Diarrhea In Goats

Diarrhea is probably the most common illness in goats. The onset can be very quick and it doesnÂ’t take long for a goat to become dehydrated or down as a result, so diagnosis and treatment should be done as soon as diarrhea is noticed for best results and a quick recovery time. A goat is a ruminant which means that they have four stomachs and most often when a goat becomes ill it is the result of having an upset stomach. Diarrhea or not eating is typically the symptoms of the rumen being upset.

The causes of Diarrhea can sometimes be easy to determine by what lead up to the goat becoming ill. You can often tell what is the cause of the diarrhea by the color and consistency. Often times a very black, watery diarrhea with an offensive odor is caused by coccidiosis. Diarrhea that appears very green in color and can sometimes be the consistency of a cow patty or slightly runnier is usually caused by fresh pasture, a change in the type or quality of hay being fed, or too much grain. Diarrhea that is brown in color typically is a result of either too much grain, worms, or stress.

By paying close attention to the color, odor, and consistency you can determine what the cause is and the appropriate treatment to follow.

Caused By Coccidiosis -

Some treatments include Corid, Sulmet, or Albon diluted in the animals drinking water which will take longer to cure and most often the affected animal will not drink enough to cure its condition. These products are most effective given as an oral drench. Corid can be mixed (1/2 Corid, 1/2 Water) and given as an oral drench, 1cc per 4 pounds body weight, once a day for five days. Sulmet (Sulfamethazine Sodium 12.5%) can be given undiluted at the rate of 1cc / 5 pounds of body weight, once a day for five days. Albon should be given undiluted, 3-8cc depending on body weight, once a day for five days. Biosol/Neomycin is also an effective treatment for Coccidiosis and can be given 2-5cc for kids and 7-10cc for adult animals orally once a day for five days.


Caused By Fresh Pasture or Hay -

Treat affected animal with Biosol/Neomycin  and/or Probios until diarrhea subsides. Goats will begin getting adjusted to the fresh pasture or hay within a few days.


Caused By Grain- 

Reduce the amount of grain given or stop giving grain all together until diarrhea stops and then gradually introduce the animal to grain again using much smaller quantities. Probios is also effective in getting the rumen back on track again.


Caused By Worms-

Treat goat immediately with dewormer such as Ivomectin or Cydectin. Heavy infestations of worms can cause diarrhea that will not respond to any other treatments except for deworming the animal although the animal will have a healthy appetite. Within a few days of deworming the animal, diarrhea will stop. Treat again with dewormer in 2-3 weeks if neccesary. White wormers such as Safeguard or Panacur seem to be uneffective treatments when the worm load becomes this heavy unless goats have tapeworms. Also if anemia occurs that will need to be treated as a seperate issue using B-12 injections.


Caused By Stress-

Diarrhea that is caused by stress can be treated with probios. Often with one treatment of probios, rumen activity will return to normal and diarrhea will stop.


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