Bottle Jaw in Goats: Treat the Cause, Not the Symptom


Many goat owners are well aware of the dangers that internal parasites can cause for their herd.  The most common internal parasite is the barber pole worm. These worms will chew on the digestive tract linings and create bleeding. The worms then consume the blood that spills out from the wound. In small numbers, these worms aren't really harmful to the goat. In large numbers, they can consume so much blood that the goat's body cannot keep up, causing anemia.

If left untreated, anemia can become severe.  Severe cases of anemia are often accompanied by bottle jaw.

What is Bottle Jaw?

Bottle jaw is a term used to describe an area of edema under the chin of a goat. Edema is intra-cellular fluid, or simply swelling. It's not infection and would run clear if drained. Bottle jaw is not a condition, but a symptom of an underlying problem.

You may notice that a goat with bottle jaw tends to worsen throughout the day. The swelling will decrease overnight and may seem to have disappeared from the day before. As the day goes on, the swelling will return.

Bottle jaw appears in severely anemic goats. If your goat has bottle jaw then it needs treatment as soon as possible.

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