Goats are robust animals and can tolerate heat to a good extend but need to cool down in extreme heat. Drinking cool water and staying in shaded area are bvious measures to combat the heat distress in goats.
Do goat pants?
Goat can pants like a dog to dissipate heat. They gets faster relief from the heat by panting & breathing rapidly. But continuous panting accompanied with weakness, rapid breathing & inability to walk needs to be addressed immediately as these are the signs of heat stroke in goats.
Panting comes as natural phenomena in some animals like dogs and it helps them to relieve the body temperature using evaporative heat control technique.
Often, goats can be seen panting with mouth open.
Why do goat pants?
Goat pants to cool down body heat in a hot climate. They evaporate body heat using panting, sweating and through their horns but are know to cool down eight times faster from panting than sweating. So, panting is a primary form of cooling in goats.
Heat Tolerance in Goats
Goats are robust mammals that can tolerate heat to a great extend but extreme heat can be discomfortable and stressfull.
They are good at tolerating heat than the sheeps except Angora goats. Angora goats are sensitive to heat than the sheeps and all other goat breeds.
Fat goats with dark-color are more prone to heat stress while the lean goats with floppy ears, loose skin and light-color tolerate heat better.
Things get worse when environmental heat accompanied by high humidity. Goat of one of my friend from Maryland, experienced heat stress and was breathing heavily and panitng.
In such cases, it is wise to consider the heat index rather than just relying on temperature of goat. Heat index is what the temperature feels like when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature.
Commons signs of heat stress in goats
- Rapid breathing
- Continual panting
- Inability to get up
- Anxious behaviour
- Elevated rectal temperature (more than 105ºF)
Any goat with these signs needs to be treated immediately to combat the heat stress. Start by moving goats under the shade and offering cool water to drink.
Provide support and try to calm down the anxious goat. You can apply cold water or ice to goat’s woolless area to reduce the body temperature.
While applying ice or cold water to goat, intorduce it in small quantity to avoid sudden shock of cold.
Once you practise all these mesure, expect your goat to improve symptomatically. If you believe the goat is still in heat stress, consult the vet.
How Do I Know What’s Normal Temperature for My Goat?
Generally, 102ºF to 103ºF is considered as normal temperature for goats.
But each goat has unique ability to withstand a certain amount of heat. As a parent, you should know whats a normal range of temperature for your goat.
To understand what’s normal for your individual goats, you should check their temperature when they are healthy.
Check and record the temperature several times a day. You should record the temperature on hot, cold and normal temperature days so that you can get an baseline temperature of each goat.
Keep this record secure and compare it with the temperature you take when you feel your goat is under heat stress.
Why is My Goat Panting Heavily? Goat under heat stress can pant heavily until the body temperature normalize. If goat continuoulsy panting heavily inspite of keeping in cool area, visit nearest vet to rule out any respiratory disease.
Goats primarily dissipate heat by panting rather than sweating so when they are in extreme heat they start panting.
Is panting a sign of labor in goats? Panting is not a primary sign of labor in goats. The primary signs of labor in goats includes restlessness, pawing the bedding, looking back at her sides, nesting and flabby vulva with white discharge are