You should always consult your vet. When you think you may have a problem. This information is only information that may help.
VITAMIN AND MINERAL DEFICIENCIES IN GOATS
Proper vitamin and mineral levels are essential to the good health of goats. Although no single mineral can be singled out as more important than others, copper, zinc, and selenium levels are especially critical. The interaction of minerals is astoundingly complex. The most difficult task in raising goats is getting nutrition right, and vitamins and minerals are key. Most producers are not knowledgeable enough to formulate their own feed ration with appropriate levels of minerals and vitamins included. Achieving this is a complex task that is best left to a trained goat nutritionist.
Selenium: Major portions of the United States have soils that are deficient in selenium. Selenium deficiency is widespread in most of the eastern coast of the U.S., into the Great Lakes area, and throughout the northwestern part of this country. Plants grown in these soils are selenium deficient and therefore cannot provide adequate selenium to the goats that eat them.
Selenium deficiency, like Vitamin E deficiency, can cause white muscle disease (nutritional muscular dystrophy), causing the goat to have difficulty controlling its muscles. Newborns with weak rear legs may be selenium-deficient. Kids may be too weak to nurse their dams. Pneumonia may result from weakness in muscles that control breathing.
Producers raising goats in areas having selenium-deficient soil must make sure that this mineral is added to feed. Many producers give BoSe injections to newborn kids, as well as to adult goats. BoSe is a vet prescription item. Contact the local county extension agent or your veterinarian for information on your particular area or google 'selenium levels United States' for data.
Zinc: Zinc is needed in the synthesis of proteins and DNA and in cell division. Excessive salivation, deformed hooves, stiff joints, chronic skin problems, abnormally small testicles, and reduced interest in mating are some of the signs.
Copper and Molybdenum: Unlike sheep, for whom copper is toxic, goats must have copper in their diet. Inadequate copper levels can cause loss of hair color, coarse hair that has hooked end tips, abortions, stillbirths, anemia, frequent bone fractures, poor appetite, weight loss, and decreased milk production.
Molybdenum and copper amounts must be balanced or health problems appear. More than 3 ppm of molybdenum binds up copper and creates a deficiency of copper in the goat.
It is also possible to cause copper toxicity in goats by feeding too much copper. Researchers and producer experiences seem to be proving that goats need more copper than originally believed. Make sure that the copper level in feed is correct for your goats by consulting a trained caprine nutritionist knowledgeable about your area.
Water: Yes, water. The goat's body is normally more than 60% water. Rumen contents must be about 70% water to function properly. Even a slight dip in water consumption can result in a goat with fever and off feed.
Iron: Unless a goat is anemic, iron deficiency is generally not a problem in foraging goats. Certain onion-type plants can, however, cause anemia. Stomach worms, sucking lice, and blood loss are common causes of anemia in goats. Goats that are seriously ill with anemia may be supplemented with injectable iron (Ferrodex 100) or oral adminstration of Red Cell. Conversely, an excess of iron can contribute to decreased fertility in goats.
Iodine: Iodine is as essential in goats' diets as it is in humans. Goiters are the most visible sign of iodine deficiency. Newborns whose dams are iodine deficient can be born with goiters. Commercial feeds and minerals contain non-iodized salt, so it may be necessary to offer iodized salt on a free-choice basis. A quicker method of getting iodine into the goat is to paint 7% iodine on the hairless tailweb and to offer kelp (seaweed) free choice.
Calcium and Phosphorus: Calcium and phosphorus must be in proper balance or serious illnesses can occur. Female goats that have been bred at too young of an age can develop lameness and/or bowed legs if they are calcium deficient. Calcium is essential to bone formation and muscle contractions (including labor contractions). A calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of 2-1/2 to 1 is proper and helps prevent urinary calculi. Too much phosphorus in relation to calcium causes urinary calculi. An imbalance of calcium and phosphorus can result in birth defects.
Salt: If a goat lacks salt in its diet, it may be seen licking the ground -- trying to get salt from the dirt. Offer salt as part of an appropriate mineral mix on a free-choice basis. Do not force-feed salt by mixing it with processed feed; this procedure is used to limit feed consumption. Salt is often used as a feed limiter, as heavily salted rations cause goats to eat less. A pregnant doe who consumes too much salt may have udder problems -- edema (subcutaneous accumulation of fluids).
Sulfur: Excessive salivation may be a sign of sulfur deficiency. A properly balanced loose mineral and vitamin mix is required. Direct supplementation of sulfur can result in the binding up of iron and copper.
