It was a wet Friday afternoon when I was called out to see Glenda the goat. Glenda’s owner had noted that over the previous few days Glenda had been out of sorts. She had been sitting down on her way up to the field, when ordinarily she would charge up the track. She had also started to go off her food and was struggling to go to the toilet. I examined Glenda and the main finding was a large lump in her abdomen which was very painful when I felt it. I treated Glenda with some pain relief and popped back to the surgery to pick up the ultrasound scanner then headed back to scan Glenda’s abdomen. The scan revealed a huge, fluid filled mass that was the size of a beach ball! I diagnosed Glenda with a condition called “Cloudburst” otherwise known as a false pregnancy. The “beach ball” was actually her uterus that was full of clear fluid.
This condition usually affects dairy goat breeds that have kidded several times. Glenda is unusual in that she is a pet goat that has never had a kid. Most goats that are affected by Cloudburst will also act as if pregnant, their udder usually enlarges and starts to produce milk but Glenda was not showing any of these symptoms either! Following the diagnosis, I treated Glenda with a hormone injection and continued with her pain relief to keep her comfortable. A week later, Glenda started to behave as if she was giving birth and then passed all of the fluid that had built up in her uterus. Glenda made a full recovery and is now happily trotting back up the track to her field again!