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CountryDoc, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
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Experience:  Experienced mixed animal veterinarian
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Our pygmy goat has been lethargic the last couple days. I

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Our pygmy goat has been lethargic the last couple days. I noticed this morning he doesn't seem to be eating and pooped a big clump then a little one that was clumped and a little runny. Vets in our area are difficult to get to. Is there something I can do/watch for at home?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  CountryDoc replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I have a few questions for you so I can make the best recommendations for your goat.

1) How old is your pygmy goat?

2) What does his diet consist of? Is he on ammonium chloride at all?

3) When was he last dewormed? With what?

4) Has he been urinating regularly? Is it a steady stream?

5) Any flagging of his tail when he goes (standing with his front feet stretched out and tail in air wiggling)?

Dr. Christie
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

1. He is a "hand me down" that was given to us. my guess is that he may be around 5 years old.

2. He is pastured. Has lots of grass and eats all of our left over fruits and veggies along with things from the garden etc. We recently got new chicks and they are pastured with him. i can't keep him out of the medicated chick food. I really try hard to monitor how much he is getting and chase him out of it but he probably gets about 1/2 cup a day of it off the ground. no supplements

3. I was told since he and his partner goat are our only animals worming wasn't neccesarry. I keep their pasture and house clean at all times.

4. He is NOT urinating as much as the other one. Seems to be straining and it just kind of tinkles out. haven't really been able to catch him peeing much. He strains to poop and it is clumped up pretty big and a little bit runny. This seems to be getting a little bit better over the last 24 hours or so.

6. no flagging of his tail. doesn't stand with front feet stretched out etc.


He is a very loved pet and i am having a hard time finding a vet in our area who will see goats. The closest one I have found is about an hours drive from our home. We would do anything we needed to at home to help him feel better. I really don't believe that he has been feeling bad for long as he spends a lot of time with me during the day, although in the warmer weather it is common for him to spend the hot afternoons in his shed where it is a little cooler. Thank you for your help.

Expert:  CountryDoc replied 8 years ago.
<p>Thank you for the information. He sounds like a cute little guy! Pygmy's are my favorite!</p><p> </p><p>As for the deworming, I would first have a fecal exam run on his feces. You are right, his risk of exposure to parasites is minimal. There are other parasites he can pick up, such as coccidia, from the environment, wildlife and other animals. Plus, he may have come with parasites when you got him. A fecal is the best way to be sure. deworming now a days relies more on fecal exams because of the growing resistance to dewormers. Some individuals are more prone to parasites while others are not. A fecal exam is quick and inexpensive. You can even contact a few small animal vets near you to see if they might run it. Most are willing to.</p><p> </p><p>I am very concerned about the urination. Pygmy goats, especially males, are prone to urinary stones. It comes from too high protein. It may not seem like the chick feed is alot, but to a pygmy it is alot! Stones form over time and eventually get to the point where they cause irritation to the bladder, may cause an infection, and eventually can cause partial or total blockage of the urethra. Usually they show vague signs that wax and wane when there is irritation, straining, flagging, small amounts of urine, anorexia or decreased appetite. Once they become blocked it is life threatening and they require immediate attention!</p><p> </p><p>Ammonium chloride is a urine acidifier pretty much all goats should be kept on. It helps prevent the formation of stones. Some goat feeds will have it in them. You can get a powder to add to feed.</p><p> </p><p>I would recommend a checkup with him tomorrow or before the holiday weekend if you can. I would ask your vet for an ultrasound of his bladder to look for the beginnings of stones, etc. I would also have a fecal sample checked. You might be able to check with a small animal clinic that is closer. I know at our clinic we see plenty of goats and sheep and we are a small animal clinic.</p><p> </p><p>Certainly a checkup will allow your vet to do a hands on examination and will be able to check and make sure there is nothing else going on.</p><p> </p><p>Dr. Christie</p>
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