Melissa J. Nixon, DVM
We often have goats in our evacuation units. They may be pets, animals used to clear brush, show animals, dairy does, breeding bucks, or wethers being raised for meat. Some will be 4-H or FFA project animals.
Dairy goat chow should only be fed to lactating dairy does. It can cause urinary blockages in male goats, especially wethers (castrated males).
Goats are intelligent, curious, and sometimes mischievous.
They will try to climb fences.
They should not be tethered.
They may have horns and if so - they know how to use them! They also may get horns caught in fencing.
Goats respond best to calm people.
Goats are very susceptible to stress.
When stressed or facing diet changes, goats are prone to an overgrowth of bacteria in their rumen. These bacteria can release a toxin that makes the goat very ill. While most goats are vaccinated against this toxin, not all are current on their vaccines (and no vaccine works 100% of the time).
Like all ruminants, goats are susceptible to bloat, especially when fed grain or alfalfa.
Goats often follow an older female member of their herd.
Goats are a prey species and thus have a flight response to dogs or other threats.
Lactating goats will need to be milked by the treatment team while in evacuation.
Male goats are very susceptible to urinary blockages. A goat that is straining and unable to urinate needs immediate medical attention.