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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

please keep your finger's crossed for our wether Olliver.

I had to drive him to our clinic yesterday with UC. First it didn't seem too bad, because he was still able to pass urine, although only a small trickle but that almost constantly.

Yesterday evening they called. They removed the proceccus and the stones and then slipped an endoscopic sonde up his penis into the bladder. That was when it was discovered that he had a tear in the bladder wall (if I can remember correctly about 5 cm long). They opened him up and repaired the tear.

He's now on heavy antibiotic and cortisone regiment, given painkillers and has a catheter placed to give his urethra time to heal. He will be on constant monitoring with daily bloodwork (the vet responsible is also doing a study on endoscopic treatment of UC so he's right now kind of VIP patient).

Apparently he had lots of small and little stones in his urethra that where ablet to slip back and forth so that he never had apparent problems with urinating. Unless at last a big stone lodged itself and blocked the urethra.

This happened so fast. On Thursday morning he was fine, begging for treats, fighting with his herd mates, eating. Thursday evening I thought he seemed a bit off but couldn't place it and Friday morning he seperated himself from the herd and didn't want to move much with obvious inability to make a normal stream. He was at the clinic around noon, blood result still only slightly elevated.

They will call me if he's getting worse. Right now they're calling his prognosis doubtfull, they have to see if the suture in the bladder wall will hold and if he develops an infection.

Has anybody had this done to one of your goats? What was the outcome? If they lived would you do it again, meaning did they have quality of life after recovery?
 

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I hope all is well with Oliver today.

The only experience I have with stones is a yorkie.
She had surgery to remove the large stone.
The bladder was super glued together. And healed
just fine.
Unfortunately she continue to get stones that moved
into her kidneys. And even with diets I could not save her.
She may have been a livershunt pup. I never had her necropsied. Her stones were protein based.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello,

no call from the clinic until this morning. This means, he's doing well. We agreed that I can visit him on Tuesday and unless there would be a major decline they wouldn't contact me over the weekend (limited staff).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I visited Oliver today.

He's doing fine, all things considered. Lost some weight, no surprise here after a 3 hour surgery.

Is eating well, chewing cud, charming the vets and staff. His bloodwork is almost back to normal, pain scoring quiet low, no fever yet. The urine that ran into his abdomen before and during surgery through the tear in the bladder is being absorbed and no new fluid is leaking out of the repaired tear.

He's still wearing his catheter, today they tested if his urethra is free and it is. Although he still passes blood with his urine.

They showed my the stones the pulled out of his penis - my poor boy! They were stacked up almost 1 inch back into the urethra and the processus was also full.

Luckily the vet in charge agreed to have the stones analyzed. I want to know what's causing this (third wether with stones) as I keep the normal risk factors as low as possible: no concentrated food, Ca:p ratio 2:1 (as fas as I can tell from the mineral food and the hay), late castration, enough water, exercise, goats not overweight. Right now I can only think of something in the plants/soil of the fields we clear every summer. The plant live is somewhat monotonous in the last two years, mostly blackthorne (which strangles many plants by taking up space and light).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well,

I've already spoken with the vet on how to proceed as soon as we can take him home. She advises to keep him seperated for 2-3 more weeks with only one goat as companion to give the scar tissue time to harden up.

While this study is going on (till December 2012) I will bring two or three of the oldest wethers for her to check, too, because although they don't show signs of UC this sudden onset has scared me. And the vet is desperate to get candidates for her study.

I'll also see that I get a copy of the study once it's published.
 

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So sorry to hear about all this trauma you and your goat have had to endure. I'm glad that he appears to be recovering! Thank you for sharing your experience so that we can all learn what may be the cause, and how well the treatments can alleviate problems that may occour.
I'm sure part of Olliver recovering is that you care so much and are doing right by him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks for the good wishes.

Oliver is going to get better daily. The tested him yesterday for blood results after having the catheter closed for 8 hours and it was a good chance that they would pull the catheter in the evening, I'll hear this morning.

The result on his stones came back: 90% calcit stones - meaning calcium carbonate - and 10% calcium phosphate stones which would indicate a bladder infection as a second cause.

As the most common cause for calcit stones is feeding an unbalanced diet of clover or alfalfa and I definitely don't feed that nor do they get these plants while they browse I really have to look into imbalances from the brush clearing work. How I'll pull this off, I don't know. This year alone we've been to 8 different areas already, some we've never been in the past before.

I will go on and add more vitamin A and vitamin C (to acidify the urine) in the wethers' diet. The vet suggested dried cranberries for the vitamin C and I'll look into what it will cost me to feed that to 14/15 wethers while they are out clearing brush. Meaning either feeding individually or coming up with a weatherproof and mobile device for offering it free-choice. Been thinking about giving GSE and/or rose hip, too.

Should any of you have other ideas, please share!

