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Send the Message to Go Green with Ecology Gifts and Tees
Goat Bloat Print E-mail
Written by Administrator-GL   
Sunday, 27 May 2007
Article Index
Goat Bloat
Page 2

Bloat in Goats

There are 2 types of bloat and each has it's own treatment for release.


This is the Normal Rumen function of moving gas around the rumen and finally toward the esophagus for removal via belching

Quick Reference for Immediate Care


  1. ALWAYS
  2. check first for any obstructions in the mouth or throat that can be causing the bloat!
  3. Get goat on it's feet if down and start walking it around
  4. Elevate front end of goat if laying down
  5. Massage & Pat rumen (high on left side of goat behind last rib) to help release gas ( the same method as you would use to burp a baby)- you may also have to "knead" the air poicket to get the gas moving.
  6. If goat start to belch up gas, then give it a tablespoon either dry or in a small amount of water, some baking soda about a TBSP for an adult goat or a tsp for a younger goat
  7. If the gas does NOT come up with belching while massaging the rumen and the goat has had access to lush grass pasture all of a sudden, Then administer flavored oil (corn or olive oil) carefully via tubing
  8. If all other methods are not producing a relief from the excess gas, then is the time for the decision to use the trocar or call a vet if possible


Early Symptoms of Bloat

  1. Goat shows signs of tight rumen area- left side being much fuller than the right side- air pocket  can be heard when tapped on the left side upper left quadrant.
  2. Off feed
  3. Hanging head or holding neck straight out
  4. Grinding teeth
  5. Moaning or groaning
  6. Crying out while kicking at belly (if this is a wether make sure to determine that this is Not urinary calculi)
  7. Goat not chewing cud
  8. Goat not belching (goats belch many times an hour typically)
  9. No rumen sounds when you put your ear to left side (normally should sound like a "gurgling stomach")

    Late Stages of Bloat
  1. Goat crying out in pain
  2. Obvious extreme distress
  3. Gasping for air
  4. Tongue and lips turning blue
  5. Goat down and unable to rise
  6. Eyes starting to "roll" back in head
  7. Goat lays down on it's side with legs stretched out straight


What causes Bloat in Goats?
  1. Too much gas forming in the rumen and not being expelled by belching
  2. Obstruction in mouth or throat not allowing gas to come up and out
  3. Eating too much grain or rich hay - causing an imbalance in the rumen flora
  4. Any illness or medications (antibiotics) that may inhibit the natural flora from breaking down the ruminal contents
  5. Being let out to eat lush pasture while the dew is still wet
  6. Laying in a manner where the head is downhill making the rumen lay in a more forward direction and placement thus not allowing the gas to come out


Ruminants being "cud chewing" animals digest their food in a fairly complex manner. One important role of the digestion is fermentation of the food in the largest stomach, the rumen. While this fermentation takes place, gas bubbles occur and typically the goat will belch quite often releasing this gas.. which is perfectly normal (and at times can smell really good but this is my opinion *S*).. When the gases cannot escape for various reasons or too much fermentation is taking place at once..the bubbles get trapped and cause bloat.

shows gas in rumiant stomach
Click on image for larger view

Bloat is one of the easiest situations to recognize IF you know what you are looking for..( I can't tell you how many phone calls I have had in the past from distraught goat owners, scared to death their pygmy goat is bloated.. ) Like I said.. it is easy to recognize if you know what to look for:
Notice if the goat is feeling obviously uncomfortable, is hanging her head or holding her neck stretched out..she may be moaning, (grinding the teeth is a sign of discomfort..)she may grind her teeth, she may grunt or kick at her sides..she may just lay without any of these signs and the only thing you notice is she seems to be trying to breath out her mouth..

The best way for ANY physiological distress to be noticed is to KNOW each one of your goats and what they do when they are NOT sick; each goat is different.. so while Mary Lou may typically lay and moan and groan after she eats or while basking in the sun.. doesn't mean Sally Mae will do the same.. Know each goat's personality and make note, so when one Does get ill you will know what that particular goats does normally.

*Grinding teeth is not normal under any circumstances unless there is a discomfort somewhere..
Stand the goat up and take a look from the rear..Is the left side higher and fuller than the right side?.. when you tap the left side with your fingers is it tight like a drum?.. if so Most likely she is bloated..
This is a picture of a goat with the typical text book signs of bloat..Use this photo for reference.. Note the left side is higher and larger than the right- this is where the rumen is and where the gas is trapped.
typical bloat in a goat
Click image for larger view

This is my goat, Fancheon, who is really not a goat at all ..she is a pot bellied pig..*LOL*
They got especially rich alfalfa and she ate herself delirious in it.. She was fine after a few hours of massage and a handful of baking soda..and yes you do recognize her name from the Poem "Spring's First Kids" written when she was just a baby.

 This Diagram shows the rumen displacement when the goat is bloated- and where to massage for aid in releasing the air pocket:

Showing the displacment of the rumen and increased size due to excess gas

 

 

 
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Last Updated ( Sunday, 14 October 2012 )
 
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The information in this website; Goat-Link.com, is not meant to substitute regular veterinarian visits- I am not a veterinarian - the information here is derived from my research and personal experience and is meant to be informational and not to replace your veterinarian.

 
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