Consistently Enlarged Rumen

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by wildlifejo, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. wildlifejo

    wildlifejo New Member

    2
    Aug 15, 2010
    Hello all! I am new to this board. I hope I don't repeat something in this forum that has been reviewed before -- I tried to find something about it in the topics but from previous forum experience know that I may be repetative!

    I have tried to search through various internet sites to no avail. It could be so many things from the Merck Veterinary Manual that I have no idea what is going on.

    My goat is named Misty Lou and is 6 years old. I bought her as a registered dairy Nubian two years ago. She has always been a healthy goat and superior milker. She free-ranges our ranch (with exception at night) and doesn't have any real food threats out there to accidently eat. I supply a small handful of grain (the same grain every time since I have owned her) at milking time and a little alfalfa hay when I lock her in her pen at night. She has a salt and mineral block available to her at all times, although she accesses it rarely. This has been her standard diet for the past two years. Finally, she had three kids back in March and everything has seemed fine.
    About 2 weeks ago, I noticed that her rumen seemed large and firm. This was after breaking in to our pantry and eating fresh apricots, pits and all. I figured that she had overeaten and would get over it. From her overeating at that point, she of course had some diarrhea, but her system seemed to go back to normal that was recognizable. I have no idea if that is relational, but thought I would mention it. I have considered that she has some partial blockage from a pit that got stuck in there.

    Other than a larger-than-usual (and firm) rumen, she has not had any other problems these last couple of weeks. Her character, health and eating patterns are fine. Her poop regularity and make-up seems fine. She has definitely has not lost any weight and has seemed to gain a little weight just from the free-ranging. Because there have been no physiological issues other than an asymptomatic rumen, a friend suggested that I just watch and see.
    Well, last night I noticed something new. It *seems* like her blood vessels on the underside of her belly/chest area are swollen and snaking along her belly. Again, no off-character symptoms otherwise.
    I am disturbed by this. I am worried that the symptoms will escalate toward death and am hoping to figure out what is going on before she becomes sickly. I am thinking that these symptoms are relational (a swollen rumen is affecting the blood supply for her stomach area because of the extra size and weight, like pregnancy did for my own veins when I had children). Is there tortion in her intestines? Cancer? Parasites? Inbalance in her rumen? Nutritional deficiency?

    Most importantly, has anyone seen anything like this before? Any suggestions?

    Thank you for your time in reading this. I know it was long, but I try to supply as much information as I can to help resolve this.
     
  2. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Have you tried giving baking soda and probiotic paste?....I recommend... taking her to the vet .....sounds very unusual..... and she may still have the pits in there... :( :hug:
     

  3. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    To me, It sounds like her udder became tight and the veins swelled up with milk? There are two veins on the underside of her belly. Was her udder tight when you went to check her? Other than that I can't think of anything. If she is acting fine then i'd just keep an eye on her and watch for any unusual signs.
     
  4. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    the pits are poisonous -- she might be having a reaction to the poison -- I would give her activated charcoal to help absorb the toxins from the pits.

    Seems odd that it would be lasting 2 weeks but every goat is different. Still not a bad idea to contact a vet to see if they have other suggestions. I think though that something relating to toxicity is developing
     
  5. wildlifejo

    wildlifejo New Member

    2
    Aug 15, 2010
    Thank you for all your advice!

    It does seem like something is building up, and that it must be in the early stages.

    Stacey Roop, will activated charcoal create any other issues if I use it? Are there any risks involved if there are not pits in there? (I'm assuming not, but just have to double check rather than make the wrong assumption).

    KW Farms, doe the veins run up to her ribcage? Are they very snake-like? These are very, very large and her udder was not full.

    It does seem so very strange. Every symptom I read about includes much more severe symptoms, behaviors and near-death experiences. Bloat doesn't last that long without other trouble brewing, right? Everything else about her seeming fine stumps me.

    We do not have vets nearby who deal with goats. I am hoping that she will be alright.

    I'll let you know what is going on as things progress!
     
  6. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    No... it is better ....to be safe than sorry.... :hug:

    I wish you did....but... sometimes.... we have to do what we can for them.....in other ways.... Praying that it all works out... :hug: :pray:
     
  7. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    No, they shouldn't go up her ribcage and be abnormally large. I agree with the others. Hopefully this is something that will take care of itself. Just watch her and if she doesn't seem like she's in pain then I am hoping she will be alright.
     
  8. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    activated charcoal will not hurt her even if its not poison related.
     
  9. cmjust0

    cmjust0 New Member

    237
    Oct 8, 2009
    Sounds like normal 'milk veins' to me.. Our best producer has milk veins as big around as my index finger, and I have to *squeeze* my hands into men's XL gloves.. They're huge veins. And, yeah, they do kinda 'snake' their way along the belly.

    As for the apricots/pits...the danger of pitted fruit is generally a 'cyanide' risk. If they eat wilted leaves of pitted fruit trees, they can die within hours. It's not a 'bellyache' type of sickness either...it's related to blood oxygen levels.

    So...you say you think she may have "gained weight" recently.. Not saying this is the case here, but in my experience, there are lots of folks out there who mistake a full rumen for a goat being "fat".. The reality is that super skinny goats can have "fat" rumens, too.. Check her 'armpit' area (along her ribs, behind her front knee), as well as her tailhead for spongy fat...does she have any? Did she have any before? Does she have any fat at all covering her ribs?

    I ask because one of our does lost quit a bit of condition after she began lactation, and only then did we really begin to notice her milk veins..

    If you're concerned that she may still have an apricot pit hiding in there somewhere, consider either an x-ray or ultrasound..