Enterotoxemia is also known as ‘overeating disease’. Deadly organisms found in the environment, and ultimately in the digestive tract, are often associated with changes in feed, the quantity of feed as well as accessibility to new green areas for grazing. If goats are allowed to get overly hungry they may overeat in a new area. The symptoms you will notice are depression, lack of coordination, scours, and listlessness. In the case of enterotoxemia, sudden death is common.
If you think your goat is suffering from enterotoxemia, quickly administer large doses (40cc or more) of C&D antitoxin at the onset of symptoms. If the goat improves, even briefly, you can assume that enterotoxemia is the correct diagnosis and repeated doses of the antitoxin every 4-8 hours may save the goat’s life. Also, a charcoal antidote product administered in large doses may be helpful. In the case of a toxic substance, using a product such as Maalox to coat the stomach may also be helpful.
As far as prevention is concerned, follow a regular vaccination program. Kids get their first vaccination at 2 months, a booster 3 weeks later and then once a year. In addition, sensible feeding practices are also essential. Avoid over feeding of both kids and adults. Make gradual changes in feed if necessary and gradually introduce new green areas. Do not allow kids or adults to get overly hungry. Feed baby goats often, and adults at reasonable, regular intervals to prevent excessive hunger and overeating.