Goat Poisoning Emergency

by Ivory Soap


In the three years that I’ve had the goats, I’ve never had to take them to a vet for shots or anything.  But, yesterday my husband texted me Sylvie foaming at the mouth and looks like hell.  I called my trusty goat advisor and she said it was likely bloat, which will kill a goat FAST.  So I raced home, borrowed baby gas drops from my neighbor with a newborn and dosed her good.

She was, indeed, foaming at the mouth and oddly covered in mud, but after I medicated her, I realized that she actually looked skinny, not bloated.  So, I called the vet.  No goats treated there.  Called another vet.  And another.  Finally, I found Dr. Pope at All Creatures Pet Hospital who knew how to treat a mini-goat.  Three hours later, the vet pronounced her fit to go back home.  Turns out, she’d poisoned herself, we think.

Remember last summer when we were taking all those yard pictures for our upcoming book, Little House in the Suburbs?  Well, my dear neighbor lent me some of his non-native potted plants to spruce up the yard.  Apparently, goats aren’t supposed to eat houseplants and don’t have the sense to avoid them.  So, when I let her nibble the front yard a couple of nights ago, she ate some dead poisonous plants.

She started yelling (usually the silent goat of the two) that night and following day started foaming.  Unfortunately, unlike a dog, goats don’t vomit.  And, it was too late for a charcoal treatment.  So, she was kind of on her own at that point.

Fortunately, she’s apparently passed the offending flora.

The vet gave her something for the throat irritation, tested her blood and tinkles (which she’d generously deposited on the tile for him) and declared her OK.

I figured she was okay when she’d try to sass a great dane on the other side of the glass door.  She was going to kick his butt.  Never mind he outweighed her by 100 pounds.  She was stomping and butting the door.  “I deal with Lily all day long, you think I can’t take you?”  She must have thought he was a horse.  I did.

Anyway, all is well and she’s back to eating hay and fighting with Lily.


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather @ Full Price? Never January 14, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Honestly, pygmy goats are my favorite animals… and yes they are beyond “eager” eaters. I can’t tell you how many holes I had in my clothing from the little guys in my past life working at a zoo.

I’m so happy to hear she’s okay!

Norah January 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Great post! Good advisory! I’d be soooo freaked if any of my goatlings started frothing – now I have a heads up to avoid the situation!

Elizabeth January 14, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Thank you for this! I just got my first 2 goats yesterday! Minitures! They are so cute! Thanks for sharing!

Sarah January 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Oh no! Glad she’s ok. I’m super paranoid about houseplants because we have a cat that will lick or eat just about any plant she comes into contact with. I found a list of all toxic and non-toxic plants for cats at the ASPCA. Maybe there is something like that for goats.

Javalady62 January 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Oh my goodness ! I am glad to hear she is okay. I wonder why some vets don’t handle/deal/care for goats ?? Especially pygmy ones ? For heavens sake, they are not elephants !!

HeidiAphrodite January 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Oh, poor little goatie! I’m glad all is well–what a scary situation.

Maggie January 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm

We had a Dr. Pope here in Memphis area who was the only one who took care of all types of animals. where are you located?

Maria in CT January 16, 2012 at 6:48 am

I’m glad the goat is fine, but that must have been scary. Good, informative post!

becca January 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm

i’m sorry sylvie had a tough time of it. i was worried until i heard about her getting ready to throw down with the horse-sized dog. i always know my girlies are feeling better when they have the energy to bicker & argue.

Elise January 20, 2012 at 9:13 am

Oh no! Poor thing! Glad she’s okay.
Silly caprines don’t have the sense to think before they eat! 😛

No Buckwheat 2012 August 6, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Uh, yeah…goats DO vomit! Unless you call violently expelling stomach contents through their mouths something else.

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