Large Animal Veterinary
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jill. Both of the problems you describe are common in goats. I'd also be concerned about rumenal acidosis (changes in the rumen bacteria) from all the feed.
Have you seen him urinate at all?
No. I haven't seen him urinate since noon, when we noticed he was acting so srtange
He has pooped twice, and we have been walking him around. We were assuming that walking him around would help with constipation/bloat is that was the issue
What kind of straining is he doing? Does he look like he's posturing to urinate?
I have ammonium chloride but I am unsure of how to dose it.
Yes, walking is usually great for constipation issues
Ammonium chloride is actually only useful for preventing the formation of urinary stones...it doesn't dissolve them once they've formed. Incidentally, what area of the country are you in? (Different types of stones form in different areas.) And what is his normal diet?
when he is straining he looks like he is dry heaving - everytime he has a screaming episode he poops a little
So it looks like he's trying to regurgitate rumen contents?
He gets hay stretcher and a dairy goat feed (a half quart of feed) and orchard mixed hay for the winter
You are correct that symptoms can overlap since they're often symptoms of abdominal pain. With bloat, their abdomen is usually distended (as you have said you've looked for) and it eventually impairs breathing, though it definitely can be hard to tell in goats at times. With urinary calculi (very common in male goats), they usually act painful in their abdomen and repeatedly posture like they're trying to urinate though nothing comes out.
Urinary calculi are more common to form when goats are kept on an alfalfa diet (due to the high calcium and the urine ph), but it can happen on any diet. Ammonium chloride is fed as a preventative, but it's very unpalatable the research that's been done with it says it may not actually help and goats typically won't eat enough of it to get to levels where it would do anything anyway.
The fact that he's pooping is definitely a good sign. If he's pooping and you do eventually see him urinate, it could be that he has an overgrowth of bacteria (specifically clostridium) in his intestinal tract due to the large amounts of feed.
I would check his gums and make sure they're still pink...and that if you press on them, the color returns in 1-2 seconds.
I'd also take away any feed and just give him free choice water.
Also, does he react painfully if you press on his abdomen?
We are in Lanexa, Virginia near Richmond, Va - my husband says he looks like he is straining to poop like a baby would. I'm sorry I got sidetracked my goat mentor just called me back
What would be acute signs of urinary stones? I pressed on his abdomen and urinary tract area and he did not seem any more uncomfortable.
We were told that he would have a darkened almost bruised end on his penis if he has a stone caught there. Is that possible?
We were also told there would be a possibility of swolleness or fever around the urinary tract area, is that true?
No worries! You can try sitting him on his haunches and extruding his penis. There's a small process at the end where stones often get caught (the narrowest point in the path urine takes out of the bladder). If a stone is stuck, it will sometimes look black. The thin process at the end can be cut to try and relieve a blockage (though often times larger stones are still present higher up that get stuck).
Because of the pressure and irritation, it may also be swollen and warm to the touch, though not always.
A urinary stone would probably be the most likely problem with the symptoms you describe, though I can't say for sure without seeing him. As a veterinarian, I typically tell by feeling for an enlarged, firm bladder and putting an ultrasound probe over that area to look for a large, distended bladder or lots of free fluid in the abdomen (if the bladder has burst).
Is there any way you can take him to a veterinarian that treats small ruminants or have your veterinarian out today on emergency?
If you don't see him urinate at all and he does have a urinary blockage, it is unfortunately a medical emergency that needs immediate attention.
No, vets in virginia are almost anti - goat. The closest vet ignores my calls on a normal basis, and the vet that will come out is over an hour away
I will be right back
Unfortunately that's a common problem :(.
hi sorry. We went outside flipped him up on his butt and pushed his penis out. It is blackish/purple on the end
it's about an 1/8 of an inch of blackness
What do you recommend?
I'd take a sharp knife or sharp scissors and cut the blackish/purple part off (it's dead anyway at this point). It will likely be painful and he will probably not appreciate it (i.e. he'll probably cry out). But the hope is that it will free any stones causing blockage and allow urine to flow out.
ok, how much will it bleed? Do i need to give him a shot of anitbiotics to help the incision?
I'm guessing the blackish area is the thin process at the very end when it's pulled all the way out?
Shouldn't bleed much (very thin tissue).
Yes, we pushed it all the way out, it's the skinny wiggly part at the very tip. It looks like a curly q
I'd give it a shot and see how it goes first...might not work (could be larger stones higher up).
Yes, that's the process that is the common culprit!
Antibiotics would be a good idea if this helps, but see how it goes first and let me know.
Ok. i'll be gone for a little bit. We are going to try it. This is so strange. I've never had this happen before.
Never a dull moment, right?
