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Goats/bloody urine from wether

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QUESTION: Hi Donna, I have 4 goats. 2 Females ~5yrs old, and 2 wethers between 2-3yrs old. I live in New England and we have got hit hard with a lot of snow in a short time and real cold temps. I go out a couple times a day with warm water for them and make sure they always have hay. But I noticed today that there is a lot of blood in the snow. And I waited and seen both my females urinate while I was out there. My 2 females will drink a decent amount every time I bring out a new bucket, but I never see my boys drink. So one of them is now urinating blood I believe because lack of water intake. I have minerals available to encourage drinking that I'm always checking. In the winter I try to feed my goats some fruits/veggies any way just to get some fluids that they are not getting right now from the natural vegetation that they would in the other seasons. But even with that my boys are so picky. I was wondering if there is anything I could add to the water to make it more yummy to the boys? Somebody once told me to add vinegar to the water, but then none of them drank. I was hoping you had some suggestions.
Thanks, Cindy

ANSWER: Blood in the urine is either from passing a urinary stone/calculi or from a urinary tract or kidney infection.  If it is one of the wethers peeing bloody urine there are a few questions for you - if you see the wethers pee is a strong stream, or just dribbles? Are the wethers on any type of grain? What type of hay are they on?  The answers will give me a bit more help in figuring out a regimen for you.

If we are thinking it is urinary calculi then lemon juice (concentrated) along with an oral antibiotic and lots of electrolytes or other water (warm molasses water usually works - vinegar I know most goats hate so I never use that).  You may have to orally drench the wether who is ill to be sure his urinary tract system is being flushed enough.  I usually add strawberry lemonade to my wethers' and bucks' water buckets when I think they are not drinking enough - just make 1/4 of the normal amount in the instructions - they just need a flavoring, not the whole sweet amount.  

If we are thinking this is a urinary tract infection, which does occur in wethers, especially those who may have fir shavings as bedding, use of oral antibiotics works well.

Do you have any oral antibiotics available currently?

Let me know about the questions and I will get back to you - thanks - Donna

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

QUESTION: Hi Donna, Thank you so much for getting back to me. I have been watching him and he is peeing a stream for the most part. He is eating good, it is 2nd cut, no grain. Bedding is about 2'deep of bedding hay on bottom and straw on top with some of their food hay. I have no antibiotics, I never had to treat them before. I'm not even sure where to get them. Do I need a vet to come out? These are my only livestock animals I have and they are pets for my kids. They are so entertaining, I just love them. But as far as their health I just don't know to much. And I thank you for your time and help.

Answer
Thanks for the update. Is the hay just regular grass hay or alfalfa?  If alfalfa then would still think it could be calculi.  If not then it is most likely an infection - oral antibiotics are generally available at farm/feed stores over the counter/no prescription needed.  Let me know.  If you go to the feed store you are welcome to call me at 360-742-8310 to talk about what they have available.  Also, feel free to call me too if you want to ask questions that way.  Let me know - Donna

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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres

Expertise

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

Experience

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.

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

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

Education/Credentials
4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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