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Author Topic: Urinary calculi help please  (Read 410 times)

Boerandgoldengoats

  • Joined Apr 2021
Urinary calculi help please
« on: April 09, 2021, 03:02:10 pm »
Hello

Iím hoping some of you may be able to give me some advice as Iím getting so confused with the information online/ vets contradicting themselves.

We have a lovely 2 year old Boer. In January we rushed him to the vet college as he was in retention. He had emergancy surgery to have a catheter fitted. Scans revealed he had 11 stones. By some miracle 3 weeks later and after being given daily diazepam he managed to pass all the stones. As he passed the stones naturally they were not able to determine what type of stones they were.

He was and is still not on anything we or the vet could see have caused the stones. He get dengie pure grass for his breakfast and dinner this is 100% dried grass, we make our own hay which is 100% grass no alfalfa. He has fresh water which I change three times a day. He has a salt lick but he hardly touches this.

I noticed him straining last weekend and the vet came out, we believe he had cystitis which seems to have cleared after anti inflammatory and antibiotics. Unfortunately a urine sample came back today showing calcium oxolate crystals and he has a base level PH ( sorry I donít know what this means).

Iím so worried these crystals could develop into stones and I just donít know what to do. The information and advise is so conflicting one vet said give him a tiny bit of salt in his feed to encourage drinking another said donít that can make stones worse. Another vet said add ammonium chloride whilst another said no that can cause stones. I honestly donít know what to do Iím so strict with his diet I watch everything he eats and drinks. The only thing I know I need to improve is the amount he drinks as he never drinks a massive amount although he does drink. But what can I do to encourage him to drink more ?

Does anybody have any advice or tips I canít bear the thought of loosing him and him developing these stones again but everybody tells me Iím doing everything right so why has he got the crystals. As I said one person says to do one thing and another tell you not to. Our local vet is also unable to give him diazepam which if he looked like he was in retention again would mean taking him hours away to the big hospital.

Any advice would be very much appreciated thank you

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Urinary calculi help please
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2021, 08:21:53 pm »
He may like his drinking water slightly warmed - my goats drink loads more when I give them warm water. I also live in a soft water area, so no issues ever here (so far), but if you water is hard you could either see if your rain water is clean enough or get him bottled water (a bit over the top I know).


Other traditional remedies are indeed adding some salt, or some raw apple cider vinegar (which you can get for horses), but mine always balked at the cider vinegar...


Also ammonium chloride is the one thing that is added to tup feed to make it ok for male sheep (incl wethers), but as he is not on any concentrates that may not be applicable.


Difficult to predict which of the above strategies may or may not work (or combination thereof), but given that it is an incredible painful condition I would seriously think about his longterm prospects if he was mine.

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Urinary calculi help please
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2021, 08:24:31 am »
I'm with Anke on most points. 

Other things you could discuss with the vet to try would be adding cranberry, lemon, lime or orange juice to his warm drinking water.  A few of mine will drink a lot more if they're getting "juice".  Actually any fruit juice that encourages him to drink would probably work but go for one with no added sugar. 

Basil, Celery, Pomegranate and Dandelion are also traditional remedies for kidney stones. 

Might be worth having a look at something like Thunderbrooks website or talking to one of their specialists about the types of herbs that may help... you could potentially then come up with a diet that may help manage the condition. 

If you can't manage it then as Anke says, you need to consider his long term welfare,

Good luck
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Boerandgoldengoats

  • Joined Apr 2021
Re: Urinary calculi help please
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2021, 10:10:07 am »
Thank you so much to both of you your advice is so helpful. I think Iíve tried to research it and spoken to so many vets with different opinions Iíve got so confused. We have decided if stones formed we will have him PTS as Iím not putting him through surgery again or letting him become blocked and i pain. Weíre having regular scans/ urine tests.  I did ask the vet if heís in pain with crystals but she said as heís fully urinating not straining etc she said no but I will try your suggestions as I donít want any stones to form in the first place.  Iím encourint him to drink as much as possible to flush through the crystals but everybody seems to be at a loss why he is developing them.

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Urinary calculi help please
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2021, 12:01:47 am »
Thank you so much to both of you your advice is so helpful. I think Iíve tried to research it and spoken to so many vets with different opinions Iíve got so confused. We have decided if stones formed we will have him PTS as Iím not putting him through surgery again or letting him become blocked and i pain. Weíre having regular scans/ urine tests.  I did ask the vet if heís in pain with crystals but she said as heís fully urinating not straining etc she said no but I will try your suggestions as I donít want any stones to form in the first place.  Iím encourint him to drink as much as possible to flush through the crystals but everybody seems to be at a loss why he is developing them.

You mention dealing with several vets - are any of them members of the Goat Vet Society?  If not, it may be worth contacting them for their advice on the matter.  It isn't expensive to join (from memory about £36/year), anyone can join but only qualified vets have voting rights.  If you join, your vet could use your membership to contact them for advice.  It's just a thought.  You get all the benefits and information that the vets get, just don't get to vote.  That includes the Goat Vet Soc journal a couple of times a year.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Julia1521

  • Joined Jul 2020
Re: Urinary calculi help please
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2021, 10:05:56 pm »
I'd be interested to know if your boy is castrated and if so at what age was this done? If its done early on it makes them a lot more prone to stones. Heres a good explanation i found about why (worded much better than I could)!...

"The hormone testosterone influences diameter growth of the ureter, so the earlier the goat is castrated, the slimmer the ureter and the more prone it will be to blockage by a stone. It is recommended to wait until at least 4 months of age Ė and preferably 5 or 6 -- to castrate young bucks.

My weather was done early and the vet who did it never mentioned anything about stones at the time."

When I moved and changed vet the new one told me that because he was done early it is really important I give him amoinium chloride. He said he had seen a number of cases of weather goats becoming really poorly and even dying frim urinary stones but assured me that this would prevent it.

It can be added to the water or given in feed. He shares a pen with 4 does and they all have it as well (they can get urinary calculi as well although it's much less common). When I started I put it in the water for 14 days every 2 months to break down any crystals that might already be there. After a few times doing this I dropped it down to 10 days every three months. I pay about £30 a bag (I get it from the vet) and it lasts about 3 treatments.

I hope that helps!




Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Urinary calculi help please
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2021, 04:45:52 pm »
The problem with late castration is that the male kids are fertile aged three months and even before that become a real nuisance to any female kids. You would have to rear them separately and wean at three months. Also castration by rubber ring is only legal up to 7 days of age, anything after that requires veterinary intervention - and really how many goatkeepers will be able to justify the costs of that?


I band all my sheep aged 24 to 48 hours (max wihtin one week if they are reasons to delay it by a few days) and have wethers living happily to age 5 and 6...


The main problem is feeding concentrates.

 

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