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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Goats with a touch of tummy trouble intelligently prefer hay 
27th-Jun-2012 09:18 am
Yesterday morning, Rex-goat didn't want to come out for breakfast. I figured that he was just a touch under the weather and also suddenly cold in the 55-degree morning. His eyes were ok, his butt was clean, and he stood and stretched for me before settling back down. So I let him be for the day. Last night, I took a small bucket of grain out to bribe the rest of the goats out of my way so that I could check on Rex again. He was still (again?) down in the barn, with his head up and his eyes bright. His nose was cool, his tummy was round but not swollen/taught - I checked his barrel against his brother's for comparison - nor did it slosh, and he stood up and stretched when I asked.

He refused grain with that same soulful look that Loki gave me years ago after eating mountain laurel. He then walked in a circle and settled back down, with a slight grinding of his teeth. I was really starting to suspect tummy issues at this point. But just to see how bad it was, I brought out a couple of flakes of hay to see if that was more interesting. Yes, it was. Rex got up and joined the team for a chow-down on the hay, so I left him to it. His instinct was probably telling him to eat roughage to try to settle whatever was wrong. (A goat that won't eat at all is a goat that is sick.)

This morning, I checked Rex again. He was back to his spot in the barn, head up, cool nose, willing to get up when I asked but no more than that. His eyes were still a bit pale, but not deathly white. But this morning he also had a little evidence of diarrhea. Ah-ha. It is tummy trouble, and he's working on processing it... He nibbled on some hay while everyone else was chowing down on grain, but wasn't really interested. He was back in the barn before I was done refilling the water.

Just to help with my peace of mind and hopefully his tummy, we had a quality "conversation" over some activated charcoal. (He didn't like it just like Jared eats hot peppers - rubbing his nose all over the barn wall to get rid of it.) I left him some more hay to settle his rumen, and plan to keep giving him hay and not pushing grain on him.

I'll check on him again tonight, to see if his ankles are swelling or if his tummy is starting to slosh. Hopefully we've caught this before his rumen gets totally out of whack.
27th-Jun-2012 04:32 pm (UTC)
Probiotic is my go to treatment of choice whenever I expect upset tummy troubles.. and blackberry vines! It will help repopulate and balance the flora.
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