When excessive amounts of gas collect in the rumen as a result of overeating new grass or pasture that is wet, bloating may occur. It is visible as a swelling on the left side back by the hip bone at the end of the rib cage. A goat with bloat will show signs of severe distress, grunting, slobbering, much restless activity, and labored breathing.
Bloat can be prevented by feeding high quality hay prior to allowing them out to eat new, green moist grass. Check the eating area for poisonous vegetation and increasing the pasturing time gradually. Prevention comes in the form of careful supervision of the amount and type of green vegetation eaten.
Treatment must be immediate. A veterinarian will be able to take the necessary measures to alleviate the problem. The usual procedure is to pass a catheter tube (Save-A-Kid Syringe) down the throat into the rumen. This will bring immediate relief if the problem is just gas. If the problem is frothy bloat it will be necessary to introduce one to one-and-a-half cups of mineral or vegetable oil into the stomach through the tube.
This is a serious health risk and death can occur quickly so don't wait to call for help.
Supplies for treatment: Save-A-Kid Syringe, Boat Pack or mineral/vegetable oil.