Treatment of goat bloat can be quite expensive, often demanding an exorbitant amount of money beyond the capabilities of small scale farmers. For this reason, goat breeders are actively seeking for affordable means of treatment. To worsen the pressure, goat bloat has to be treated timeously as the animals may die within hours, particularly in severe cases. Most farmers are therefore using baking soda for goat bloat treatment and the results have been outstanding. The most popular consensus is that baking soda keeps the goat’s digestive system functioning properly by balancing the acid in the rumen. This in turn translates to a stable digestive tract that encourages better digestion and a decreased chance of bloat.

Stomach Tubing

Baking soda, formally referred to as sodium bicarbonate is a common ingredient in households. It is highly famed for its antacid properties and is known to be a great alkalising agent. Baking soda is a single compound composed of only four elements: sodium, hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. Its antiseptic properties can be easily transferred to animals through various means. In fact, baking soda is already being used to aid and improve the digestive system in humans. When using baking soda for goat bloat treatment through stomach tubing, it is important to strictly adhere to recommended guidelines. A tube of approximately 6 to 10mm in diameter is needed. The tube must be long enough to reach from the mouth to the distended flank, with some room to spare. Make sure to measure the length between the mouth and the middle of the abdomen. Mark the maximum length in which the tube is to be inserted with a permanent marker.  The tube must be inserted gently until it reaches the stomach opening.  Manipulation and repositioning of the tube after it enters the rumen is sometimes required to deflate the gas pocket. If the health problem is caused by free gas bloat, antacid therapy should be provided. A baking soda solution must therefore be introduced to the system using the stomach tube. The recommended quantity is about 1 lb in cold water. The gas begins to exit the rumen after administering baking soda for goat bloat treatment. If this does not occur, the condition is due to frothy bloat hence the need to consult a veterinary medical professional. Take note that this is an emergency procedure that should be practised when all other treatment methods have been exhausted.

Baking Soda Liquid Treatment

Baking soda for goat bloat treatment can be administered as liquid treatment.  This basically involves mixing it with water to make a baking soda liquid solution that is administered orally to goats. It helps to neutralise the acidity which occurs when sugars in milk ferment rapidly. The result is an efficient digestive system, hence the control of bloat. Note that baking soda for goat bloat treatment is used when goats have free gas bloat, provided the animals are still standing. A tablespoon of baking soda is added to small amount of warm water. Take care not to use a glass bottle which can break while administering the solution thereby causing harm to the animal. In addition, it is recommendable to seek aid from another individual who can keep the goat’s mouth open during the treatment process. After treatment, the goat will begin to experience some relief. Massage the rumen area with firm long strokes from the abdomen towards the spine. Similar to administering baking soda for goat bloat treatment using stomach tubing, if relief does not occur then the goat suffers from frothy bloat. As such, a veterinary medical professional must be consulted.

Baking Soda Paste

This is also another means of administering baking soda for goat bloat treatment. The treatment method mainly consists of massaging animals after which the paste is provided. It basically involves massaging the upper left side of the stomach as if kneading bread and patting firmly as you would a baby. Afterwards, the goat must be allowed to exercise by walking. The goat is then massaged again to allow release of gas from the rumen. At this point, the goat should start to belch up gas. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a limited amount of water to form a paste-like solution. This is administered to goats so as to facilitate ease of digestion. An alternative is to massage the goat after administering the baking soda treatment. When using this method, about 2 tablespoons of magnesia milk is offered after treatment in order to achieve ideal pH levels. The administration of baking soda for goat relief is applicable even after performing other treatments which include the needle and piercing surgery. Note that for young goats, only a teaspoon of baking soda must be provided.

Baking Soda for Prevention of Goat Bloat

As popularly quoted, prevention is better than cure. Therefore, use of baking soda for goat bloat prevention is essential. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a digestive aid for goats. It acts as sort of a buffer in the rumen and helps to control acidity levels. Goat bloat is often caused by overfeeding supplementary feed such as grain and hay. When provided in excess, these have a negative impact on the digestive system of the animal. In order to prevent this, baking soda must be readily available to goats. It is advisable to provide it separate from daily feed. Some farmers prefer to mix it with feed; however, the downside is that it can affect mineral consumption as goats only feed on baking soda when necessary. A common practise is therefore to allow goats to self-dose.  Make sure to refresh and refill the container as the soda becomes old or dirty. In addition, ensure that the baking soda container is placed in an area where animals cannot contaminate it. Check the solution weekly for hygiene purposes.

Conclusion

As mentioned, baking powder contains essential minerals for the stability of pH levels in the rumen. The efficient use of baking soda for goat bloat treatment varies according to the type of bloat. As such, farmers must be able to distinguish between free gas and frothy bloat. Note that baking soda for goat bloat treatment is effective in controlling free gas bloat; it can only manage frothy bloat if levels are still low. Once developing into a stable form, it is best to consult a veterinary medical professional. In addition, there are many baking soda treatments for goat bloat; some are difficult and risky while others are easier so farmers must select an option that suits their skillset. Also, take caution not to overdose animals because excess baking soda causes urinary calculi.