard on them as well. Those does are healthy and still carry kids every year. I'd say it's just like some people have a itty bitty pregnancy belly and gain like 10 pounds and others gain 100 lbs and never get that old shape back.