After reviewing my hits this week I have found that lots of people are looking for answers to goat scours. There are several causes for the scours and you have to eliminate them one at a time. The first thing I do is try to get them stopped as soon as possible. We use scour halt and pro-bias when this happens. We usually give a full grown goat about 3 cc orally of the scour halt and then a 1/4 tsp. or so of the probias paste to get their ruman working again. If they still have the scours in about 12 hours we do it all over. Now when you see the scours you need to determine if it is just a bad stomach or do they have something more serious. If the scours are dark or bloody you possibly have coccidious and it requires a lot more treatment. If it is a baby goat and they have yellow scours don't panic unless it is really bad. This is just the milk scours and it will happen sometimes, especially if there is only one kid nursing. If it is a young goat that is on feed then I would give 1-2 cc of scour halt and the probios. You can also go ahead and worm them if it hasn't stopped by the 2nd day. If scours is the only sign showing then you can probably be safe in thinking it is just the upset stomach. If it has other symptoms like listed below then you will have to start treating with Sulmat and this is several times a day for several weeks. It gets a little detailed so if you do have this issue please email me for the directions on the treatment (firstname.lastname@example.org). With the scours sometimes you have to make sure that the goat does not get dehydrated. We simply syringe some water orally, but this can be tricking and if not done right it can cause fluids to go in the lungs and there you have another issue. Don't do this unless you see that the goat is not drinking on it's on.
There are several diseases and illnesses that are associated with goats. You can prevent most of them by keeping your herd wormed on a regular schedule, keep their pens clean, keep feeding bowls clean and give them plenty of fresh water and hay. Don't ever give your goats moldy hay. They need fairly good quality hay, grain and water daily. Don't just put these little guys in the pasture and forget them unless you want to see them sick and probably dead. Below are some of the illnesses that we have encountered in the past. We found that we had these problems when we first got in the business of raising goats. I guess you can say we live and learn. But loosing a goat is a bad way to have to learn. We found out quickly that their are very few vet's that will help you with a goat. Most of the time we had to rely on other goat owners to help us when we had a problem. We have found a couple of vet's that have helped us tremendously but they are hard to come by. We hope that the info we provide below will help you if you every have any issue with a sick goat.
Coccidiosis: To put it simply this is an over abundance of worms in the goats system. Once they get it you will find it very hard to get them over it. The symptoms of these are diarrea (sometimes bloody or sticky), dehydration and death. This occurs in kids most of the time. Especially in bottle fed kids. Sometimes a kid can die before any signs are shown. This disease can be spread by birds so if you have chickens, turkeys, pigeons, etc. you should use extra caution. It is also spread though contaminated feed and water. We use goat pellets with decoquinate mixed in the bag from the feed mill. If we think one of the goats has coccidiosis we will seperate it from the herd and start treating it with Albon or Sulmat, Goat Drench and Probios. You will know if your goat is sick just by it's actions. If you spend time with the herd you will know when something is just not normal. So prevention is the key here. Keep those feeding pans clean, water clean and stay on a regular worming program.
Listeriosis: This disease if poorly understood by not only goat owners, but vet's as well. The symptoms include fever, confusion, circling, and facial paralysis on one side with drooping of the one ear, eyelid and lip. They will remind you of someone that has had a stoke. This disease is very acute in goats, and will usually result in death within 24 hours. What I have found out about this disease is that a goat can be carrier of this for many years with no symptoms and then all at once something will occur, such as pregnancy, that will bring on the symptoms. The best thing to do is get the goat completely away from the herd and call the vet. They can try to give the goat fluids, but in most cases the goat will not make it. The main thing is to get it out of it's pain as quickly as possible. If you put it in a stall you need to completely clean the stall out and put down lime on the flooring before you put in new shavings. This is not a good disease to have in the herd.
Ketosis: This can occur during the last 2-6 wks. of pregnancy or after the doe has lost a kid for some reason. The goat will stay away from the herd, lay down frequently, stop eating, stand with head down or leaned again something. She will actually appear to be very sad and unwilling to live. Ketosis is like a blood sugar problem in humans. You can prevent it, or at least cut down on the chances, by cutting back on the grain you are feeding during the last 8 weeks of pregnancy. They can still have all the hay they want but most of the nutrients from the grain is going to the baby and not the doe. Thus she is starving for those needed nutrients. If you have a goat that shows symptoms of Ketosis there are several things to do. You can give them Goat drench, Vit. B injection, Probios paste, 20-60 cc of propylene glycol. If you don't have anything else you can give them a mixture of Molasses and Karo Syrup every 2 hrs. Mix 2 part byrup 1 part molasses. This will help until you can get the other things you need.
Urinary Calculi: This occurs mostly in bucks or wether. It is similar to a gallstone or kidney stone in humans. This comes from calcium build up in the uretha which stops the goat from being able to urinate. This urine will back up and damage the kidneys and ultimately kill the goat. The best solution to prevent this from happening is to keep loose minerals available at all times for the goats. The mineral will need to have ammonium chloride included in the mixture. We have only found that at the Southern States Stores. You can buy a bag of ammonium chloride at the online stores but it is very expensive. It will not hurt the does to eat this as well.
White Muscle Disease or Selenium-vitamin E definiency: This can occur in a new born kid anytime from birth to several weeks of age. The kid will not be able to stand or if it does get up it will just keep falling down. This is caused by living in an area that is deficient in selenium in the soil. It won't happen to every kid that is born but it can happen. If you find that you are having a problem with this you need to take preventive action. You can inject the momma doe with Selenium and vitamin E once month before kidding and/or injecting the kid at birth and possibly again at 3 to 4 week old. You can also give the liquid vit. E by mouth but be very careful. You should not give more than about 1/4cc every other day.
These are just a few of the issues that we have dealt with over the years of raising goats. We hope that you never encounter any of these problems, but the odds are good that you will if you continue to have goats over a period of time.