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Goat Bloat Print E-mail
Written by Administrator-GL   
Sunday, 27 May 2007
Article Index
Goat Bloat
Page 2

EMERGENCY QUICK GUIDE TO TREATING BLOAT IN GOATS

Bloat - What IS Bloat and How to Treat Bloat

Med-A-Goat 911™Goat Care Article Bloat - Goatlady and her Goats - Goat-Link.com Goat Care Article

Untreated Bloat WILL Result in Death

There are 2 types of bloat and each has it's own treatment for release.

Quick Reference for Immediate Care

ALWAYS check first for any obstructions in the mouth or throat that can be causing the bloat!
  1. Massage Rumen (Upper left side) using kneading as if kneading bread and patting firmly as you would a baby
  2. Get goat on it's feet if down and start walking it around
  3. Elevate front end of goat if laying down
  4. Massage & Pat rumen (high on left side of goat behind last rib) to help release gas ( the same method as you would use to burp a baby)- you may also have to "knead" the air pocket to get the gas moving.
  5. If the goat starts to belch up gas, then give it a tablespoon some baking soda either dry or in a small amount of water, (if you add enough water to make it like toothpaste it is easier to get most of it into the goat) about a TBSP for an adult goat or a tsp for a younger goat
  6. If the gas does NOT come up with belching while massaging the rumen and the goat has had access to lush grass pasture all of a sudden (ie: let out to pasture after a long winter with just hay), and or has froth on it's mouth - Then administer either "Bloat Release" or "Therabloat" or REGULAR PLAIN powdered "Tide laundry detergent" Not the one with bleach, not the ultra, or any of the new varieties(one tablespoon of Tide powder mixed with 60cc of water) carefully via tubing - DiGel (4-6 TBSP) DO NOT Tube with OIL! Administration of the anti foaming agent should reduce the bloat almost immediately. After the release of the gases, administer orally a probiotic to refresh rumen flora
  7. If you have a goat that has binged on grain, try giving a couple TBSPs of Milk of Magnesia. This helps stimulate the gut and lower the pH balance of the rumen be more alkaline.
  8. IF and I DO say IF.. all treatment is not working and the goat is in such distress as you feel it will die shortly and there is No time to call your vet,you will need to use a trocar to release the gas But this is a dire emergency situation ONLY (read more below:)

    If the bloat continues after either of these treatments CALL YOUR VET

     

This is the Normal Rumen function of moving gas around the rumen and finally toward the esophagus for removal via belching. When a goat Is bloated, it cannot bring up the gas and it continues to build in the rumen slowly pressing on the heart and lungs suffocating the goat from within.

Trocar
If all else fails.. and I do mean ALL ELSE and you have a goat who is going to die if nothing is done to relieve the bloat..nothing else you have tried to this point is working.. the animal is in extreme distress..perhaps has an obstruction in the mouth or throat whereas the gas CANNOT Escape, you do have one more option to try to save the life of the goat.. IF it can be saved..
The use of a Trocar.. which is an implement used to make a hole in the rumen wall and allow the gas to escape right through the animal's side.

trocar placement diagram for relieving gas from livestock-goats
Click image for larger view

The trocar is inserted behind the last rib into the bubble felt in the rumen high on the left side - shown here on a cow but placement is the same on a goat.
The cannula is left in place after the trocar is removed, allowing the opening made to remain open while the gas escapes. Gas should escape immediately,if it does not something else may be wrong with the goat or you could be dealing with a serious case of frothy bloat.
Get the goat to the vet immediately!

Most trocars come as a cannula and trocar.. (the trocar fits inside the cannula and once the implement is in the tissue.. the trocar is removed leaving the cannula in place to avoid collapse of the tissue- holding the opening open so to speak) -Do NOT remove the cannula- Allow the vet to do this!
trocar
This life-saving instrument can be bought for under $16.00 and while you may Never need it - it can save a life  for the one time you might need it

Once the goat has been stuck, DO NOT remove the cannula, go directly to the vet and have the incision sutured, as you have gone through the wall of the rumen as well as the muscle and fascia tissues.
Contents of rumen may spill into the peritoneum causing severe septicemia.
So while this is a life saver, it is also dangerously susceptible to infection and further damages if not treated properly afterwards.
trocar surgery repair
It is a difficult decision to have to make, since there are complications to deal with afterwards.. and now would not be the time to be squeamish..
I have had to perform technique only once. There will be no doubt in your mind when it is the right time to do it.

For frothy bloat this opening needs to be an inch or so in diameter - administer therabloat or TIDE directly into the opening. Take the goat to the emergency ER Vet clinic immediately. This is done for a do it or die situation ONLY.

