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Goats/Boer goat ate some mountain laurel


QUESTION: Hi Donna, our 3yr old boer goat ate what I think was mountain laurel last night about 6pm. He was vomiting today and in pain. Did not want to eat, drink. He was walking around and following us around the property. He has been vomiting all day on and off. We gave him a recipe my wife found on-line which had strong tea, mineral oil, ginger and some baking soda. About 60mL via syringe. We also gave him activated charcoal (I work in a lab) and mixed it with some oil. We were only able to get about 30mL into him. He is resting now and we plan on giving him some water with a little karo syrup mixed in to keep him hydrated. He did pee twice today and his poop was normal.

Does the toxin have to work its way thru his system? I'm thinking by throwing up, the body is trying to get rid of the toxin.

A few years ago he got into some foxglove and I remember he was sick. I don't think as bad.

ANSWER: Sorry for the delay in answering.  Unfortunately the toxin should be flushed out of his system quickly.  Sounds like you did your best.  Laurel is extremely toxic.  The best thing to use is something called BioSponge (available through Platinum horse supply).  Without that the next best thing is milk of magnesia to flush out his system - 1 cup per 75 pounds body weight every 2 hours for three doses and with the last dose you also give a little liquor (brandy, whisky, etc.) at 2 ounces per 100 pounds body weight - this stops the stomach spasms which the toxin is causing.  Keeping him drinking - electrolytes, water, lemonade, anything to help flush the system helps.  He will need probiotics and vitamin B complex (human type is fine - five tablets crushed and dissolved in hot water and mixed with the probiotics - yogurt is fine - given twice a day until he starts eating again.  If he vomited then you will have to watch for inhalation pneumonia - and I usually treat with penicillin at 3 cc/100 pounds body weight twice a day for 5 days after a goat vomits as precaution.  Hope this helps - let me know - Donna

PS No baking soda, no karo syrup, no mineral oil.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks. Your reply was quick. He seems a little better this morning. Not vomiting. He pooped twice and peed which is a good sign. He also got three good drinks from his water bucket. He nibbled on some grass but is not interested in eating hay.

Since his system might be clear of the toxins I think I'll skip the milk of magnesia. Should I still give him the probiotic and vitamin b? I thought I'd wait and see if he eats later and drinks more.


Would assume the toxins may still be in his system but at this point not in the intestinal tract but in all other systems and milk of magnesia would not help.  Lots of hydration is important.  Probiotic and vitamin B complex (with thiamine) should be given until he is back to eating very well.  Donna


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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres


All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.


27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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