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Off Feed


This is a brief outline of some of the things that I have gathered together that can cause an animal to go off feed. It's not meant to be an exhaustive list. Just some ideas to explore.

MOUTH

Stomatitis
Dental/peridontal problems (check molars)
Cleft palette
Salivary gland abscesses
Pharyngitis
(Whenever an animal is off feed, it is very important to do whatever it takes to get a good look inside the mouth [teeth, tongue {top and bottom}, gums, cheeks, lips]. This is generally a job for two people.)

DIGESTION

Simple indigestion
Moldy or bad food leading to indigestion
Vagus indigestion
Grain overload
Bloat
Acidosis
Gastritis
Obstruction
Abomasum, displacement
Abomasum, distention
Abomasum, torsion
Abomasum, Impaction
Abomasum, Ulcer
Telescoping of intestine
Loop in intestine
Peritonitis
Moldy lupine
(Except for major surgery, there's not much you can do for some of these.)

PARASITES

Coccidiosis
Nematodirus
Stomach worms
Strongyloides
Stomach flukes
Cestodes
Tick infections
(Most worm infestations seem to happen in herds that have been wormed, but not properly. Rotate wormers to avoid resistance to products. Also, the worm medicine can depress rumen flora and it's a good idea to give probiotics after worming.)

INFECTIONS

Emphysema
Chlamydia/transmissible serositis
Vulva/vaginitis
Tuberculosis
Trichinosis
Salmonellosis
Toxoplasmosis
Foot rot
Clostridium perfringens B and C
Clostridium septicum
Clostridium haemolyticum
Actinomycosis
Anaplasmosis
CAE (Canine arthritis and encephalitis)
Babesiosis
Pneumonia
Cryptococcosis
Leptospirosis
Listeriosis (Most of these diseases require antibiotic treatment, which in turn can depress the activity of rumen flora. It's a good idea to add Probiotics to the treatment regime.)

IMBALANCES AND DEFICIENCIES

Ketosis
Calcium/phosphorus imbalance
Anemia (iron)
Vit B1 deficiency (polioencephalomyelitis)
Salt deficiency
Zinc deficiency
Protein deficiency
Cobalt deficiency
Phosphorus deficiency

POISONS

Bracken fern
Copper
Chlorinated hydrocarbons
2 4-D
Mycotoxicosis
Tall fescue poisoning
Oak leaf poisoning
Tannic acid poisoning
Petroleum products
Rodenticides
Selenium poisoning
Senecio poisoning

PREGNANCY AND DELIVERY, ETC

Pregnancy toxemia (delivery may resolve)
Full of large babies (feed small amounts more frequently)
Milk fever
Uterine infection (a very common cause of anorexia)
Retained afterbirth
Mastitis (easy to overlook)

MISCELLANEOUS

Urinary calculi
Heart problems
Hardware disease

TREATMENTS FOR ANOREXIA

Green roughage, cud material from "donor", molasses on feed and in warm water, Nutri-Drench(R), Glucose, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B Complex, Probiotics, put in with a good eater, uterine wash if infected, mild exercise.

Very frequently a lack of appetite is due to or accompanied by acidosis, an acidic condition of the digestive system. This can be corrected with baking soda (2 tsp) disolved in water (2 oz) and then given orally as a drench. An excellent product on the market is Dairy Buffer Gel by Vets Plus, Inc. It contains Sodium Bicarbonate plus a number of other ingredients helpful for animals which are under stress, recently freshened, bloated, etc. Dosage for an adult goat would be about 30cc and can be repeated in about 24 hours. It's a good idea to keep this on hand at all times.

If an antibiotic is used, consider the use of LA200 because it sometimes help stimulate the appetite

If the animal is chewing it's cud, that is a sign of a good prognosis.
The sooner you start trying to turn things around, the better the chance of success.

(There may be some spelling errors in the above.)


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