Lethargic behavior and a lack of urination are a sure sign something is not right with your goat. No matter the breed, male goats can experience a painful problem that simply does not allow them to urinate. Urinary Crystals or Stones are a common issue which can be deadly to a goat. A male goat’s urethra, is “S” shaped and urinary stones may get lodged in the curves of the “S” and cause a painful blockage. Does may develop urinary stones but it is rare that a blockage will occur. Prevention is key in preventing blockages and many breeders have found help in proper diet and nutrition.
Keeping your herd healthy and free from blockages may be obtained by simply feeding a balanced diet. Commercial feeds, from reputable producers are designed to give correct levels of nutrition. Thus, the best advice we have for beginning goat owner is to feed commercial feeds and supplements! Simple! After all, these feeds were developed by highly trained nutritionists, focused on producing the highest quality feed for your goats. Secondly, have your water tested to see if you are providing your herd hard water. If your municipal water or well water is producing hard water, take the time to adjust your feed/nutrition for proper mineral levels. You may want to consider providing softened water for drinking.
What to do if you suspect your goat has Urinary Crystals/Stones can be a scary and confusing proposition. Step one…call your vet! The longer you wait, the more expensive your bill may grow. If you have not seen you goat urinate recently and feel they may be completely blocked, healing may be almost impossible, even with surgery. Many breeders are choosing to avoid Urinary Stones completely by feeding their goats an additive. This can help keep urine acid levels high enough to alleviate the possibility of blockage. Ammonium Chloride or Potassium Chloride will help acidify the urine. Both these additives help keep the Urinary Stones more soluble, thus, your goat will have a better chance of passing them.
Early intervention of a case of urinary stones is key. Unfortunately, feeding additives will not alleviate the core problem of a mineral imbalance. Always double check your feed to assure the highest possible success rate…with proper nutrition, mineral imbalances can be caught early and Urinary Stones will disappear from your goat in the future. Kruse Goat, which Bullseye Feed proudly sells, already contains proper levels of Ammonium Chloride in the feed to help your goats remain healthy and crystal free!
If you are interested in Aluminum Chloride or Potassium Chloride supplements, please stop by Descanso Hay & Feed and order your’s today. It is a simple and inexpensive tool in keeping your goats healthy and happy!