Noticed this morning that I have at least one goat in each pen that is leaving red urine stains in the snow. The others are all the normal color. It is not from being in heat because the one pen has only males in it.
Post by angelsprite on Dec 11, 2009 13:30:19 GMT -5
Tiger, I know there are some infections that could cause it, but in your goats' cases, I would figure it's probably urinary calculi. Since you have more than one goat in more than one pen doing it. Take their minerals away, give them salt and electrolytes, and keep their drinking water warm. If you do that, hopefully, they will be able to flush them out without any wose troubles. You might also contact your vet and ask him if he has something that will help them to break up any calculi.
Post by garysfarmer on Dec 11, 2009 15:29:42 GMT -5
Have you been giving them any kidney infection medicine? I know in humans the meds will cause one's urine to change colors. Would the cold weather cause the urine to change colors once it hits the snow if the urine is ladded with minerals? Is the dirt red under the snow? I have an aunt up there and they just had a whopper of a snow storm. Is there anyway you could check to see if it's blood? Once you id one that pees red you probably need to take his temp. Angel gave you some pretty good advice to follow. Keep us posted.
Post by angelsprite on Dec 12, 2009 4:19:21 GMT -5
Gary, You made a really good point in your e-mail. In cold weather, animals drink less, but they may pee more because they aren't losing fluids in their normal cooling process. As a result, any minerals can be concentrated in the urine and if the animals are loaded with them, that would likely contribute to urinary calculi, or kidney stones. It probably would make the urine darker, but if the urine is blood colored, it probably really is blood in the urine. Warming their water and replacing their minerals with salt is the best stop-gap measure, according to what I've read, if it really is urinary calculi. Funny about the red goats. LOL!
Post by angelsprite on Dec 13, 2009 15:47:24 GMT -5
Tiger, I hope it helps them. I know there must be meds for them, but I haven't had time to search around much. Just enough to see that bloody pee is a warning for urinary calculi. The vinegar trick Donnie mentioned might be something to try. Vinegar is acidid. If the goats are going a little basic in their urine, it would help calcium and other minerals to aggregate. Acid breaks apart calcium. If you put an egg in vinegar, after a day or two, the entire shell will be gone and only the membrane holding the egg contents will remain. Very interesting suggestion.
Its just my opinion but I don't think ACV will work to dissolve the stone if that's what it is. In order for this to work the ACV would have to be administered via the other end of the goat. The goats rumen is buffered to be at a specific acidity. Any thing else will cause death. Think abut why we give baking soda for acidosis. To reduce the acid in the goats rumen. ACV may entice the goat to drink the more flavorful water which in turn will dilute the urine. Ammonium Chloride has been said to help remove stones and keep them from forming but this is done by the blood. The AC enters the blood stream the same as other nutrients and is then filtered out by the kidneys. This is used more as a preventive than a cure although it has been reported to work in some causes.
Have you checked out the goats penis? Does he have an infection that may have caused a bleeding abscess? Does he have pizzle rot? There are other things that cause red urine other than these.
There are some plants that will cause red urine that does not even contain blood. Its just red colored. Check your hay to see if there were any growing when it was baled.
Red urine can also be caused by too much copper, a lack of copper, worms(liver flukes specifically), Leptospirosis, and a whole host of other things.
Post by angelsprite on Dec 14, 2009 2:34:09 GMT -5
Tiger, I found a couple of links that I thought might help you out. There seems to be a general consensus that a high grain diet and a basic (above pH 7) urine pH contribute to phosphate, carbonate, and struvite urinary calculi. Assuming that your goats don't have the silicate variety that is associated with acidic pH (below pH 7), which is more common in the Western part of the US, more sandy areas, then this information might possibly be of use to you. I can't put them in the thread. One of the links is so long, it would make the thread go wide and people couldn't read it. I will put them in a PM. The gist of it is that a basic ph of the urine and a formation of urinary calculi is actually caused by a diet high in grain and low in hay or roughage. The reason is that goats should have a 1:1 or 1:2 calcium to phosphorous ratio. But most grains have closer to a 1:4 calcium to phosphorous ratio. You can read the information and decide what you think is best to do. I'm not an authority on urinary calculi and as Crocee pointed out, there are other potential causes of blood in urine. The fact that you have several goats doing this in separate pens, showing no other symptoms of illness, and since it's really cold where you are, that makes me think it's probably calculi. You might try just cutting their grain in half and doubling the hay you are feeding, along with the warm water, and see if that helps. Alfalfa is also high in calcium, so that might help if you give them more of that. I hope you can get them back to 1 by just getting them back in metabolic balance. Good luck.
Post by Rose's Goats on Dec 14, 2009 9:56:29 GMT -5
DON"T WORRY ABOUT IT!! My goats pee red all the time and none of them have urinary calculi or any sort of health problems. Usually they pee red when they are in heat, but I have seen them pee red at other times as well. It's NORMAL!!!!!!!
Post by Rose's Goats on Dec 14, 2009 10:17:38 GMT -5
From Dr. Steven M. Parish, W.S.U.:
Independent of these causes of red urine, when animals urinate on snow, it often appears to have a red tint. However, this is a false impression due to the white background and light reflection. Also, on rare occasion, certain drugs or medicines can cause the urine to appear darker or red. Red urine during winter months can also be due to drinking cold water rapidly. The red blood cells may break, creating darker urine.
Post by angelsprite on Dec 14, 2009 14:58:58 GMT -5
Rose, Well, THAT is good to know! As long as her goats are doing good and her management practices seem to be working for them in the cold weather, then it's one less thing. ;D The warm water is good for them and a high hay diet, so she's probably doing the right things with that. We don't have snow down here. I bet I would have been freaking out and X-raying goats all over the place if we did.
Well I am happy to say that we have no more red urine in the snow problems
I'm thinking it was due to the drastic change in weather and frozen water buckets... since we started taking them out warm water a couple times a day it hasn't shown up again. None of them seem to have any problems urinating and all have good appetites and are chewing their cud.
Thanks to everyone for your replies to my post. Definitely a learning experience.
That's good news indeed. I think I am going to have to invest in a heated water bucket for my goats. The temps here are not climbing enough to thaw their water and I only have so many buckets I can use to change them out.
Usually if the buck/wether is peeing normally and not straining or acting in pain I don't normally suspect calculi. There is just too many things that can cause similar symptoms and usually they are self correcting without intervention.
Post by Rose's Goats on Dec 17, 2009 11:27:37 GMT -5
Heated water buckets are worth their weight in gold!! I wish I had outlets in the pasture so I could even use them outside. Right now I am relagated to only using them in the barn where the plugs are. I definitely recommend them! I also recommend a frost-free hydrant. I finally got mine fixed from last year's freezing problems (had to pony up the $ for a good one and not the cheapy one from Lowe's). Now it works great and I don't have to haul water at all. Whoohoo!