Goats are a lively, inquisitive and affectionate pets, but they can be high maintenance. At Stanley House we deal with a wide range of goats, from single pets to small groups kept for showing, up to large commercial herd where we are responsible for the health, welfare and productivity of over a thousand diary goats.
Here we treat and give advice on various common conditions including gut upsets and lameness problems. Diarrhoea is normally caused by sudden alterations in the diet or stresses due to changes in the environment or weather. It is surprising that for an animal that evolved up on hillsides and mountains how much they dislike the cold and the rain! Most of these upsets can be resolved by using stomach powders to re-balance the rumen bacteria, however there are certain infections that will cause diarrhoea and these may need antibiotic therarpy. In this west Lancashire weather goats can also be susceptible to foot infections, Regular checks of the feet and trimming of overgrown hoof wall will help to prevent these problems occuring, or spot them early before they cause the goat too much pain. Normally short term course of topical antibiotic spray will cure a mild case of foot infection.
Goats are able to adapt to a wide range of environments but do rely heavily on their owner for their well being. They are extremely sociable and do develop long term ‘friendships’ with other goats or animals on the holding including their owner. They can often be upset by changes in this social group or their environment or diet. These upsets or stresses can lead to disease.
Spotting signs of illness early is important, the quicker a problem is recognised the more likely any treatment given will be effective. The main thing is to know your goats; it is easier to spot any changes in behaviour. Lethergy, poor appetite or persistent bleating are all signs that there is something amiss.
At Stanley House we offer a 24 hour emergency service from dedicated, experienced farm animal vets.