Potassium: Goats on forage usually get all the potassium they need. Penned animals need potassium added to their processed grain mix. Emaciation and muscle weakness are signs of severe potassium deficiency.
Magnesium: Goats deficient in magnesium have lowered urine and milk production and may become anorexic.
Manganese: Slow growth rates in kids (especially buck kids), reduced fertility and abortions in does, improperly formed legs, and difficulty in walking are general signs of manganese deficiency. Too much calcium interferes with manganese absorption.
Vitamin A: Inadequate amounts of Vitamin A in a goat's diet can lead to thick nasal discharge, difficulty in seeing or blindness, respiratory diseases, susceptibility to parasites, scruffy hair coat, and diarrhea. Kids with coccidiosis need more Vitamin A because they have reduced intestinal absorption of nutrients. Adults are likely to be less fertile and more susceptible to diseases if they do not have adequate levels of this essential fat-soluble vitamin.
B Vitamins: A sick goat must be supplemented with B vitamins, particularly Vitamin B 1 (thiamine). The B vitamins are water soluble, so they need to be replenished daily. One of many conditions that depletes the goat's body of B vitamins is diarrhea (which is a symptom of greater problems). Goats whose rumens are not functioning properly or have had their feed regimen changed should be supplemented with B vitamins, particularly B1 (thiamine).
One of the most common examples of Vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency is polioencephalomalacia (goat polio). Thiamine must be given to counteract severe neurological problems. Thiamine-deficient goats display rigid bent necks that won't straighten and a loss of eye focus. This disease usually results from eating moldy hay, feed, or sileage; however, it occasionally occurs because the organism exists under certain environmental conditions and a susceptible goat picks it up. The symptoms mimic those of tetanus and dehydration. Because all B vitamins are water soluble, it is difficult to overdose them.
Vitamin B12, an injectable red liquid requiring a vet prescription, is essential in the treatment of anemia.
Vitamin D: Enlarged joints and bowed legs (rickets) are a result of Vitamin D deficiency. Penned goats must have Vitamin D added to their feed.
Vitamin E: Feeding sileage or old hay can produce Vitamin E deficiency and result in white muscle disease. The injectable prescription product BoSe contains both selenium and vitamin E and is often given to newborns in selenium-deficient areas. Vitamin A-D-E Gel is available for supplemental oral use.
B VITAMINS and THEIR IMPORTANCE TO GOAT HEALTH
Because all B vitamins are water soluble, a healthy goat manufactures its own B vitamins daily in its rumen. The goat uses what it needs each day and excretes the rest from its body. It does not store B vitamins in its body. Two of the B vitamins that are extremely important to goat health are Vitamin B 1 (thiamine) and Vitamin B12.
A goat that is not eating is a goat whose rumen is not producing B vitamins. When a goat is sick, it usually quits eating and/or drinking-- goes off feed. This is very serious in a kid, because its rumen is just beginning to function and its immune system is not fully developed until about a year of age. When a goat goes off feed, B vitamins must be provided. Injectable Fortified Vitamin B Complex is a good way to add B vitamins. The word "fortified" in the name is crucial; "fortified" means that the vitamin complex contains 100 mg/mL of Vitamin B 1 (thiamine). This strength of thiamine is extremely important. Fortified Vitamin B Complex is available over the counter.
Vitamin B 1 (thiamine) is necessary for carbohydrate metabolism and normal neural activity. When metabolism slows down as a result of inadequate amounts of thiamine, cells die and brain swelling occurs.
Thiamine deficiency in a goat can produce life-threatening conditions. Administer thiamine injectably whenever a goat becomes ill. Usage of Fortified Vitamin B Complex is acceptable, because it contains Vitamin B 1 as well as other necessary B vitamins. Dosage is four (4) cc's per hundred pounds bodyweight given IM (into the muscle) every 12 hours. Since all B vitamins are water soluble, overdosing is difficult and the margin of safety is wide. Better too much than not enough when giving B vitamins.
Vitamin B 12 is a red injectable liquid that in many locales is a prescription item. Buy a bottle of Vitamin B 12 from your vet. Fortified Vitamin B Complex is not sufficient for treating Vitamin B 12 deficiency. Do not use the poultry product that contains Vitamin B 12 and Vitamin K, as Vitamin K in involved in blood coagulation. Goats heavily infected with worms become anemic, and Vitamin B 12 is an essential part of bringing them back to health. B 12 injections may be required daily over a period of weeks or months, depending upon the severity of the anemia.
