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HELP! My Pet Goat Has Diarrhea! Common Reasons Goats Develop Diarrhea.
Observe & Get to Know Your Pet Goat!
Just as you monitor your pet dog or cat for illness it is very important that you monitor your pet goat as well. It is important to know and observe your goat's daily routine and behavior so that you are aware when something is wrong. Though it may not be your favorite past- time it is also important to note and be aware of your four-legged friend's bathroom habits. Noting changes in your goat's behavior and physical condition can make all the difference when it comes to treating your pet in a timely manner.
Normal goat poop is round and firm…like berries. In fact, goat poop is often referred to as "nanny berries." I know, weird… but I'm just reporting the facts people! If your goat's stool is loose or soft there is a problem and he or she may be ill. It is important to note that even minor dietary changes may cause a change in your goat's poop. If you have recently made a change to your goat's diet this is probably the cause. If, however, your goat has extremely watery diarrhea that squirts out with every movement, cough or sneeze, your animal is very sick and dehydration is a real threat. This type of extreme diarrhea is known as scours.
Before you can treat your goat, it is important to figure out what the problem is. As mentioned above, changing your goat's diet can cause diarrhea. Ask yourself the following:
1. Have you changed the amount or type of feed that you give to your goat?
2. Has your pet goat been grazing in a new area that may contain different vegetation?
If your goat's diarrhea is due to a dietary change it would be best to feed him plain hay until his condition improves (this means removing all rich grains from his diet for a short time...until his system adjusts).
Tiny Little Bugs!
Internal parasites can cause your goat to have watery diarrhea. You know, the kind that squirts out (as mentioned above). YUCK! Worms for example, can cause a goat to have extreme diarrhea. If you think your goat has parasites, such as worms, it is important that you check his or her stool for the presence of these wonderful little creatures. If you don't have a microscope (or possibly the stomach) to check for parasites yourself, you can always take a stool sample to the veterinarian and they will check for you. If your goat does have parasites he or she will need to be properly de-wormed. If you are not familiar with the de-worming process, talk with your veterinarian and they can assist you.
Just as you can tell a lot by the color of dog and cat poop, the same goes for goats. If your goat's diarrhea is green this may indicate an eating/dietary change or even a possible plant poisoning. If the stool is black and tarry, this unfortunately, means that blood is present in the digestive tract. Yellow or light brown diarrhea tends to be from bacterial causes.
Age is VERY Important!
When diagnosing the problem, it is also important to consider the age of the goat that you are dealing with. Newborn goats (and goats that are only a few weeks old) often have watery diarrhea. This condition can be caused by any number of reasons including: erratic feeding, chilling, dirty bedding, dirty milk bottles and even overeating. There is a pig medication that works well when dealing with newborn goat diarrhea. It is called Spectam Scour Halt. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE that this medication should only be used on newborn and very young goats (up to four weeks). If you give this medication to adult goats it can, and most likely will, destroy the working, natural organisms of the goat's digestive system and shut it down. THIS WILL KILL YOUR ADULT GOAT! If you have any doubts about administering medication to your newborn or young goat, by all means, contact your veterinarian first!! It is always better to be safe rather than sorry!! PLEASE CONTACT A VET FOR PROPER DOSING!!!!!
For YOUNG Goats ONLY!
So there you have it...some basic facts about goat diarrhea. Though it is a smelly subject (sorry, I couldn't resist) it is an important one. Knowing your goat's daily routine, eating and yes, pooping habits can make all the difference in the world. The sooner you recognize that your goat has a possible health problem...the better! Good luck and here's to happy and healthy goats!