Urinary Calculi Research Study

NAPgA has partnered with a Co-Investigator, Meera Heller, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Associate Professor of Clinical Livestock Medicine at the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California Davis to analyze data and prepare a research report for peer review.  In addition, Committee member, Margaret (“Maggie”) Highland, DVM, PhD, DACVP, Assistant Professor, Veterinary Anatomic Pathologist, Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State Diagnostic Laboratory, will use data and urinary tracts from goats that happen to die during this study to research the effects of age and method of castration on urethral diameter in wethered goats. While doctors are helping to increase the survival rate, they still don’t understand the cause or the triggers that release these stones.

A long-term epidemiological study is being developed for farms, and the individual goats on those farms, to find a common thread to the causes of urinary calculi.  We will enlist NAPgA members who are willing to be part of this long-term study.

The intention of this study will be to collect and compile specific data in a manner that it can be presented for peer review in a publication.  It is hoped that the information found can be used as a springboard for further intervention and study.

This specific study will follow both farms and the individual wethers of these farms in their basic care and management.  The data will be compiled and processed to find any commonalities to the formation of stones or triggers that release them.  Some of the data that will be collected at beginning of study: age of goat, parentage, feed type, body score, housing type, age of castration and procedure used, type of health maintenance, vaccines, parasites, mineral use, exercise level, and travel.  An initial water analysis and fecal test will be performed.  Blood and urine analysis will be performed initially and annually.  In the event of a blockage, recorded information of results will be requested, including the type of stone.  If death occurs, a necropsy will also be requested and studied. Data will be collected twice a year in a questionnaire format.

Owners will follow procedures and protocols to provide the most accurate information available.  Procedures and protocols will be developed by the University.

This study will be conducted in as many states as the NAPgA membership can reach.  This will also include incorporating multiple teaching hospitals and veterinarians to assist.  It is a study that NAPgA finds vital for our wethered goats.  When the study parameters and protocols are in place, we will enlist help from NAPgA members who are willing to participate in this long-term study.

NAPgA has dedicated a sum of money from the Carolyn Eddy Research Fund to begin this study and to help offset owners’ expenses which are not normally incurred.  Your NAPgA Board spent a great deal of time considering how best to use this special fund which was designated specifically for packgoat related research.

This is a large study that we will follow for a number of years.  The ongoing need for funds will have us seeking support from outside sources, grants and individuals like you.  NAPgA is a 501(3)(c) organization.  Donations are tax deductible.

If you would like to donate to the study you can do so here: https://www.napga.org/carolyn-eddy-memorial-fund-for-research/

Be sure to mention your donation is designated for the UC Research Study.

For more details and an estimated budget breakdown, please read:
Citizen Science Epidemiological Research Study of Urinary Calculi in Wethered Goats

Also see: 

Stone Cold Killers
The Devastating Effects of Urinary Calculi in Goats

by Andrea Prise, Colorado State University