You are here:

Goats/follow up on constipated nigi


QUESTION: Ok Im really puzzled now abt my baby goat. Have been giving him mineral oil orally as well as warm/soapy enemas, and mineral oil enemas. ( alot of them) He is nibbling hay, drinking milk from momma, and drinking water but stands around and shakes and pushes to the point of his rectum sticking out abt 1 inch. He is pooping soft wet pebbles. 4/5 at a time and pretty frequently. The problem is that when his rectum opens up, I dont see anything like poo or anything in there. Why would he be doing this? His temp was 100, then 101, now 98.  Im really concerned.  Can we give meds?

ANSWER: Did you notice that he was eating a lot of the grain? I think we talked about possible obstipation on one of the e-mails - obstipation is like constipation but instead of poop being the constipating item it is a ball of food/grain or hay or other foreign body.  Unfortunately an obstipation can be very difficult to get to pass and some times requires surgery.  Is he peeing okay and if okay, is it a good stream? The drop in temp indicates his intestinal system is not working well and that indeed he is constipated.  Warm/soapy enemas really do little to help as they don't get high enough in the intestinal tract to help - generally it is the mineral oil orally that helps soften the bolus of whatever and gets it to move.  The fact that his rectum/anus is sticking out can indicate either that the impaction/constipation item is getting closer to the rectum or that the impaction is so big that only small amounts of poop can come out.  Does his barrel/stomach seem bloated/distended at all?  The issue is that he is still drinking and eating, which for any kid goat who is obstipated and totally constipated does not do.  At this point I would see if he would take an oral drench of electrolytes, warmed up, to help hydrated his intestines and the impaction.  I would continue with mineral oil, may need to give him a bit more - say double what you are giving currently, two to three times a day.  I would use a human adult size enema (store bought one) and see if that can help.  If he stopped eating and/or if he has a total rectal prolapse then a vet visit may be in order.  If I think of other items to do I will let you know - Donna

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

QUESTION: Ok so how much of the adult enema do i give and also the drench, do u mena just orally by bottle or what?  I havent seen him pee, but Im not w/ him continous either. He has been eating grain but Im not sure if it would be any more than any other baby goat. Just not certain

ANSWER: Usually for a kid goat between 4 and 8 weeks I would use half of the amount in a human enema - I don't put the enema tip all the way up the rectum though.  Re the drench of mineral oil would use 1/8 to 1/4 cup given as an oral drench twice a day.  Did you get a chance to check his tummy to see if it seemed distended?  If he has a urinary issue that can cause constipation symptoms too.  Re grain, I usually advise people not to give kid goats under 8 weeks regular adult goat grain as their systems can't always handle its digestion.  I start my kids on calf manna type pellets at 2 weeks and by 6 weeks change to a general livestock pelleted grain - I do not use the true grains such as corn, oats and barley kernels.  The corn, oats and barley can easily form a ball/bolus in the intestines and that creates either constipation or obstipation.  Hope that helps - let me know - Donna

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

QUESTION: If u mean his tummy look bloated, then yes. He does and then it looks alot smaller and then when I go back to check on him, it has goten larger again. If it is urine issues, what can I do?  And if it was urine, then would he be pushing out his rectum like he is?  I will attempt to get a pic and maybe clear up what im talking abt.  Is there a way to know if it is urine?

It is definitely hard to tell what it is - low temperature and little or no poop always indicates constipation; little urine can indicate a urinary tract infection, constipation/obstipation, or urinary stones. A fat tummy can indicate bloat that can be caused from constipation or over eating, or it can be from just having a full tummy after drinking from mom.  Bloat is shown usually as seen from the sides being distended and the sides feel hard or tight when you touch them; where as if it is a urinary issue then it is distended underneath the tummy area.  Hope that helps.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2016 All rights reserved.