Friday, June 5, 2015

Well that blo(at)s

Paul called me at work this afternoon.  He said that when he and Rhainnon went to feed the goats, that Rhiannon said Dandelion was sick.  She had found her laying down and not wanting to move or get up.  I told him to take her temperature and it was normal.  We both assumed it was bloat.

I've never had to deal with bloat in such a young goat, but know that it isn't a good thing.  We've dealt with older goats with bloat and managed to get through it without much ado, but I knew this was much more serious.

I got off work and went to the vet, hoping for some sort of magic pill, but knowing that there wasn't much that could be done.  When I called Paul to tell him the vet had given me a grim prognosis, Dandelion had already died.  Only two hours after finding her on her side.  I was out there earlier in the morning, but didn't notice anything strange.  Of course, now I wish I had spent more time out there and checked on everyone more closely before leaving for work.  But sadly, it seems that there wasn't anything to do about it.

The vet also said that he had someone else call in the day before with seventy-five of his lambs dead from bloat.  Apparently there are different types of bloat, the one that was afflicting our animals right now is called frothy bloat and they get it from eating too much rich forage like legumes and clover.  Which we have in abundance around the paddock and the kids have been outside the fence chowing down.  And now I don't know how to keep the other kids from gorping out on it.  I really don't understand why it happened just now; the clover has been up for several weeks and the kids have all been picking on it off an on.

So now I have to worry about the other kids eating too much, having their stomachs bloat up to the point of preventing their diaphragm from being able to allow them to breath and thusly suffocating and dying.

Yep.  All rainbows and ice cream cones down on the farm.


  1. Aw, shoot, Carolyn, I'm so sorry this happened. But don't blame yourself so much over it. Even if you had made the more careful check of all the animals before you left for work, you might not have spotted a thing. Crossing my fingers for you that Dandelion is the only one you'll lose . . . it could have been something that wasn't quite right in her young little body. Hugs.

  2. Add some baking soda in with their feed in the morning. Just a sprinkle on top and be sure, I mean dead sure, they eat some dry hay in the morning before being turned out in the pasture. I had the same problem with one of our ewes just a few weeks ago. Turning her out on the same forage I turn em out on every year but this year it caused her bloat and the vet said it was because of all the extra moisture. It causes the clover to create a mat inside the stomach that the gasses cannot penetrate. We dosed her with veggy oil and baking soda then made sure all the sheep get hay each morning so the clover mat cannot form as easily. So far it seems to be working.

  3. I'm sorry. I had a dog that this happened to. He survived but it was very painful. I hope your other goats will be ok. It sounds strange that 75 lambs died of it. Maybe too much grew with all the rains?

  4. Oh this is sad to hear! Do hope you aee able to come up with a solution.

  5. Wow! That does suck! That's about like our horse getting foundered because she's eating too much grass. What are ya going to do about? We have tried to get her a grazing muzzle. She just pulls it off. Yep, the things us farm people go through. Hmmmmmm, I wonder if a grazing muzzle would work on ME? lol Sorry about you losing your goat.

  6. Second the comment from PioneerPreppy, perfect advice.