Necropsy Findings

“Oreo” Necropsy Findings
* Lots of abdominal fluid

* Rumen was absolutely FULL (impacted) with very dry feed material. Rumen papillae were bunted, which may be secondary to the impaction, but we also see this in animals that ingest “toxic” materials. (No evidence of this in Oreo)

* Bladder was completely distended & unable to be expressed (i.e he had a urinary blockage which we see commonly in male goats) This caused fluid backup into the kidneys leading to some kidney damage as well.


Oreo had evidence of both urinary blockage and an impacted rumen. We did not find any foreign objects that were obstructing passage of feed in the GI tract. We cannot conclude which one of these was primary & which one of these was secondary at this point (i.e. did he get the urinary blockage first which led him to feel bad, go off feed & become dehydrated leading to the impacted rumen OR did the rumen impaction happen first & then he acquired the urinary blockage secondary to too much grain since that’s all he was eating when he was sick? As stated, we cannot conclude based on necropsy findings. Oreo did not show signs of urinary blockage when we saw him last week, did he show any signs of straining at home? Also, unfortunately, we were unable to see the bladder on the x-rays we took because the rumen was so big it covered the whole abdomen.
Hope this provides some answers. Sorry again about Oreo & sorry we cannot offer more conclusive reasoning for what happened. Please do not hesitate to call with any questions.

Click here if you want to see the pictures of the procedure but enter at your own risk as they are graphic. (the pictures are displayed backwards, no patience to fix..sorry)

Some my think why share this?
The reason I share this is for educational purposes.

I am devastated by his loss and feel responsible. In hindsight I look back at what should of or could have been done.

Oreo had intermittent symptoms prior to getting really sick. He was having intermittent bloating and some times inactivity. I did not see as much, the couple times it happened I was working and John had told me about it.

I think the Sunday before he died was when we knew for sure something was wrong. I then consulted with Amy and she gave me advice and called my breeder whom told me to use probios with a couple other recommendations. Not having any probios on hand I used yogurt instead. We did that for a couple days and he only seemed to be getting worse. John called me at work on Tuesday of last week and said that he had taken a turn for the worst (in the necropsy report she wrote last week but he really had been seen 3 days prior to the day he died). While at worked I called around and spoke to a farm Vet and he was a bit of a pessimist and kinda scared me off but I do recall one thing he said “with a male goat you always have to rule out a stone” regardless of of me trying to convince him that he had a blockage of his GI track.
I called by breeder once again and she recommended a Vet that she has used for her goats. I called made him an appointment and begged John to bring him in. They x-ray’d him finding the rumen impacted and put in a g-tube and mineral oil and off they went. Again the next day I was working a 12 H shift. John diligently cared for him. That next morning I spoke with the vet and we scheduled the surgery for the next morning. The night before surgery I went out to check on him and he was unable to get up and was blatting. I got him up and started rubbing his belly and walking him and he seemed to improve. Regardless I called the vet as I could see his condition had deteriorated. His breathing was rapid for a few days and I mentioned it to everyone I spoke with. The vets thought it was from the pressure on the diaphragm which I am sure is accurate but he was heading into respiratory failure and died a couple hours after I dropped him off for surgery Friday, just before they were going to administer anesthesia is what I was told.

What should/could I have done differently?

Given him probios. I think it was good to start with the yogurt but I should have went to the feed store to pick that up right away.

I wished I was home on the days he was really sick, maybe I could/would have advocated more.
Maybe I would have more time to research, figure out what was going on.

He was straining but we thought it was to poop because after he did he always pooped a bit, I’m not sure if John mentioned it.

I should have listened to the key words that vet gave me over the phone, “with a male goat you always have to rule out a stone”. If it would have stuck in my mind I would have had that ruled out. Kind of like a person with chest pain in the ED, we always rule out that it is not their heart.

Trapper Creek had made a comment that if calves “are removed to soon from their mothers, the rumen never does have a chance to develop properly, the proper enzymes they need for rumination just aren’t present and they have a difficult time.” I wonder if that is true for goats because we bottle fed our babies because I thought it would be “a good experience” for Luke and Leah. John thought I was nuts but went along (it’s easier than resisting) but looking back he was right. God I hate it when I say that. 🙂 To do again I would have let them stay with their Momma until they were weaned.

Live and Learn, right! That is what it is all about. We are new to farming and we will make many mistakes as long as long as we can learn from them and admit to them I guess that is all right.

Thanks to all my fellow bloggers for all of your support. Thanks to Amy who contacted me right away after reading my comment asking for her advice. BIG thanks to my breeder Melonie who has been an awesome resource as she always has been. Thanks for all your concerned phone calls and e-mails and thanks for giving us a break on Smores (pictures to come). He really helped Annabelle, Luke, and I deal better with this sad event. Lastly, a thanks to My Maine Man for all the time and effort he applied to save that little buggers life despite his supposed dislike of goats. 🙂

RIP Oreo!