Goat bloat, also known as Rumen Tympany happens when gases like methane, and carbon dioxide your goat’s belly produces after fermenting food is unable to come out via belching. This results in an expanded rumen which then causes the side of the abdomen to become distended, and the goat feels difficulty in breathing.
Sometimes, it may extend to both sides.
There are two types of goat bloat:
- Rumen Tympany and
- Free Gas Bloat
The Frothy Bloat
This bloat is typically from the consumption of green legumes such as clover, hay, wet grass, and alfalfa.
An open excess to the grains may also cause the frothy bloat.
Free Gas Bloat
This type of bloat occurs when there is any obstruction or blockage in the oesophagus. This blockage may be due to carrots, apples, or grains.
Can I use Olive Oil for Goat Bloat?
Yes, you can. I generally prefer to use a couple of tbsp mixed with 1/4 cup of veg oil with a turkey baster to get it down their throat. The bloat clears within 30 minutes -1 hour.
Olive oil works too but takes longer (4-6 hours) to work. Oils will break up the froth on the top of the rumen contents.
ALSO SEE: Can Goats Eat Pig Feed?
Can a Goat Die from Bloat?
A goat can die from bloat if appropriate care is not given to solve the problem.
Frothy bloat is more dangerous since it produces tiny bubbles within the rumen, and if the goat is unable to expel them out it may result in the death of the affected buck/doe.
The extended exposure to pressure from the rumen on the lungs and hearts will lead to respiratory and circulatory distress.
Goat Bloat Symptoms
The common signs of bloat are:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Tiredness or Depression
- Less feeding
- The goat may attack and attempt to bite down the abdominal region
- Respiratory distress
- Excessive salivation
- Distended stomach on the left side
How Long Does Bloat Last in Goats?
Bloat can last anywhere from 30 minutes to hours. The quicker you treat the signs, the faster your goat makes a recovery.
When left untreated, it can kill a goat within 23 hours.
Goat Bloat Treatment (Home Remedy & Over-the-Counter Solutions)
The first thing to do to control bloating in goats is to IMMEDIATELY STOP FURTHER FEEDING.
Administering vegetable or peanut oil will help to relieve the bloat.
Once inside your goat, the oil will work on breaking the stress produced by gases, and cause your goat to expel them through their mouth.
To treat frothy bloat, use mineral oil or poloxalene (100-200ml) works best. But, use a stomach lube with the mineral oil because if you don’t your goat may not swallow it and it may go to the lungs instead of the stomach and cause pneumonia.
Give massages to the left side of the goat belly. That helps expel some gases. But, severe bloat can cause pressure on the abdomen that could prevent the lungs and heart from working properly.
Some surgical procedures like a small incision may be able to get rid of the gases from the stomach.
This route is usually taken as last resort, majorly in a life-death situation.
The way it is done is that an incision is done in a location marked by using four fingers behind the bottom of the left side ribs.
If the goat is about to die, puncturing the rumen with trocar and cannula is the only option left. The risk of puncturing the cannula and trocar is that dirt may get inside the rumen causing severe peritoneum infection.
Does Milk of Magnesia Work?
Yes! Mineral oil, also known as milk of magnesia aids in the relief of bloats in goats, especially the frothy type.
A little amount of approximately 2-3 ounces can quicken the breakdown of the tiny bubbles and discharge the gases effortlessly.
Once the solution has been administered, proceed to massage the abdomen and make the goat walk. This will assist in the proper mixing and breakdown of the bubbles.
The goat will get by using milk of magnesia within one administration.
Does Baking Soda Help Goats with Bloat?
Yes, 3 or 4 tablespoon of baking soda in some warm water can help in the prevention and treatment of bloating in goats.
Baking soda helps the rumen maintain its pH and the micro-organism residing in the stomach enjoys a stable level of acidity.
Once well, you feed baking soda to them once in a while. NEVER MIX THE BAKING SODA IN MINERALS OR FEED THE GOATS WITHOUT ADDING IT TO WATER.
You should always provide fresh, clean water to your animals as you offer baking soda, or any other salts. The baking soda dosage for the goats suffering from bloat is one to four tablespoons (depending on the severity) mixed with warm water.
How Do You Get Rid Of Bloat In Goats?
To rid your goat of its bloat problem, do the following:
- Place the goat at a 45-degree angle with the front portion a bit higher as compared to the rear part. This helps to clear the oesophagus and rumen thereby fostering the release of gas.
- Massage the upper left side of your goat
- Attempt to make the goat move from place to place
- Raise the front portion of the goat
- Massage or pat the rumen section to encourage the release of gas
- Offer one to three tablespoons of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) for adult goats and a teaspoon for baby goats mixed with water.
- If the goat doesn’t belch after some time, administer one tablespoon of Tide laundry powder (without bleach) mixed with 60ml of water via stomach tube. The anti-foaming solution will also help to remove the bloat immediately.
- Give some probiotics to refresh the flora of the rumen.
- Offer some spoons of magnesia or mineral oil and massage the rumen backwards and forward. This helps to reduce the pH of the rumen and stimulate the gut.
- Finally, if nothing is working, then trocar and cannula is the last option under the supervision of the veterinarian.
Bloat in Baby Goats – Symptoms & Treatment
Bloat in kids is quite different to adult goats’ experience. Bloat in baby goats occurs as a result of abnormal gastrointestinal processes specifically in the kid’s abomasum’s due to the reduction in the pH of the stomach.
This reduction in pH will lead to acidosis in goat kids.
Causes of Bloats in Kids
- Milk replacer
- Introduction of creep feed
If left untreated, the bloat leads to the rupture of the abomasums which cause rapid death in baby goats.
Treatment of Bloat in Baby Goats
Here is how to cure a baby goat bloated belly:
Provide baking soda approximately 5mg per kid.
Use a mixture of activated charcoal and vegetable oil via stomach lube (very effective).
You can use a broad-spectrum antibiotic administered orally.
Other Tips on How to Treat Bloat in a Goat
Other DIY treatments include:
Use a Therabloat bottle or something similar
Order a brand of bloat treatment for goats and cattle and follow the dosage inscribed on the bottle.
A mixture of Baking Soda and Mineral Oil
Give 1/2 cup of Oil (corn, mineral, etc.), add a few big spoonful of Baking Soda to the Oil, and drench it down the goat’s throat with a syringe (without a needle). Do this slowly and carefully so you do not get it down the goat’s windpipe.
Give C&D Antitoxin
This does not hurt the goat in any way and is safe for them. It helps the goat balance the rumen and calm things down there.
For kids: 3-5 cc, a couple of times until they recover.
For adult: 10 cc of C&D ANTITOXIN, a couple of times
Do you know how to tube a goat, safely? If so, you can tube them and let the air out. Only do that if you know how to tube a goat, safely!
Note: Some goats may suffer diarrhea along with bloat. That’s fine, just ensure the goat is staying hydrated and offer them electrolytes a few times a day.
Can Worms Cause Bloat in Goats?
NO! Worms cannot cause bloating in goats.
I hope this helps. Again, this is just our experience. We are not veterinarians or professionals.