Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Goat off feed and very low milk production (worms and rumen overload)

Well, over the last couple of days my milker has decided not to eat. I decided something was really wrong last night when she scoffed at eating apples and her grain.

Her first symptom has been as long as two weeks. I've been noticing that her breath stinks. Like sewage. And, just a few minutes ago she spit out some grassy cud that reeks very bad... like makes me wanna barf bad. She did this the other day too, but she was still eating then and just thought it was odd.

We ran out of her normal goat pellets. So I've been giving her corn, oats, barley, though not equally mixed in proportion. And that's only been for a day.

I'm thinking it may be bloat. But I don't see any distension, she's not frothy or anything or acting like she's in pain. She just doesn't want to eat.

I went to take her temperature, but my thermometer decided to rust out and leak fluid. It is not working. But she doesn't feel like she's got a temperature.

Yesterday, I watched her pee and poo. Her pee was very dark colored and it almost looked like she had a little goo come out of her vagina (highly unlikely she's pregnant... but?). Her poop was normal nanny  berries.

I am waiting for the vet clinic to open in 20 mins. Hopefully they'll be able to solve the problem quickly.

Interesting articles on goat bloat:


Laura said...

We're eagerly awaiting an update.

Boy have we learned a lot about goats.

Vegetable Garden Cook said...

Took falcon to the animal vet in Woodburn. Great place, but a pain to find because North Pacific highway turns into south Pacific Highway and the numbers start all over.

The vet says my problems are twofold: 1. the change in feed is hard on her rumen. the stink is just from her rumen working. and that the large amount of mowed grass that we gave the goats the other day was a bit too much on her rumen. It is ok in small amounts but not large. Regular old grass has not much but sugar.

2. she's got worms. they did a fecal while I was there. she suspected worms because to her my goat seemed a little thin.

They said that we feed her far too much grain. She needs to have 1# per day (basic for all goats), plus 1# for 3# milk produced. She wants me to physically weigh it out.

She said for dairy goats we need to be feeding her alfalfa (we already have) and that the local grass is worthless. She said that her diet needs to be at least 60% alfalfa.

They gave her a nutrition drench while I was there. All I know is it had ginger in it and it is designed to help calm her rumen down.

She wants me to keep her off grain for a few days to give her rumen a break.

I have to worm all the goats. The only medication that I have is Ivomectin, which is the one that she was going to suggest anyway. Problem is, it is a 30 day milk withdrawel!!! What the heck am I gonna do with a gallon of milk everyday? I can give some to the chickens... make some soap.

Fias Co farm says that they use the same drug in third world countries to deworm people. Her personal withdrawel time is 4 days. And, the withdrawel time is listed as only 14 days in the Uk.

I can't deworm our pregnant doe until after she kids (won't the kids get it into their system by drinking milk anyway?). Seems to me like this is a setup to pass worms back and forth. It is a fecal to oral problem... And considering our barn stinks like hell and really needs to be cleaned, it seems prudent to get it cleaned out before we worm everyone. I wonder if I should wait until Xoe kids and the barn is cleaned out before worming everyone. Sounds like she's had worms for awhile already, and Xoe is due any time in June to kid. So maybe I will wait and see how things go to worm everyone.

The vet told me a lot of information on this visit, and as I remember the details I may come back and update the comments. It's a lot to remember.

Vegetable Garden Cook said...

Woodburn vet recommends getting a general herd fecal sample performed about every three months. This will tell you which worms you are trying to get rid of, and will determine the product to use. They only charge $20 to run the sample. There are also instructions on the Fias Co farm website to run your own fecals with a microscope, but I may just rely on the vet. They have a better eye for what they are looking for.

Vegetable Garden Cook said...

Falcon seems to be doing better today. Her milk production is up a bit but she still didn't eat quite like she normally does.

The vet called today to say that they talked to their doctor that specializes in goats and recommended a product called Strongid, which kills the particular worms that she has in her gut, the strongyle. She said it is perfectly safe for pregnant goats and has a milk withdrawel of only 4-5 days.

They said that this product is used in horses, and that if I buy something off the shelf I will need to double the dose by weight. When in doubt, go higher with the dose.

She said that chickens would be fine if I give them the milk after the worming and that it would probably be safe for me to drink except that it would taste horrible.

I called Union Mills, the closest feed store, and they happen to carry it (though when I stopped in yesterday they did not realize they had it because it is a wormer labelled for horses).

Anonymous said...

I am in Portland and have a couple milkers and I ran across your blog. I have had them for about 2 1/2 years and am finally getting the management down for them. The absolute only decent information to really manage goats is at Dairygoatinfo, Vicki McGaugh owns the site and she is the best. You can even call her in emergency situations. Believe me I've looked at many goat sites and DGI will really get your goats on the right path.

Vegetable Garden Cook said...

That's great! Thanks for the resource.