Urolithiasis is the formation of stones (or calculi) within the urinary system. Such ‘stones’ may result in urethral or ureteral obstruction. Most uroliths found in goats are composed of magnesium ammonium phospate or calcium magnesium phosphate and, while the chemistry of urolith formation is not fully understood, high concentrate diets, inadequate water intake and alkaline urine are all thought to be conducive to their development. Urolithiasis is normally only a problem in castrate males and Angora goats appear to be particularly susceptible.
It has been reported (Bell, 1959) that goats are sensitive to ‘sweet’ and ‘sour’ tastes and that their consumption of flavoured water is higher than that of plain water. This trial investigated the effects of water additives on water consumption, and on urine production and composition, to determine whether such additives might offer a means of reducing some of the factors predisposing towards urolithiasis.