In this complete guide to goat bloat, we answer the most common questions that farmers ask about this serious condition, including what it is, symptoms, treatments, and more. Please note that bloat is a very serious issue for goats – please contact your goat veterinarian right away if you have any doubt.
Table of contents
- What is Goat Bloat?
- Can a Goat Die from Bloat?
- Goat Bloat Symptoms
- How Long Does Bloat Last in Goats?
- Goat Bloat Treatment – MEDICINE
- Goat Bloat Treatment – Does Milk of Magnesia Work?
- Goat Bloat Treatment – Does Baking Soda Help Goats with Bloat?
- Goat Bloat Home Remedy – Most Effective Home Remedies
- Bloat in Baby Goats – Symptoms & Treatment
- Treatment of Bloat in Baby Goats
What is Goat Bloat?
The most important thing to know about bloat in goats is that in can be fatal. If in doubt, call your goat veterinarian immediately!
The rumen of the goat produces a lot of gases, like carbon dioxide and methane, by fermentation of the food. The goat gets rid of these gases through belching. If the goat becomes unable to expel these gases out, the rumen starts expending due to the pressure exertion by the gases. With more production of gases as compare to expel of the gases, then the left side of the abdomen becomes distended, and this leads to the difficulty in breathing.
The bloat is also known as rumen tympany. In bloat, the left side of the goat becomes extended due to gases; however, if the extension is on both sides, then nothing to worry about as an extension of both sides is showing no symptoms of distress.
The goats of all age are at risk, and there are two types of bloat. The Frothy Bloat develops due to the consumption of green legumes like alfalfa or clover, hay, and wet grass. An open excess to the grains may also cause the frothy bloat.
However, the other type of bloat i.e. Free Gas Bloat develops when there is any blockage or obstruction in the oesophagus. This blockage may be due to grains, carrots, or apple.
Can a Goat Die from Bloat?
Bloat in goats is a dangerous condition. The frothy bloat is most critical as it produces ting bubbles within the rumen, and if goat becomes unable to expel them out it may cause the death of the goats. The death occurs due to pressure exerted by the extended rumen on heart and lungs, leading to circulatory or respiratory distress.
Goat Bloat Symptoms
The common signs of bloat are:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive salivation
- Distended stomach on the left side
- The goat may kick and bite the abdominal region
- Respiratory distress
How Long Does Bloat Last in Goats?
The bloat is a real fatal issue in goats. Bloat happens due to several factors including overfeeding. The bloat if untreated, can cause the death of the goat in lesser than 24 hours.
Goat Bloat Treatment – MEDICINE
The survival of the goats depends on the immediate base treatment. It is better to stop the goats from eating more feed to prevent bloat. Administration of peanut or vegetable oil will help to relieve the bloat.
The oil will break the stress produces by the gases, and there will be the release of the gases. For frothy bloat, mineral oil or poloxalene (100-200ml) works effectively. However, don’t use the mineral oil without stomach tube, as it is tasteless and goat may not swallow it and it may go to the lungs instead of the stomach and lead to pneumonia.
Massaging the left side of the goat will help to expel some gases. However, severe bloat can exert pressure on the abdomen that can stop the heart and lungs from working properly. Some surgical procedures like a small incision may help to remove the gases from the stomach.
The incision location is four fingers behind the bottom of the left side ribs. If the goat is about to die, puncturing the rumen with trocar and cannula is the only option left. The disadvantage of the trocar and cannula is that it may permit the dirt to go inside into the rumen. This dirt can lead to severe infection of the peritoneum.
Goat Bloat Treatment – Does Milk of Magnesia Work?
The milk of magnesia, also known as mineral oil, assists in relieving the bloat, especially the frothy type of bloat. A small amount of approximately 2-3 ounces can help to break down the tiny bubbles and discharges the gases usually.
After administrating the medicine, massage the abdomen and make the goat to walk will aid in proper mixing and breakdown of the bubbles. The goat will get by using milk of magnesia within one of administration.
Goat Bloat Treatment – Does Baking Soda Help Goats with Bloat?
Baking soda is a handy addition to the diet of the goat. Baking soda is handy in digestive problems and to avoid bloat. The baking soda will help to maintain the pH of the rumen and the micro-organism resides in the stomach will have a stable level of acidity.
The goats should have free access to the baking soda as the goats are very smart in consuming the baking soda. The goats will take the baking soda when needed and avoid it when they don’t want it.
However, don’t mix the baking soda in minerals or feed of the goats. There should be access to fresh-water while offering baking soda, or any other salts. The baking soda dosage for the goats suffering from bloat is one tablespoon mixed with warm water.
Goat Bloat Home Remedy – Most Effective Home Remedies
The following home remedy will work effectively in the goats.
- Massaging the upper left side of the goat
- Try to make the goat walk
- Raise the front portion of the goat
- Pat or massage the rumen section to release the gas
- Offer a tablespoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) for adult goats and a teaspoon for baby goats mixed with water.
- If the goat remains unable to belch then administer one tablespoon of Tide laundry powder (without bleach) mixed with 60ml of water via stomach tube. The anti-foaming solution will also help to remove the bloat immediately.
- Administer some probiotics to refresh the flora of the rumen.
- One couple of spoons of milk of magnesia or the mineral oil and massage the rumen backwards forward will help to lower the pH of the rumen and stimulate the gut.
- Finally, if nothing is working, then trocar and cannula is the last option in the supervision of the veterinarian.
One simple home remedy for the bloat is placing the goat at a 45-degree angle with the front portion a bit higher as compared to the rear part. This position will help to clear the oesophagus and rumen that will help to expel the gas and relieves the goat.
Bloat in Baby Goats – Symptoms & Treatment
The bloat occurrence in baby goat is quite different from that in adult goats. The development of bloat in baby goats occurs due to abnormal gastrointestinal processes specifically in the kid’s abomasums due to the reduction in the pH of the stomach.
This reduction in pH will lead to acidosis in the kids. Milk replacer is the primary issue of the bloat in the baby goats. Introduction of creep feed may also cause this problem in them. The bloat leads to the rupture of the 4th stomach (abomasum) which cause rapid death in baby goats.
Treatment of Bloat in Baby Goats
The treatment against bloat in baby kids is not possible due to rapid death. However, the following remedy is useful for the baby goats bloat.
- A broad-spectrum antibiotic administer orally
- A mixture of activated charcoal and vegetable oil via stomach tube is effective.
- Provide baking soda approximately 5mg per kid.