Odds are pretty good, however, that you will not have a trocar at hand. In a Very Dire emergency, you "can" use your sterilized pocket knife to make a 1" to 2" cut into the rumen. Immediately insert a piece of sterilized tube (or 3inch long 3/4" diameter piece of PVC into the hole to help prevent peritonitis. The gas should escape immediately if you have entered the rumen correctly. DO NOT remove the PVC pipe - let the vet do this!Take the goat to the emergency ER Vet clinic immediately. This is done for a do it or die situation ONLY. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH

Review! Quick Reference for Immediate Care

ALWAYS check first for any obstructions in the mouth or throat that can be causing the bloat!
  1. Get goat on it's feet if down and start walking it around
  2. Elevate front end of goat if laying down
  3. Massage & Pat rumen (high on left side of goat behind last rib) to help release gas ( the same method as you would use to burp a baby)- you may also have to "knead" the air pocket to get the gas moving.
  4. If the goat starts to belch up gas, then give it a tablespoon some baking soda either dry or in a small amount of water, (if you add enough water to make it like toothpaste it is easier to get most of it into the goat) about a TBSP for an adult goat or a tsp for a younger goat
  5. If the gas does NOT come up with belching while massaging the rumen and the goat has had access to lush grass pasture all of a sudden (ie: let out to pasture after a long winter with just hay), and or has froth on it's mouth - Then administer either "Bloat Release" or "Therabloat" or REGULAR PLAIN powdered "Tide laundry detergent" Not the one with bleach, not the ultra, or any of the new varieties(one tablespoon of Tide powder mixed with 60cc of water) carefully via tubing
  6. If you have a goat that has binged on grain, try giving a couple TBSPs of Milk of Magnesia. This helps stimulate the gut and lower the pH balance of the rumen be more alkaline.
  7. If all other methods are not producing a relief from the excess gas, then is the time for the decision to use the trocar or call a vet if possible

Early Symptoms of Bloat

  1. Goat shows signs of tight rumen area- left side being much fuller than the right side- air pocket  can be heard when tapped on the left side upper left quadrant.
  2. Off feed
  3. Hanging head or holding neck straight out
  4. Grinding teeth
  5. Moaning or groaning
  6. Crying out while kicking at belly (if this is a wether make sure to determine that this is Not urinary calculi)
  7. Goat not chewing cud
  8. Goat not belching (goats belch many times an hour typically)
  9. No rumen sounds when you put your ear to left side (normally should sound like a "gurgling stomach")

Late Stages Of Bloat

  1. Goat crying out in pain
  2. Obvious extreme distress
  3. Gasping for air
  4. Tongue and lips turning blue
  5. Goat down and unable to rise
  6. Eyes starting to "roll" back in head
  7. Goat lays down on it's side with legs stretched out straight

What causes Bloat in Goats?

  1. Too much gas forming in the rumen and not being expelled by belching
  2. Obstruction in mouth or throat not allowing gas to come up and out
  3. Eating too much grain or rich hay - causing an imbalance in the rumen flora
  4. Any illness or medications (antibiotics) that may inhibit the natural flora from breaking down the ruminal contents
  5. Being let out to eat lush pasture after a long winter of hay only
  6. Laying in a manner where the head is downhill making the rumen lay in a more forward direction and placement thus not allowing the gas to come out


Ruminants being "cud chewing" animals digest their food in a fairly complex manner. One important role of the digestion is fermentation of the food in the largest stomach, the rumen. While this fermentation takes place, gas bubbles occur and typically the goat will belch quite often releasing this gas.. which is perfectly normal (and at times can smell really good but this is my opinion *S*).. When the gases cannot escape for various reasons or too much fermentation is taking place at once..the bubbles get trapped and cause bloat.

shows gas in ruminant stomach
Click on image for larger view

Bloat is one of the easiest situations to recognize IF you know what you are looking for..( I can't tell you how many phone calls I have had in the past from distraught goat owners, scared to death their pygmy goat is bloated.. ) Like I said.. it is easy to recognize if you know what to look for:
Notice if the goat is feeling obviously uncomfortable, is hanging her head or holding her neck stretched out..she may be moaning, (grinding the teeth is a sign of discomfort..)she may grind her teeth, she may grunt or kick at her sides..she may just lay without any of these signs and the only thing you notice is she seems to be trying to breath out her mouth..

The best way for ANY physiological distress to be noticed is to KNOW each one of your goats and what they do when they are NOT sick; each goat is different.. so while Mary Lou may typically lay and moan and groan after she eats or while basking in the sun.. doesn't mean Sally Mae will do the same.. Know each goat's personality and make note, so when one Does get ill you will know what that particular goats does normally.

*Grinding teeth is not normal under any circumstances unless there is a discomfort somewhere..
Stand the goat up and take a look from the rear..Is the left side higher and fuller than the right side?.. when you tap the left side with your fingers is it tight like a drum?.. if so Most likely she is bloated..
This is a picture of a goat with the typical text book signs of bloat..Use this photo for reference.. Note the left side is higher and larger than the right- this is where the rumen is and where the gas is trapped.
typical bloat in a goat
Click image for larger view

This is my goat, Fancheon, who is really not a goat at all ..she is a pot bellied pig..*LOL*
They got especially rich alfalfa and she ate herself delirious in it.. She was fine after a few hours of massage and a handful of baking soda..and yes you do recognize her name from the Poem "Spring's First Kids" written when she was just a baby.

 This Diagram shows the rumen displacement when the goat is bloated- and where to massage for aid in releasing the air pocket:

Showing the displacment of the rumen and increased size due to excess gas

 

 

 

Bloat Release for treating frothy bloat in goats

Powdered Tide Detergent for treating frothy bloat in goats

TheraBloat for treatment of frothy bloat in goats
  Read More..... 

Last Updated ( Friday, 25 April 2014 )
 
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