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Author Topic: Please help, lost another goat due to poisoning?  (Read 2992 times)

Jed

  • Joined Apr 2010
Please help, lost another goat due to poisoning?
« on: April 18, 2010, 08:15:34 am »

Sorry I'm at my wits end with this, Last year same time of year, several of our goats came down with the same symptoms, chronic Diahorrea, 'star gazing', listless and dehydration, only one died, a large boer called Max, he didn't leave the paddock and we feed them on hay and grass.

Yesterday a very healthy pygmy goat called Alex, came down with the same symptoms, we found him dead this morning, he was an escape artist and frequently left his paddock, never too far and never left the farm.

Has anybody got any ideas? I've been searching the internet for plants that may be toxic at this time of year, the Farmer that owns the surrounding fields has been spraying and planting his fields recently, I've discounted this as the rest of our small herd are showing no signs.

It was unseasonably warm yesterday here in East Anglia, could this be a factor?

We didn't have Max post mortemed, but he was seen by a vet, as were the others who contracted the same symptoms, they had blood tests that revealed some form of poisoning, but the vets couldn't tell me the exact cause.

I know there are thistles and buttercups growing around the paddocks, but there is no sign of rhodedendron, ragwort or any of the most recognised poisonous plants, any help would be appreciated and thank you for reading, Jed

jameslindsay

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Nr St Andrews, Fife
  • "Blossom" one of my Pygmy Goats
Re: Please help, lost another goat due to poisoning?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2010, 08:22:19 am »
Hi Jed, really sorry to hear of your loss and I know what an awful feelong it is. Over the last 3 months I have had problems with poisoning too with my 12 goats. The first time we lost 1 but thought another 2 were gonners but luckily they pulled through. My lot had managed to eat a Laurel bush which is obviously not good for them. Then, 2 weeks ago 8 out of the 12 took ill again and we discovered they had escaped and again got some type of evergreen. Luckily they all pulled through but they were violently sick and staggered while walking but at no times had diarrhoea. The farmer spraying would have been a good suspect but as you say surely the whole herd would be ill. I wish you much luck in finding and eradicating the problem and hope you have no more losses.

ballingall

  • Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: Please help, lost another goat due to poisoning?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2010, 08:33:47 am »
Hi Jed,

How awful to lose 2 to such a similar or the same thing. As James says, any evergreen is poisonious. What about a yew tree? They are pretty bad.

The other thing is, do you normally dose the goats for fluke? The only thing is it wouldn't cause the tests to come back as poisioning, but it would cause them to scour, and the listlessness. I wouldn't have thought the temperature yesterday would have had anything to do with it. We have lots of buttercups in our field and haven't had any cases like you describe, so I would definately rule that out.

What about your hay? Is it possible that there was anything in that? Or that maybe that one got a slightly mouldy bit of hay?


Beth


Jed

  • Joined Apr 2010
Re: Please help, lost another goat due to poisoning?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2010, 09:23:26 am »
Thankyou for coming back so quickly, I've been for a walk around all our paddocks and all I can find are dandelions, thistles and a few ferns, the rest of the herd seem to be ok as are the sheep they share the paddocks with.

There are no evergreens around the paddocks, but I'm now going to look at algae as a possible cause

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Please help, lost another goat due to poisoning?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2010, 09:24:50 am »
Might have been worth doing a PM to see what was in it's stomach, I know they are expensive but so are your goats.  Hope the others stay OK.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Jed

  • Joined Apr 2010
Re: Please help, lost another goat due to poisoning?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2010, 09:28:50 am »
I have spoken to the local vet and have been told that it's unlikely that a cause of poisoning would come back after a PM, I'm going to move the rest of the herd to a fresh paddock shortly, in the hopes that whatever it is, is only found in their main paddock.

lazybee

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Please help, lost another goat due to poisoning?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2010, 10:19:11 am »
What about the ferns? I know Bracken is poisonous to cattle. Is it possible some of them developed a taste for the fearns you mention? some horses get a taste for acorns and binge on them. What about iris, foxglove or arum these too are poisonous.

ballingall

  • Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: Please help, lost another goat due to poisoning?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2010, 11:21:22 am »
I did wonder about the ferns myself, but not sure if they would cause it or not. Might be worth checking out- I don't think they are that good for livestock.


Beth

Jed

  • Joined Apr 2010
Re: Please help, lost another goat due to poisoning?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2010, 01:22:16 pm »

I went down the fern route and found what I was looking for, HEMLOCK! needless to say I have spent the last couple of hours digging the plants out, they were growing at the edge of the paddock, amongst the hedgerows and beside a ditch, running the width of the paddock.

I'm guessing the goats had been grazing on the grass around the fencing and accidentally ate some.

Now I'm keeping my eyes on the rest of the herd, just in case.

Anyway a huge thankyou for your replies and tomorrow when I have some time, I will properly introduce myself.

Jed

 

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