Urinary Calculi, is a urinary-tract condition in goats and sheep, which prevents both urination and breeding in males. The twists and turns of the male urethra make passing solid particles difficult at best and impossible at worst. Urinary Calculi is a disease that can and does kill bucks and wethers quickly.
Why Does It Occur: Urinary Calculi is almost always the result of improper feeding by the producer. Proper calcium to phosphorus ratio in feed, hay and minerals is critical; this ratio should be 2 1/2 to 1. Although the disease is called Urinary Calculi, the real culprit is phosphorus -- specifically too much phosphorus in relation to the amount of calcium in the diet. Feeding too much concentrated feed and/or feeding concentrates with an improper calcium-to-phosphorus ratio is a major cause of Urinary Calculi. Overfeeding or improper feeding of concentrates causes solid particles to develop in the urine; these solid particles block the flow of urine out of the goat's body, causing great pain, discomfort and oftentimes death.
How to Prevent: diet is absolutely critical to help avoid Urinary Calculi. The wether & buck’s grain contains ammonium chloride which is the most important ingredient to ensure urinary tract health. It helps prevent and break up urine crystals. So make sure your male goats are getting a feed that has ammonium chloride in it. If not, buy the powdered ammonium chloride and add a pinch to each ration of grain each day. Do not give too much or damage will result. But this alone is no guarantee that Urinary Calculi will be avoided. Be very careful NOT to give more than 1 cup of grain per day to bucks/wethers. Do not feed Alfalfa to them either.
Symptoms- How Do I Know If It's Urinary Calculi? Symptoms of Urinary Calculi include tail twitching in males, restlessness, anxiety and a "hunched-up" body posture as the animal strains to urinate. Catch it early! If your buck or wether does not come to be fed as usual and if you see them straining to pee, it's likely Urinary Calculi. Treatment must begin immediately.
Treatment: With the assistance of my Vet I personally have developed a treatment that has worked both times this happened to a male goat at my farm.