How to Treat Goat Colic

By Laurie Rappeport

Colic in goats, (generally called “bloat”) is caused when too much gas forms in the goat's rumen (her largest stomach) and is not expelled by belching. Frothy bloat is caused by the goat eating too much lush, damp feeds, whereas dry bloat is caused by the goat eating too much grain. Simple indigestion can also cause goat bloat which creates muscle spasms of the goat's rumen and can, if untreated, be fatal for a goat. There are a number of things that a goat owner can do to treat the goat for bloat before calling in a veterinarian.

Colicky Goats

Ask for a prescription for an oral bloat medication and administer it to the goat. One suggested anti-bloat medication that is used successfully is C&D ANTITOXIN. Fifteen cc is the recommended dose. Anti-bloat medications can be obtained through a veterinarian.

Administer milk of magnesia if the goat has been eating a lot of grain.

Massage the goat's rumen to mix up the milk of magnesia in the rumen.

Give the goat dry, coarse hay to eat.

Walk the goat.

Stand the goat "uphill," with its front legs elevated, to encourage it to belch.

Administer 1 or 2 teaspoons of Pepto Bismol if the colicky goat is still a kid (young goat).

Give the goat 1 cup of mineral or corn oil with two big spoonfuls of baking soda . Wait for the goat to belch out the gas from his rumen.

Tube the goat. This should be done with two people, at least one of whom has previous experience tubing a goat. Use a 3- to 4-foot piece of tubing which is approximately one-fourth of an inch in diameter.

Put a speculum (a mouth gag that will prevent the goat from chewing the tube or any fingers) in the goat's mouth. Pass the stomach tube through the speculum into the goat's throat. Once the goat has swallowed it, push it through the esophagus.

Blow on it. If there is an object lodged in the esophagus or at the base of the neck use the tube to push the object back into the goat's stomach.

Wait for a large rush of air once the tube reaches the goat's stomach. If there's no air move the tube around the goat's stomach looking for the pocket of gas. Puncture the gas pocket with the tube. Pinch the tube and pull it out in one fluid motion.