How to Help Your Goat if It Is Bloated

A veterinarian can recommend the right amount of grain.
A veterinarian can recommend the right amount of grain. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Bloating may be life-threatening in goats. Healthy goats naturally have large bellies. This indicates that it has a well-developed rumen, which is necessary for efficient digestion. A bloated goat has an uneven belly; the left side will appear distended, the goat may grind its teeth and in severe cases, it may have problems breathing. Goats can become bloated if they eat too much grain or rich grasses. Some remedies work for both types of bloating, but others are specific to the cause. Call the veterinarian immediately for severe bloating; he may need release the gas through an incision.

Things You'll Need

  • Drenching syringe
  • Vegetable oil
  • Container
  • Baking soda
  • Milk of magnesia
  • Footstool
  • Tree branches
  • Straw

Remove all food sources from the goat's enclosure. If the goat suffers from bloating caused by grain, remove all sources of water until the bloating resolves.

Use a drenching syringe to force-feed the goat oil if bloating is from eating grasses. Use 1 cup of corn or other vegetable oil. Avoid mineral oil, because this can become trapped in the lungs.

Place a container with several handfuls of baking soda for the goat to eat if bloating is from eating grasses.

Give the animal milk of magnesia with a drenching syringe if the problem is from eating too much grain. Use 15 mL for every 60 lbs. of body weight.

Encourage the goat to walk, if it is able to do so. Goats with severe bloating may lie down and refuse to get up.

Place the goat's front legs on a footstool or similar object after walking it. Positioning the front legs higher than the hind legs may help dissipate the gas.

Massage the left side of the goat's belly. Continue to rub the area until the goat expels gas.

Tips & Warnings

  • When your goat's bloating resolves, offer it tree branches and straw.
  • Prevent future bloating by offering the goat dry hay before pasturing it. This helps prevent the goat from eating too much grass.
  • Do not offer your goat alfalfa or clovers, because this type of fodder encourages bloating.

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