To avoid repeated injections during long-term treatment, the producer can add B vitamins to the feed of a severely-anemic goat by using a swine vitamin premix or top-dressing feed with Show Bloom, both of which should be available from a local feedstore. Direct administration of medication into the goat is the best way to insure proper dosing. B vitamins, especially B 12, can jump start the rumen function and get a goat eating again.
SELENIUM AND VITAMIN E
Critical to Raising Healthy Goats
Selenium is an essential trace mineral present in the soil. In the United States, soil is generally selenium-deficient in parts of the Pacific Northwest, from the Great Lakes region to the New England states, and along the Eastern Seaboard into Florida. Local, state, and federal agricultural extension services usually maintain soil maps that indicate selenium levels. A Google search will also bring up maps of selenium-deficient areas in the USA. Because selenium levels can vary greatly within an area, testing the soil's selenium content is recommended. Soil is considered "selenium deficient" when there is less than 0.5mg of selenium per kg of soil. Because selenium is stored in the liver and kidneys and can be identified in blood, a complete blood count (CBC) test can be used to identify selenium levels in the goat's body.
Selenium in soil is absorbed by growing plants that are eaten by foraging/browsing goats. Proper selenium levels are necessary for goats to reproduce, lactate, give birth, urinate, and have properly functioning muscles. Selenium working with vitamin E helps develop and protect healthy brain cells, assists in thyroid function, helps the immune system function properly, and prevents cell wall damage. Symptoms of selenium deficiency are similar to those of Vitamin E deficiency. White Muscle Disease, also known as Nutritional Muscular Dystrophy, is a condition in which kids are too weak to stand or suckle at birth, they consistently cough, milk sometimes runs out of their nose after nursing, and they develop pneumonia because of muscle weakness in their lungs. In adults, abortions, stillbirths, retained placenta, or inability to conceive can be indicative of selenium deficiency.
Pen-fed goats can be more susceptible to selenium and vitamin E deficiency since they don't have access to forage plants containing them. High levels of sulphur in feed prevent selenium absorption. Proper levels of calcium in feed can help in selenium and vitamin E uptake. Selenium is routinely added to processed grain by feed mills, but the amount permitted by US law may be insufficient for some areas. Therefore, many producers obtain a veterinary prescription for injectable supplements (BoSe). Oral selenium supplements in gel form are available over the counter if you cannot obtain injectable BoSe. Injectable selenium tends to work better and faster, based upon my limited experience, but the availability of oral supplements is certainly better than going without. Do not use MuSe; it is a selenium supplement for horses and too strong for goats. Dosages vary by region and should be discussed with a knowledgeable vet, but the following is a general outline of how many producers supplement their goats to achieve adequate selenium levels: Annually before breeding season, all adults, including breeding bucks, are given injectable selenium (BoSe). Bucks should receive BoSe injections at least twice a year. Pregnant does are again supplemented with BoSe four to six weeks before kidding. Selenium-deficient dams produce selenium-deficient kids. Kids are injected with BoSe at birth, again at one month of age, and if the soil is very selenium deficient, injections are repeated at two and at three months of age. Use 1/4 cc BoSe for small-breed goat kids and 1/2 cc BoSe for medium-to-large-breed goat kids. Although BoSe is not approved for use in goats, producers generally use 2-1/2 cc per 100 pounds body weight for adult animals. I give BoSe into the muscle (IM). If you can find a qualified goat vet in your area, discuss your goats' needs in detail.
In extremely selenium-deficient areas, I know producers who use Mineral Max (aka Multi-Min) injections instead of BoSe. This product is a high concentration of four essential minerals (zinc, manganese, selenium and copper) in injectable chelated (slow-release) form and should be used sparingly and in smaller doses as the goat ages because it builds up in the fatty tissues. I would not give it to newborns and very young kids; I would use BoSe instead. Always give Mineral Max SQ (under the skin) because it stings the goat when given IM (into the muscle). Oral supplementation of vitamin E should be given in conjunction with Mineral Max injections. Mineral Max/Multi Min is is another product that is not labeled for goats and must be used under a qualified vet's prescription and supervision. In the years 2011 and 2012, many areas of the USA have experienced either severe drought or too much rain. Both conditions can result in selenium deficiency where none existed previously. I have been using Mineral Max since the 2011 drought because my pastures have yet to recover. I follow the cattle dosage instructions for adult animals.
