Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Anchovy now has very runny diarrhea, please tell me she is not going to have more serious problems but that it is a side effect of antibiotics or her only eating alfalfa and other rich stuff with no hay or water for way over 12 hours or something else that will correct itself now that she is feeling better, standing up and eating hay and drinking water again. We re-dressed her wound today and administered 1 1/2 cc biomycin. She is now sporting blue camo vet wrap instead of the purple she wore yesterday. She is a styling patient.

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I forgot, I think she drank all that stuff I mixed up yesterday (about 2-3 cups) during the night. It was pedialyte, powerade, sorgrum, molasses and 5 aspirins. Could that have caused her rumin to get messed up?

I would say that yes, her digestive system is most likely thrown off by what she's eaten and/or the antibiotics. 

If it was one of my goats and I knew that she was in good condition before the injury I would withhold food (but not water) for 12 hours or so and then reintroduce the regular hay or pasture. You could also dose her with some probiotics to help balance things out. It's available in a paste, or you could just try feeding her real yogurt. 

I don't, however, know anything about using aspirin for goats so I can't say what effect that may have had. 

Thanks so much Marin. Actually the aspirin dosage came from fiasco' page so I know that is ok to use. I don't know much about yogurt personally because I don't eat it although I realize it is a super good food to eat. So you need to tell me what you mean by REAL. Is there a good kind available at like walmart or are you talking about something I need a health food store or something to get? Or are most yogurt products at any store ok? I really don't know as you can see.

Good to know about the aspirin.

When I say "real" yogurt I mean stuff with live cultures. It will say on the container somewhere, possibly in the list of ingredients, if it has live cultures. I know I can find it in the grocery store here. I look for stuff with as few ingredients as possible. Milk and bacterial cultures are really all that is needed, although most yogurts will have more than that. So, unsweetened, plain yogurt with live cultures is what you're looking for. Cow's milk yogurt is fine. 

Super, I will get her some and see if I can get her to eat a little. I wonder what is a good amount for it to help her.

In general, "real" yogurt or LIVE yogurt is hard to find unless you're at the health food store or health food section. There is no reason for you to buy flavored yogurt for your goats, and the sugars in flavored yogurts don't do anything to help.

Most likely, her bowel issues are from the stress of her injury and the foods she's been eating since she got hurt. I don't think I'd be withholding food personally, but Deb might have some good facts about which might be more beneficial. I'd stick to hay and water. I'd also give a dose of pepto to help fix the poop issues. It's always been helpful for my goats to help get them back on track and keep them from getting dehydrated. I don't give more than one or two doses. If their scours continue after that, then I know I'm probably looking at a different issue.

I think 1/2 cup would be plenty to start.

Margaret Langley said:

Super, I will get her some and see if I can get her to eat a little. I wonder what is a good amount for it to help her.

I agree that half a cup sounds good to start. I guess I'm just lucky that I can find Real yogurt in the grocery store:-) My daughter eats huge amounts of the plain, unsweetened real stuff so I'm picky about what I buy her. She doesn't get stuff made from our goats' milk because the milk is too valuable when made into cheese for us to use it ourselves. The joys of business start-up:-)

And, although pepto wouldn't hurt, I tend to work from the point of view that unless it's totally uncontrollable, diarrhea is serving a purpose, the body (human or goat) is trying to purge itself of a problem so it's best to let it run its course while keeping an eye out for potential dehydration. I'd be inclined to just let her poop. 

Different management practices, neither is right or wrong. 

There is a happy (albeit messy) middle ground to be found. I do understand because I tend to use this practice with the people too.   ie fever! Never could understand why they would say a fever is a symptom of your body fighting infection but take this to get rid of the fever and that to get rid of the infection and it takes 7-10 days to do this. DA! most of the time a fever for a couple of days will kill your bugs and your good. I was thrilled when one day I gave birth and the doc examined baby and gave his speech and finished with "we don't believe in giving them tylenol as soon as they get a fever, if it's not to high, it might be best to let it run its course because it does serve a purpose." WOW, I'm thinking a doc with COMMON SENSE! Thanks a bunch girls!

Yep, that's why I only dose once... because it the cause of the scours is infection or infestation, it will only mask the symptom (diarrhea) and not really be fixing anything. If the cause of the problem is just a rumen imbalance, then one dose of pepto helps give the gut a chance to balance itself out.

In Anchovy's case, diarrhea is most likely a symptom of the stress from her injury and over feeding of foods that have thrown her rumen off balance. Giving pepto will stop the diarrhea so her body can focus on healing itself instead of fighting to regulate a rumen AND heal from major injury. It's not part of a healing process for her to be having diarrhea right now. It's a sign that her body isn't handling the stress of her injury, and that her stomach is off balance. We're not talking about an otherwise healthy goat that just has a bad gut. This goat is fighting for her life. It's unnecessary for her to be battling two things that can be life threatening at the same time.

Wow! You've been having quite the time. Stress can cause diarrhea, and this poor goat has been under a lot of stress. I have never been a fan of Pedialyte (never gave it to my human kids) or sports drinks, and considering the artificial ingredients in them, I wouldn't be surprised if that would mess up a goat's rumen, so that could be adding to the problem.

I've never been able to get a goat to eat yogurt, but tastes vary from goat to goat. I drench them using a drench syringe. My biggest drench syringe only holds 30 cc, which is an ounce, so that's the most I give at one time. Homemade yogurt is thinner, so it's easy to use the syringe. With store bought, you might need to water it down a little.

Rather than aspirin, I give my goats willow bark. It is a natural source of salicylic acid, which is the main ingredient in aspirin. Anyway, I personally drink willow bark tea for my arthritis as I cannot take aspirin or any of the NSAID drugs because they KILL my stomach. Knowing what aspirin does to me, I would think that it could also hurt a goat's stomach. Most goats will eat the willow bark, but if they don't, you could make a tea and drench them with it.

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