Battling Scours!

  • Normal baby pooh maybe very different in color because of the colostrums. It maybe bright orange or yellow for the first four days. Because worms are so persistent I give every three day old baby 1cc of Safeguard. I may give it sooner if the pooh is the consistency of loose diarrhea or jelly like. I will also give a dose of 10cc of Pepto Bismal if they are loose after 24 hours. You have to be right on top of diarrhea and its causes. A newborn can go down in less than eight hours. A dose of Pepto will do nothing but give them a pink mouth. Generally the pooh is very much like tar and is usually a sticky string.

  • Bottle Baby goats, if over fed, can get diarrhea because of too much liquid. If baby is not producing "berries" cut back.

  • Take a scouring adult goat completely off water for twenty four hours and feed nothing but hay. Give the goat one cup of water the next day, three times per day. Do this until the goat produces a solid blob, then allow two cups. The next day allow free access. You don't want to flood your goat! Goats are hardy and can live on just grass, but, diarrhea will kill them. Period.

  • Take a scouring kid completely off formula for twenty four hours and feed nothing but hay. If they are very young feed only plain yogurt. You can mix the bolus tablet in. Unless they are running a fever I have found an antibiotic really isn't necessary. If they have true snot, -s-s-snot clear moisture (sorry- could s-s-s-not help myself) you might consider it. {Remember a crusty brown snot can be a sign of nose bots.} Antibiotics seem to strip the bacteria out of the intestinal track which is why you have a scouring goat in the first place!

  • Wash a goat's backside if it is scouring to keep insects away. The pooh is often contaminated with a high worm egg count so bleach the wash area. (It is your goat so don't look at me.) Also the pooh hangs on the coat and keeps the coat damp. Damp, wet goats that are sick is not a bright idea.

  • I have successfully treated scouring goats with crushed non-medicated bolas tablets. The tablets do not contain medicine, but, vitamins and other additives that will enhance the effects of penicillin if you must use an antibiotic.

  • Depending on how bad the diarrhea I feed more often and in smaller amounts. After 24 hours feed 20 cc of yogurt at least four times a day. Feed one-fourth the amount of formula and replace one-fourth the amount of formula with Veta Sorb Hydration, trying to spread this out over five feedings. If it's better the next day go half and half and return to normal feeding once the diarrhea is gone. You have to judge by the goat's pooh not by how hungry or thirsty they are! Remember they will eat or drink themselves to death and you are the only thing between them and a dirt hole. Period.

  • Remove all blobs of pooh straight to the brush pile for burning or in a trash bag for the garbage man. It's full of worm eggs. Lime the sick area after the episode is under control.

  • Keep a goat drench on hand. If they can't stand on their own it is time for a drink of the good stuff.

  • Feeding Electrolytes and Milk Replacer at the same time can cause problems. They react somehow.

  • Don't ask me how it works, but, plain old Knox Gelatin  will help bind a goat up. Because it binds with stuff I'm not sure I would add it to medicine feedings. Be forewarned that gelatin loves metal. Use hot water to get it off- the sooner the better. A glass bowl is best for mixing it in. (Looking for some cheap glue...?)

  • Get the goat's gut rolling. Encourage the goat to eat coarser parts of hay. Not grass because grass is high in water content. Do not feed any treats at all. Simplicity is the best thing here. One food at a time.

  • Just like people some goats are allergic to some foods. Treats or feed maybe a cause as well as mold in the hay or feed. Some goats can't handle mold at all which is almost unavoidable in hay. Try a palletized hay stretcher if you are suspicious of this. If the goat is a pet he's worth it.

  • Don't be in a hurry to start grain. Slowly introduce about three days after the goat starts producing "berries" in small amounts that increase every day to the desired amount. If you find you have a goat which keeps returning to diarrhea use pellet feed first then slowly add in corn and grain feed.

  • Coccidian causes recurrent diarrhea. It is also contagious. It will kill. Too many times minor stuff is called Coccidian. Really check the field, the time of year, environmental changes and take a pooh sample to the vet to scope for worms.

  • If the goat becomes loose again suspect he's getting too much liquid after recovering from a diarrhea episode.

  • Green grass in Spring will give a goat diarrhea. Make sure they are getting hay along with the new green grass. The Over Eating shot should be given to even babies over two weeks of age to protect them from bacterial infection.

So, what do you do for a scouring goat besides immediately removing it from the herd?

  1. Check all over the place for what he might have eaten. Check for lumps, bumps, and bites. (Spiders or snakes.)

  2. Take his temp. You first.

  3. Suspect a worms first, then a bacterial source, such as a visiting chicken, cow pooh, or something else a baby would chew on. (Leave it to kids to find icky things.)

  4. Check the pooh. If a goat gets diarrhea its tail gets coated with it. I hate to say this, but, a goat's pooh will often times tell you he's sick before his body language does. Healthy goats produce healthy piles of "berries". Projectile watery pooh is a very bad sign. Keep the goat washed off!

  5. Do not use Penicillin beyond six days without vet consent. Do not use the bolus beyond two days without talking to a vet.

  6. Do not feed a scouring goat grain- just hay.

  7. Limit water to a scouring goat. 1/4 cup twice a day or none at all for the first 24 hour depending on the situation.

If the goat becomes loose again  after just a few days suspect another bout of worms. Reworm and watch for a fever which would indicate a bacterial problem that needs antibiotics.  Goats that had diarrhea caused by worms should be given a 5cc dose of Safeguard before being put in a quarantine pen for a week and then sent back to the herd. This gives time for the weakened goat to rebuild for head butting sessions. The whole herd should be wormed heavy 8cc once a single goat comes down with diarrhea and then given another half dose of Safeguard wormer two weeks later 4cc. Then four weeks later rotate the wormer with a different product using a slightly higher than recommended dose. Goats are very hardy, but, worms are their weakness.

It is time to get nasty with the local worm population. Pull out the lime and hit every area the goats congregate. Also add python dusting to the lime you put down in the cleaned out bedding area. Then add a pile of bedding over it. This may sound like a hassle but so is digging a hole in the backyard for your favorite goat. It is far cheaper to do this then pay two hundred dollars for the vet to come out- if you can find one on the weekend- and tell you you have worms depleting your goat.