Selenium has a very narrow margin of safety. Goats require 0.2 parts per million of selenium, and the toxic level is 3 ppm. Some symptoms of selenium deficiency are identical to those of selenium toxicity. A doe's failure to conceive can be the result of either selenium deficiency or toxicity. Kidney failure, stillbirth, and abortions also may be attributable to either end of this spectrum. By contrast, hair loss in the beard and flank regions and cracks and deformities in horns and hooves may indicate too much selenium in the goat's diet. Over-concentrations of selenium occur in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nevada, Idaho, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and adjacent states. See your local agricultural extension agent for information on concentrations in your area. Alkali-based soils allow plants to absorb selenium to levels toxic to goats, causing "alkali disease." Certain "indicator" plants reveal a toxic level of selenium in the soil. Some species of Astragalus (locoweed) indicate the presence of high levels of soil-based selenium. Goats actually become addicted to these plants if they are not completely removed from this forage.
Symptoms of severe selenium toxicity include impaired vision and staggering ("blind staggers"), rear legs which won't support the body, then muscle weakness in the front legs, and progressive weight loss. Each of these symptoms can also be symptoms of other illnesses, so the producer should determine his area's selenium conditions in advance to avoid an incorrect diagnosis. Once a goat has severe selenium toxicity, there is no known effective treatment. Removing the affected animal from the area where the problem occurred and performing supportive therapy is the best chance of saving the goat. Goats affected by selenium toxicity remain bright, alert, and are eating well up to the time of death.
COPPER DEFICIENCY AND TOXICITY IN GOATS
The exact amount of copper required in the goat's diet is currently unknown and is dependent upon several factors. However, the goat needs far more dietary copper than was originally thought. Testing can reveal enough copper in tissue or blood samples and the goat can still be copper deficient. This is due to the complex interaction of minerals in the goat's metabolic system. Copper is essential in the proper development of the central nervous system, correct bone growth, and hair pigmentation. Copper-deficient goats have difficulty conceiving kids and, if bred, abortions are not uncommon. Copper supplementation can sometimes help but cannot always eliminate these health problems.
Copper deficiency can be the result of low levels of the mineral in the soil and in forages raised on the soil; this is primary copper deficiency. However, both the feed and the soil can have adequate copper but its absorption can be interfered with by minerals known as copper antagonists: lead, iron, manganese, various sulfates, cadmium, and molybdenum. This is secondary copper deficiency.
Congenital copper deficiency is the term used to describe the kid who did not receive sufficient copper in utero. Often born swaybacked, the kid stands unsteadily or cannot stand, displays muscle tremors and head shaking, and may grind its teeth. The kid can see, hear, and sometimes can nurse, but he has low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and sub-normal body temperature (hypothermic). Bone abnormalities are common, particularly in the long (leg and back) bones of the body. Complete recovery from congenital copper deficiency does not often happen because problems that occurred during fetal development may not be correctable. With intensive nursing, swaybacked kids may survive for days or weeks, but they usually do not live long.
Kids who appear to be fine at birth but develop symptoms at around three months of age are said to have the delayed form of copper deficiency. Evidence of atrophied muscles appear, tremors and incoordination occur, and leg weakness is displayed. Usually the problem appears in the rear legs first, but not always. Kids with front-leg weakness will spent lots of time on their front knees. Kids with rear-leg weakness will pull themselves around by their front legs. Death occurs from secondary problems, like pneumonia. This delayed evidence of the results of copper deficiency can be confusing, diagnosis-wise, because it is sometimes accompanied by the neurological form of Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis (CAE), listeriosis, or even muscular dystrophy. Secondary copper deficiency tends to be more responsive to treatment than primary copper deficiency.
Insufficient weight gain, poor appetite, and weight loss are seen in copper-deficient goats of growing age. Adults display more subtle signs of copper deficiency. They are generally unthrifty, anemic, poor milk producers, and sometimes have diarrhea. But the most visible sign of copper deficiency in adults is loss of hair color. Copper is essential for melanin production that causes hair pigmentation. Hair decoloration occurs when the copper-containing enzyme is missing.
Control of proper copper levels in goats is critical. Find out why the goat is copper deficient. Is the soil low in copper? Is there interference in copper absorption because it is binding with other minerals (copper antagonists)? Goats metabolize and store copper much differently from sheep. Do NOT use products labelled "for sheep & goats" because they are woefully insufficient in the amount of copper needed by goats.
Copper can be given to pregnant does and newborns sub-cutaneously (SQ) in the form of copper glycinate or orally in the does' drinking water via copper sulfate. Severely copper-deficient goats are sometimes given copper boluses which attach to the inside of the body and slowly deliver copper at a predetermined rate.
