Attention! This is a potentially life-threatening condition for your goat. Time is of the essence, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Rumen acidosis is a gastrointestinal condition which occurs in ruminants due to a lowered rumen pH. Goats on forage-based diets have a normal rumen pH between 6-7. When it drops below 6, which is often the case when on grain-based, low-forage diets, it helps support the growth of lactic acid-producing bacteria leading to acidosis. The microbial population within the goat's rumen is unable to metabolize high levels of lactic acid produced during starch breakdown.
The severity of the condition and resulting clinical signs vary depending on the extent of the decrease in pH. A pH of less than 5.6 is associated with subacute, mild to moderate acidosis; where a pH of less than 5.2 is associated with an acute onset of severe acidosis. Severe cases of acidosis is often associated with or leads to the development of laminitis, polioencephalomalacia, and liver abscesses.