You are here:

Goats/Female goats straining to pee


QUESTION: I have two female Boers who are straining to pee. They act EXACTLY like a woman with a bladder infection. They squat a lot and dribble, but they don't act sick, and their appetites are good. I put them on Bactrim at the dose of two 960 mg. tablets, dissolved, twice a day, but it seemed to have little effect in six days, and I ran out of pills. I followed that with drenching with Sulmet per instructions I found on But this is the fifth day on Sulmet, and they're still straining to pee.

Their diets are good; very little packaged goat feed (no sweet feed), lots of hay (no alfalfa), fresh water, and whatever honeysuckle they can find; my herd free-ranges during the day but comes into the barn at night. I've added apple-cider vinegar to their water in small amounts.

The herd consists of 10 does and 3 wethers. Zilch chance of pregnancy. These are the only two goats experiencing urinary problems. None of my girls have ever been bred. The two affected ones, Juanita and Eleanor, are sisters and are about 8 years old.

I'm now wondering if I'm dealing with gram-positive bacteria. Is it possible to give my girls ciprofloxacin, and if so, at what dosage? (I have Cipro on hand.) The girls are about 100 pounds.

Please don't tell me to go to a veterinarian. Vets in my area don't know squat about goats, no pun intended. Livestock owners are on their own, and your decades of experience count more for me than any veterinary degree. Some people here have goats, but they have little advice to give because they don't keep up with their goats' health very well; my goats are primarily pets, so I watch their behavior more closely.

I thank you in advance.

ANSWER: HI Janice,
I apologize for not getting to this right away.. in the middle of kidding  here (my goats also are pets :) )

OK.. now..  TYPICALLY  does do not get UC..  NOT impossible but from what you are feeding  I see no reason to think it is. I have never used Cipro before..  here is a website dedicated to it.. for information :
YOU may want to add ammonium chloride to the diet..   just in case for some weird reason it is UC..  (I doubt it  BUT.. I have seen stranger things happen)

Another thing  Banamine ( flunixin meglumine ) is not only for pain but also a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, which may help reduce any swelling in the smooth muscles of the urethra possibly making it easier for them to urinate.  It is Rx so you would have to get it from a vet or someone who has it on hand.. (Many folks keep it on hand)- I think I might try it  - if possible. I personally use it at the rate of 1cc/100lbs SQ not more than once every 24 hours. I might also try straight cranberry juice.. (hard to find pure  read the labels in the store, get the closest you can find) - from my understanding regular store bought  apple cider vinegar does not work .. you need to get the stuff at the health food store with what is called "mother" in it.
Are they ONLY dribbling when they pee or  do they do this after they have  done a normal amount? How long has this been going on ?

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

QUESTION: No need to apologize. I know about kidding. Did it once, never again. Goats were fine, but I was a nervous wreck.

I do not think that urinary calculi are the problem. But do goats not get urinary infections? They squat and dribble, but I haven't seen a stream of urine from them in two weeks. Rear ends look nasty, and I at first thought the problem was diarrhea. But there's no diarrhea at all, just nasty rear ends and dribbles that appear discolored.

I will try the Banamine. I've used it and have a little on hand and can get more, but I hadn't thought of its reducing any swelling that might allow them to urinate properly. Very good point. I also have Bragg's organic cider ("mother") on hand, and I may drench them with that, given that their water is freezing regularly; I haul a lot of water to the goats this time of year. And I have real cranberries in the freezer and a juicer in the kitchen.

I've already ordered ammonium sulfate, but I did this because Juanita and Eleanor's current problems made me worry about the possibility of future UC problems with the wethers, which would be considerably more dangerous.

You've been very helpful. But please answer (sometime between birthing babies) about the possibility of a urinary tract infection. In women, anyway, UC is not the problem, infection is. That's why I first tried the Bactrim. And as I said, they are fine in every other way. I've seen no signs of pain per se, but just the irritation of urinary urgency.

Thanks again. I have followed you for a long time, and I know you know your stuff. I was so pleased to discover that you are on All Experts. Please don't ever give this up.

HI Janice

First of all let me tell you - I started to answer this yesterday..  wood delivery came  and I apparently  just left the page open.. babies getting born.. etc..  hay came today.. I just now started looking at what tabs I have open on my computer.. 30 something of them.. and here it was..  an answer begun and never finished..  I apologize - :)

Sounds like you have your bases covered well. :) And yes they do get UTI's .. but I  was looking at all options..   have you tested the pH of the urine?  - pH strips for testing  they also have Ketostix to test ketones too..  for testing  pH

I wonder if eating the cranberries  whole would do it.. ??  Let me think about this more..  Did  you say there was some sort of gelatinous discharge?  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Specializing in New Goat Owner understanding of goat physiology, goat anatomy, goat care and herd management. *I am not a veterinarian, any advice and information should be verified by your veterinarian before administering to your goats. (! During times of severe weather in the Midwest, I may experience a delay in internet service due to the interference of the satellite reception - but will answer your questions as soon as service is restored. !) Note: Keep in mind, the goat expert is volunteering her time to help other goat owners, she also runs her farm with her own herd of 100 goats and may not be at her computer at all hours. Questions are answered as soon as she can possibly read and answer them, usually within 24 hours.


23 years experience of raising goats and herd management. Active hands on experience with goat herd and research with various Caprine University Research and Extension Centers nationwide. 15 years dedicated to helping other goat breeders/owners with goat anatomy, goat disease and goat health care issues via phone, published goat care articles and internet interaction. The information I have to offer is not only from personal experience and years of research updated often as new information is made available to me, but supported by many Veterinary Research colleges and all medications and information I have to offer on how the medications work and what dosages "I" use, is information I have acquired by discussing directly with the company's veterinarians and staff research experts.

12 year active member of International Veterinary Information Service

United Caprine News, Homesteaders Magazine, Columnist for Goat Magazine, Owner and Author of GoatPedia™

Graduate Programs in Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University

©2017 All rights reserved.