From a medical point of view, he was apparently the first wether/buck in the study where the new method of endoscopic treatment was used successfully. He had the complication of the bladder tear but the basic treatment that they are testing was successfull. I learned yesterday that this not only includes the endoscopic surgery (less invasive) but also a procedure already in use in humans: they'll not only empty the bladder by laying a catheter, releasing the built-up urine but will additionally flush the bladder and suck out the urine (alternating between flushing and sucking) to stir up the remaining sediments and get more of it out than by only draining the urine.

The goal is to establish an even less invasive method to treat UC, using no longer a trokar to place the catheter but a small device (can't translate it properly) that will work by sliding through the bladder muscle and making an opening for the catheter by dilating it from the outside. Apparently this is used in humans with UC for some time now and the results are really good. In combination with flushing/sucking out the bladder they hope to get shorter healing time, less pain and less relapses from remaining sediments.

It would also be a procedure that any vet with endoscopic equipment could do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BTW - has anybody used/is using Acid Pack 4-Way 2x from Alltech. I've found this mentioned for preventing/treating UC a while back and just remembered it.

It's not available in Germany and before I go the length of getting it shipped from the US I would like to know more about it.
 

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there are other factors affecting the calcium-to-phosphous ratio in the goat's diet. If the minerals being fed have the proper calcium-to-phosphorus ratio and the goats are not being fed a diet heavy in grain concentrates, then the producer should have both water and hay tested for mineral content. Many types of hay (Bermuda is one example) are high in phosphorus. Hay fertilized with chicken litter will be even higher in phosphorus levels. Adding calcium carbonate (ground limestone) to goat minerals can help bring the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio back to the 2-1/2 to 1 range. However, it is essential to work with a goat nutritionist to find the right amount of calcium carbonate to add to the mineral mixture to get these ratios on target.
http://www.tennesseemeatgoats.com/articles2/urinarycalculi06.html

Acid packs and ammonium chloride were mentioned in her article.
Hope her article helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for the article. Won't have time today to read it but will look into it later.

I found a study on contents of leaves of several trees and brushes which told me that blackthorne leaves will have a calium content of about 10% and other brushes that my goats browse on have even more.

Been thinking of a way of how to determine how much phosphorus they get on a mostly leave based diet as I have so far found no data on the phosphoros content of leave (only of grass) so that I can try to determine the Ca:p ratio of my goats' daily diet. But I fear that they will have been on a calcium overdose for the last years - at least during the summer months.
 

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I spent some time actively looking for such information, since my guys eat lots of Box Elder, Weeping Willow and Chinese Elm leaves. I wasn't able to find anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
it's a very small study, done by a german institute.

When I find time, I'll translate the results (plant names) of the 30 trees/brushes that have been tested.

If you search after "fodder trees" you can find several studies done in india, pakistan, indonesia and other third world countries.
 

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You might also see if you can find a copy of:

Nutrient Requirements of Small Ruminants: Sheep, Goats, Cervids, and New World Camelids

I was able to find it at a library in the next county, it's a bit expensive to purchase. But it did contain nutrient levels for many nutrients across a pretty broad spectrum of plants. Mostly the common feed species (grasses, grains, beets, etc.) but it did also include quite a few trees, shrubs, and other browse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I fear that the table of contents regarding minerals in your link is incomplete.

F.e. for oak it shows only the content of phosphorus.

In the study that I have, the other contents of oak leaves are mentioned, except for phosphorus (the author told me in the meantime that there wasn't enough money granted to test for phosphorus, too).

Oak leaves contain calcium, magnesium, sodium, etc. as well.
 

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sanhestar said:
I fear that the table of contents regarding minerals in your link is incomplete.
That is correct. The tables include only those nutrients that had testing data available. These nutrition books are essentially compendiums of data available at the time of publication. As such, it includes those nutrients for which there was already published results. If a nutrient is blank or dashed, don't infer that it isn't present, simply that there wasn't data available to include. A data point of 0.00 would indicate that it was tested but not found in significant quantity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
as of today I will bring him home on Thursday morning. Need to contact the vet tomorrow for details but heard from a fellow goatkeeper who had her wether at the clinic during the weekend that he's doing really well.

I couldn't to visit him because I was giving a packgoat seminar - UC's and the new study where a topic, as you can imagine.

This other wether was/is also a great example for the efforts they go to for goats with the new vets there.

He was mistreated by a local vet, who placed a fistula (remodelling the urethra to open under the anus) as second step of the treatment without considering placing a temporary catheter. The urethra of this wether is scarred and shrunken and the fistula infected. After an ultrasound of the bladder which showed sediment still present, they tried to widen the urethra, seeing if there's a chance to bring back some of the normal function but without result. They then cleaned out the fistula, applied an antibiotic treatment and gave the owner detailed instructions on how to care for the wether. He may live for up to 3 years.

Oh, Oliver is 6 years old.
 

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Thank you Sabine,

you are blessed to have Vets who see goats as worthwhile, I have one such clinic here in MI but dont know what I will find out in Wa.

I wish you and Oliver and sibs all of the best, he is just coming into his prime years.
 
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