Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

A coworker got her first goat about 4.5 months ago when he was a day or two old (already disbudded and banded).
She got the second one, who was dam raised and banded at 7 weeks, just over a month ago.

A week and a half ago she asked me about constipation in goats and I asked what was going on and she said the younger one's poo was clumpy. I said that happens for a variety of reasons and she could give him some probios and keep an eye on it, that's all I've ever had to do.

Yesterday I asked how he's doing and she said he seems to have trouble going and his poo is still clumpy. She said she's worried about stones.
I asked what she's feeding them. Noble goat medicated, the stuff with ammonium chloride. I reassure d her it's probably not stones since she's feeding that and he would be obviously in pain and not be able to pee if it were. I said this based on what I've read, not from experience.
I also told her that as long as he's eating, drinking, moving about, and chewing cud, he's probably fine.

Tonight I got text asking for my vets info and I pass it along (I've only had to use the vet for a shot of lutylase once), thinking she's going to spend a bunch of money to be told he's got an upset rumen, or worms.
There were many times during my first year I thought I was going to have to take a goat to the vet, one of my mentors would talk me down, and they were fine the next day.

I got a text a couple hours later saying they had to put him down for a urinary blockage.

Of course, I feel terrible.
The most obvious thing that I missed was her using the term "constipated" and saying he was having trouble going. He must've been hunching up and straining to pee.

Aside from feeling bad, I'm also surprised. Is it common for a 3.5 month old to get stones? How quickly does the sediment form?

And while I know goats are individuals, and her two weren't related, it seems odd that the one who was banded at a day old and eating the same diet for the past month+ seems fine.

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:(  That's very sad, and strange.  So sorry.

I'm so sorry to hear this. Funny thing is that I just wrote a blog post recently about constipation in goats. 

http://thriftyhomesteader.com/goat-constipation/

It's not unusual for people to assume a goat is constipated when in fact, it has a urinary blockage. Constipation is almost unheard of in goats, and when it does happen, it's something really serious like a twisted intestine or something that needs veterinary attention. Clumpy poop is not constipation. It's actually a step in the opposite direction towards diarrhea.

This is not the first time I've heard of a kid that age getting stones. As you were describing the background of these two goats, though, I was expecting you to say that the one with the stones was the one that was castrated at a day of age. But there are always exceptions -- you know, it's like the 90-year-old who's smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. It doesn't happen very often, but you do hear about it sometimes.

So, sreange thing...

Yesterday some people who bought two doe kids from me this year called and asked for advice because one of them was constipated.  I was at work, but I wouldn't have had any great advice for them anyway.  I've certainly never had such a thing happen.  Any way, they called after I got home to say the issue was resolved.  They fed her mineral oil and a piece of twine came out with the poop. :(  I wish I could have been party to that whole thing.  I'd love to know what the goat was doing that gave them an idea she had a problem, if the mineral oil :( was what did the trick, and if she's ok now.  If it had been the woman who called I would have a clearer picture, but the man is hard for me to understand.

An intestinal blockage is one of the only things that causes constipation in goats. And mineral oil or an enema usually does not do the trick because it's usually not something small enough for the goat to poop out -- which is why in that post, I said you should call a vet, assuming you're willing to pay for surgery. I guess if you're not willing to pay for surgery, you could try something to make the goat poop. But if it doesn't work, you've just lost valuable time in getting proper treatment, and the goat would be more likely to die while you're waiting. When something is large, the other issue is that is usually doesn't go past the rumen, so laxative wouldn't do you any good. Someone on this group had a goat that ate a plastic bag several years ago, and the goat died. They cut open the goat after it died and found the bag in her stomach. If memory serves, I think they took the goat to the vet, and he had diagnosed it, but they couldn't afford the surgery.

Patty Meyer said:

So, sreange thing...

Yesterday some people who bought two doe kids from me this year called and asked for advice because one of them was constipated.  I was at work, but I wouldn't have had any great advice for them anyway.  I've certainly never had such a thing happen.  Any way, they called after I got home to say the issue was resolved.  They fed her mineral oil and a piece of twine came out with the poop. :(  I wish I could have been party to that whole thing.  I'd love to know what the goat was doing that gave them an idea she had a problem, if the mineral oil :( was what did the trick, and if she's ok now.  If it had been the woman who called I would have a clearer picture, but the man is hard for me to understand.

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