While you're away, here's a bit more info on the ammonium chloride options:
should we keep letting him drink water? I read that his bladder may rupture?
Since it sounds like a urinary stone, I'd say no at this point.
ok. if we cut it off now, when should I see him urinate again? when should I let him have water again?
will LA-200 be ok?
i have la-200 and penicillin
If it works, you'll see him urinate right away (instant gratification). He can have water then, though I might limit it a bit.
Either should be fine as a prophilactic.
ok spectacular! no there isn't ever a dull moment. We have rabbits, chickens, goats, dogs, and cats.... I'm so scared. We got him last year and he is my little friend. My friend is a nurse and she is here with me.
I was wondering if this fixes the problem for today do you recommend the vet coming out tomorrow?
Yea, we're putting you through the ringer today! Yes, I would definitely have your vet out tomorrow even if this works. There are probably additional stones and they can do a thorough physical exam, see how he looks, and make specific recommendations.
ok i will be back. she already pulled up the LA200 shot
Stones can be composed of several different mineral types. I don't know off hand what's most common in Virginia unfortunately. I'm out in California, and what we get isn't easily dissolved. But, struvite is a common type elsewhere that can be dissolved using something like ammonium chloride (acidifies the urine). The dose is around 0.2-0.3 mg/kg. It can be mixed with water and given orally via a syringe or stomach tube. Or, your veterinarian may want to put an acidifying solution directly into his bladder.
Hope it works!
Let me know please! :)
hey we decided to check on my other buck that is the same age and we found his to be perfectly pink and normal. So we are out the door, to see if we can fix riley!
we went ahead and cut the black part off and nothing happened. he is standing up straining again.
Since that entire small process is not gone, I'm afraid the blockage is probably higher up then.
And I'm afraid there isn't much else that can be done without a veterinarian. You can try syringe feeding the ammonium chloride though it likely won't work quickly enough to help. If you have a very fine, flexible tube that will fit in the urethra (not many people have urinary catheters laying around though) you can try feeding it through the urethra to push away any stones.
Another emergency procedure is putting a catheter directly into the bladder from the outside, but this requires a veterinarian and a specialized catheter.
You can also try relieving some of the pain with banamine on the off chance that he actually has a different problem, but from what you describe it sounds like urinary calculi is the most likely problem.
Hi there again! We did it! We cut the first time and nothing happened! We went online and looked at diagrams about urinary calculi and where we could cut and we cut another 1/8" and he peed everywhere!
He did pee out a big blood clot, but he has urinated 4 times in the past 15minutes!
he just peed out a second clot. But he isn't screaming or straining now and he has urinated and pooped. We can'tget any blood out of the blood clots. My nurse friend says they must be at least a few days old
he is very tired, but his eyes aren't bugged out or anything.
we gave him a shot of la200 and that stung him more than anything else. He didn't cry or anything when we snipped the end off. It did not bleed,and his urine isn't bloody. The only wierd thing was the blood clots
Yes! Great job!!!
The calculi can cause a lot of irritation and inflammation (including bleeding) so that may be where the clots came from.
I would definitely still have your vet take a look at him as he may have more stones. And, they can recommend ammonium chloride feeding advice.
We were so confused! We always move towards bloat when they get out and eat stuff they shouldn't!. Yeah we were thinking he probably had some blood clots from all the straining he has been doing.
They can also get toxins that build up in their blood from the urine (nitrogen compounds) and electrolyte problems, so I'd keep a close eye on him, but sounds like he's doing much, much better now!
Yea, that's a tough one...they're both pretty common.
he was straining like crazy. but now he seems fine, we gave his some bounce back (pedialyte mix for goats).
we gave him a quart of the bounce back mix now and we will check on him off and on. i will call my vet in the morning and let them know what happened. They will be so surprised! He's always a tuff guy
Ha :). Sounds great, let me know if you have any other questions. Things can always still go wrong, but so glad they've worked out well for now!
I'm glad we went back and cut it again! We were soooo nervous! Is there anyway I can get you next time we have a problem on here?
Anything we should clean him with or maybe give him a mineral drench?
I believe you can request a specific person when you log back in...and it will release the question to other veterinarians if I am unavailable. Also, other experts are pretty good about honoring requests that people make to speak with certain vets.
I think at this point it's probably best to just let him rest.
ok sounds good! thanks so much!!
The electrolyte mix will help with rehydration, and the "surgical site" shouldn't need too much attention at this point.
No problem. Again, let me know if you have any other questions. Hope he continues to do well! And well done :).
ok cool. We will let him sleep/rest for while! Thanks so much for talking with me all this time! Thank the lord for the internet!
Seriously. Not sure how we ever lived without it :).