Copper Poisoning
Yes, it is true, however extremely rare, that goats can get copper poisoning.  

A couple years ago my son bought a beautiful young boer doe.  She was in excellent condition, she had a great personality, and was very healthy.  She
lived here in quarantine for three weeks then suddenly became very sick.  She died within 24 hours.  My vet had been by several times and was baffled.  
He said it looked like copper poisoning, because he'd seen it in sheep.  However, he had never seen it in goats.  After she passed on, he took some
samples for a necropsy.  When the results came back there was every indication that it had, in fact, been copper poisoning.

My vet explained to me that when a goat gets a toxic level of copper in their system the liver can do very well at keeping it from poisoning the goat.  It
can hang onto very high levels of copper for a long period of time - in some cases even up to a year.  The liver eventually fails and the goat's system is
flooded with the poison and it will die within a day.  This was the case with my son's goat, it was something the goat ingested prior to coming to our farm.

Goats tend to be copper deficient far more often than toxic (I have had significant issues with both), but  copper exposure should be watched.  If you
suspect that your goat has been exposed to high levels of copper, contact your veterinarian.  There is medication that may help prevent chronic copper
poisoning if administered early.

Some common causes of copper poisoning:
-Long term use or gorging on feed not intended for goats
-Long term use or accidental ingestion of mineral supplements not intended for goats
-Grazing in areas that previously housed large numbers of poultry or hogs (in which the soil would have been completely saturated with their poo over a
long period of time)
-Grazing in areas that were previously fertilized with large amounts of poultry or hog manure
-Mineral imbalance in the goat's diet

For more information read the following article from Merck's Veterinarian Manual:
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/210700.htm
 
I am not a vet.  I am only a goat farmer sharing my experiences and the things that I have learned along the way.  NEVER believe or use
anything you find on the Internet without first speaking with a LOCAL professional that you trust.
 
 
 
Hastings, Michigan
Call:  (269) 945-6247
email:
 sleepyzgoats@gmail.com