Thiamin (vitamin B1)
is widely available in the diet. Thiamin is involved in
carbohydrate, fat, amino acid, glucose, and alcohol
metabolism. Thiamin is essentially nontoxic
Thiamine deficiency happens when people eat mostly white
rice, and they get heart failure with swollen legs, cough,
difficulty breathing. People also get weakness and numbness
of feet a disease called polyneuropathy.
It is commonly due to a diet of highly refined
carbohydrates (eg, polished rice, white flour, white sugar)
in developing countries. It also develops when intake of
other nutrients is inadequate, as may occur in young adults
with severe anorexia; it often occurs with other B vitamin
Symptoms and Signs
Early symptoms are nonspecific: fatigue, irritability, poor
memory, sleep disturbances, precordial pain, anorexia, and
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is naturally produced in the rumen of
the goat, by the rumen microorganisms. Thiamine deficiency,
or Polioencephalomalacia, occurs when thiamine production is
decreased in the rumen. More frequently found in goats kept
under intensive management conditions, it results from
changes in microbes resulting from diets that are high in
energy without sufficient levels of fiber.
a properly functioning rumen do not require a dietary
Frequently seen in goats kept under more intensive
management conditions, it most often occurs in 2 to
3-year-olds. Because immature kids do not have a functioning
rumen, they are susceptible if they are not fed a thiamine
enriched product such as Purina Kid Milk Replacer. Other
possible causes include sudden feed changes, moldy hay,
dietary weaning stress, deworming with anthelmintics, eating
some types of ferns, and overdoses of some anticoccidial
First signs include
depression, anorexia and/or diarrhea which may appear
suddenly or over a period of several days. Other signs
include head elevation while standing, excitability,
drowsiness, circling, muscular tremors and apparent loss of
vision which causes goats to walk in circles. If symptoms
occur, contact your veterinarian immediately. Rigidity and
convulsions occur in later stages of the disease.
TREATMENT / PREVENTION
Adding thiamine to the diet is not
a treatment for this condition. Because thiamine is
destroyed in the rumen, it is not available to the goat.
Therefore, if your goat shows any signs of thiamine
deficiency, call your veterinarian immediately. Left
untreated, goats will die within 24-72 hours of disease
onset. Treatment may consist of thiamine therapy in
combination with a lower energy diet and more good quality
forage. Animals severely affected by the disease for more
than 24 hours usually don’t respond to treatment.
usual, the best cure for thiamine deficiency is prevention.
Always feed your goats sufficient fiber, proper fiber to
starch ratio -- especially with concentrated feeds intended
to stimulate rapid growth and increased production. Changes
in diet should be made slowly, usually over 7-10 days, to
give the rumen microbes time to adjust.