WARNING TO FELLOW GOAT OWNERS!!! Plants cause CYINIDE POISIONING!!!!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Coco, May 4, 2008.

  1. Coco

    Coco Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2008
    I just wanted to share what happened to my Pgymy goat a few days ago, as a warning and to maybe help someone out there not let it happen to them.

    We were told when we were given our 2 goats, that goats can and will happily eat about anything....weeds, twigs, leaves, grass, hay...you name it. So we decided to take them on to 1. help with yard waste and 2. to help with the weeds in the pasture that the horses dont eat.

    This past week or so, we had been giving them their normal amt of daily grain, hay and water. On top of that, as a special treat...we had been giving them a bucket to share of freshly pulled grass and weeds...they LOVED this, the little girl who helps me care for them calls it "Goat salad." Anway, a few days ago I came to the barn in the morning to find one of the goats, lying on the ground, convulsing...foaming at the mouth...her head twisted upward at a funny angle and screaming out in pain. I instantly called the vet but he was going to be able to come out for a couple hours, so that was out of the question. We rushed her in the car to the nearest "big animal" vet clinic a couple towns away....they deflated the air that was bloating her stomach, put IV's in and started on blood work. It came back that she had Cyinide posioning!!! And the vet said it's found in some plants especially this time of the year since it's spring and everything's growing so quickly. It was most likely in the grass/weeds we had been feeding them and the vet said it was a freak occurance. Turns out, we think the culprit was Johnson grass....it has levels of Cyinide naturally in it and the poision increasing in toxicity if there's a freeze, etc...which there had been 2 nights in a row and then we had fed them this plant. So PLEASE be aware and be careful what you feed your goats. We came to find out this Johnson grass is throughout our 2nd pasture and is very tall right now, which makes it more toxic too. So that will need to be cut down.

    An update on our goat. Luckily her life was saved, however as of right now, she's lost a TON of weight and had to stay at the vet's office on IV's, etc for 3 days. She's home now but has unfortunately lost her sight as a result of what happened. The vet is hopeful she will regain her sight and not be permentally blind, but we just cant be sure. She was once the dominant goat of the two, now her sister is. It's so sad to watch and I feel so responsible although I know it was a complete lack of knowledge and an accident. I just wanted to let other goat owners out there know what can happen and be careful what your goats are eating!!!
     
  2. Chatychick

    Chatychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    I would give her shots of Fortified B vitamins as this almost sounds like she had polio which will make them go blind or with teh posioning it has caused some swelling in her brain. The Fort.B vitmin will help and it wont hurt her if she dont need it. Yep Johnson grass isnt good for goats and they love it. Spring is hard on goats and all others too. Also any bulb type of plants are toxic also like onion grass and others. Hope she gets better soon.
     
  3. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    I am so sorry for what your goat went through. I'm glad you realize it was a mistake and not your fault... there are so many weeds out there and most of us have no idea what they all look like.

    Thanks for this great warning for all of us.

    I'm glad your girl is doing better... we'll pray that she regains her sight and weight.
     
  4. Bamaman

    Bamaman Out Of The Brooder

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    We have baled hay that had Johnson grass in it, and haven't had any problems. But only small amounts were in the bales. Black Cherry trees are also very poisionous to livestock, espesially the leaves that have wilted, as they have a high concentration of cyinide once they wilt.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Johnsongrass is fairly safe when dried as hay, and even when standing as healthy mature plants. However, young growth (in spring, after fertilizing, or when a droughty period ends), or plants stressed by frost, drought or trampling, are a classic cause of cyanide poisoning in cattle and other livestock.

    This is also true of sorghum and sudangrass.

    (Nitrate poisoning can also be an issue in all of the above when plants are in active strong growth, btw).

    Cherries' cyanide hazard is mainly if they're if wilted (e.g. from cut or fallen branches) or frosted. ALL cherries, including chokecherries etc, are a risk, not just black cherry, btw. Cherry trees/bushes shoud be cleared from pastures and fencelines.

    The above are hazardous for pretty much all kinds of livestock. It is awfully sad to learn this the hard way, so everyone else reading this needs to be aware of the scope of the problem.

    So sorry about your goat, Coco,

    Pat
     
  6. Coco

    Coco Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2008
    I'm glad others are so quick to read about this situation and also have some knowledge on the subject. I wish I had known sooner so this didnt happen.

    Mitzy....I just went to check on the goat a little while ago, to see how she was getting along today. Unfortunately we had to remove her sister from their pen...she's been very aggressive since she's returned and butting her constantly in the side, etc. Our poor little sick goat cant even move around without her sister constantly taking aim on her. So off to the barn she went, to give our sick goat a little peace and quiet to hopefully be able to better relax and heal. I noticed she had her tongue out the corner of her mouth and keeps "chewing" it as if there's something stuck in her mouth...but I dont think there is. She'll stop for awhile but then start again....it seems uncontrollable. Do you think this is something to be concerned with?? something assocaited with the impact the posion had on her brain? I didnt notice her doing this yesterday at all when she came home from the vet's office. It's a Sunday, otherwise I would have called the vet already. I sure hope it's nothing too serious and not a reversal of her going back into the state she was in before. The vet had said something about us giving her shots for a few days after she returned home, but the next day he said they wouldnt be necessary as he had previously thought. What do you think?? Not meaning to be a big worry wart, but I'm just concerned about her well being.

    Also, does anyone know if Johnson Grass has the same impact on horses?? We just want to make sure everyone's safe there.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Also, does anyone know if Johnson Grass has the same impact on horses?? We just want to make sure everyone's safe there.

    Yes, it can. They are less susceptible because their digestion is different from ruminants' digestion, but sometimes horses do get poisoned by growing, or stressed, johnsongrass/sudan/sorghum.

    Best of luck, and fingers crossed for your goat,

    Pat​
     
  8. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Oh my word!!! I am so, so sorry. [​IMG] Thank you sooooooo much for posting this. We are looking up Johnson grass right now to see what it looks like.

    Thanks again for the info. and I hope your little goat recovers soon. [​IMG]
     
  9. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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  10. goatkeepers

    goatkeepers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for posting all this info and for rushing your goat to the vet ASAP!! [​IMG] You saved her life! Get some activated charcoal, you can order it from jeffer's pet. It helps in case of poisoning.
     

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