Farm Animals

Fainting Goats

When I first saw these adorable fainting goats, I could not get enough! In general I just really love goats anyway; I really don’t k now what it is about them in particular, but I think they are just some of the cutest, funniest, and odd creatures on the planet. Don’t judge me! I have never seen an animal get startled and just fall over, totally ridiculous, absolutely hilarious, and completely awesome in perfect goat style.

Now before you go to your local petting zoo and try to scare the ba-geezus out of some goats, you should be aware that not all goats will react in this way.  These “fainting” goats are actually known as myotonic goats. This comes from a medical condition called myontia congenita or Thompson’s disease, which is a medical condition that is present at birth.

While it certainly appears that these goats are indeed fainting, they are not actually passing out.  They don’t lose consciousness at any time during the episode. When the goat gets startled its muscles tighten up and don’t immediately relax as they should.  This causes the goat’s body to go stiff, and for the poor little fella’ to well, fall off the ground.  You can think of it like a full body charlie horse, but don’t worry they don’t feel any pain!

Luckily, for our precious goat buddies, most will learn to adapt to this condition.  Some will learn to manage their symptoms and run away from danger with stiff legs, others will learn to adapt to their environment and scare less easily.  Younger goats (especially the babies) will be more prone to stumble and fall, but as they mature will get better at mitigating this reaction.

So, in addition to lol’ing at these odd little creatures maybe we can even learn a lesson; even if you have a medical condition that you feel is holding you back in some way, channel your inner myotonic goat and just “roll” with it.

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Wendy Aburto

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