The easiest and probably the best method, in the opinion of this writer, is to furnish loose minerals with sufficient copper content free-choice to the goats year-around. However, the copper level must be based upon several factors, including the copper available in any ration that is fed to the goats.
Copper levels in loose minerals fed free-choice may safely be considerably higher than in "full feed" packages that are consumed by the goats on a daily basis. For example, a "full feed" should not more than 15-20 ppm of copper in most cases, while free-choice loose minerals might be as high as 1500 ppm in copper. Have your forage tested for copper levels before deciding on copper levels in your feed and minerals packages.
It is possible to induce copper toxicity in goats. Copper accumulates in the liver. Red/brown urine may be a sign of copper poisoning. Using calf milk replacers has caused copper poisoning in kid goats.
Up to 1200 ppm of copper may be fed to goats under specific situations. The goat producer must determine what conditions apply in his particular geographic area and based upon his feeding program. Check with a knowledgeable goat veterinarian for proper dietary levels of copper for your goat herd. Much more scientific research needs to be done in this very important area of caprine nutrition.
THE ROLE OF PROBIOTICS IN CAPRINE HEALTH
A goat is a ruminant who digests its feed using live bacteria that resides in its stomachs and intestines. These bacteria must constantly replenish themselves for the goat's digestive system to be able to function properly. Events which decrease or kill off these live bacteria threaten the health and sometimes the life of the goat. (Please see my article entitled "Raising Rumens")
Overeating disease (enterotoxemia) is only one of many rumen-related diseases which can kill a goat. In this illness, the goat consumes so much feedstuffs that the bacteria are used up and the remaining undigested material cannot be processed, turns toxic, and kills the goat by poisoning the animal from within. Hence, the name "entero" (from within) "toxemia" (toxicity/poisoning).
The usage of antibiotics and anti-scour (diarrhea) medications kills live bacteria. The stress of weaning , of transporting the goat from location to location, and of de-worming/vaccinating also negatively affects live bacteria. In fact, it is not too much of a stretch to state that probably 99% of all common goat illnesses involve changes in the rumen. So it is vital to keep that rumen healthy and functioning at its optimum level.
The term probiotics describes a class of nonprescription oral medications which works to boost the population of live bacteria in the gut of the goat. Probiotic means "for life." They are naturally-occurring beneficial organisms that aid in digestion and inhibit the production of disease-producing bacteria in the intestines. Probiotics are used to supplement and/or replace used up natural bacteria which flourish inside the goat's digestive system. More producers are beginning to use these products as a form of preventative medicine. In a sick goat, pathogens (disease-causing bacteria) take the place of the "good" bacteria; probiotic therapy seeks to fill the intestinal sites with "good" bacteria so that the "bad" bacteria cannot attach and cause illness.
Probiotics are used with newborn goats because the bacterial count in their intestines is low to nil and begins to be populated as the rumen develops. Because a byproduct of both antibiotics and scour medications is the killing off of essential live bacteria, probiotics should be used when treatment is completed. Some producers choose to use a probiotic daily during treatment.
Ohio State University's Veterinary Preventative Medicine department is researching this under-appreciated area of ruminant health. The effects of using probiotics on such pathogens as E. coli, camplyobacter, and salmonella are being studied. For example, lactobacillus acidophilus is one of the bacteria found in the intestines of goats that emits a substance that makes the intestines and stomachs more acidic, therefore less susceptible to pathogens. It is always better to prevent disease before it occurs, because with illness comes economic loss, reduced feed efficiency, and sometimes death of the animal.
While probiotics are no "wonder" drug, they can be a good preventative medicine tool. A major limiting factor in the use of probiotics has been resolved . . . finding the particular bacteria that are specific to goats so that they can be utilized. Keeping the products stable so that they don't degrade inside the packaging has improved tremendously, too. Probiotics come in gel form in pre-measured plunger tubes (Probios and Goat Gard are two brand names) and in freeze-dried powder form for mixing with feed or in water (FASTRACK is an example).
Probiotics cost about as much as antibiotics as a general rule, so the expense should not deter most producers. Just as overeating/tetanus vaccinations are encouraged, so should the use of probiotics.
ANEMIA IN GOATS
Although there are several causes of anemia in goats, the primary internal parasite cause is the microscopic Barberpole stomach worm (Haemonchus contortus). Liver flukes can cause anemia, but liver flukes by themselves usually disrupt just a few blood vessels and feed on the pooled blood. Over a long period of time anemia can slowly develop from liver fluke infection, but at nowhere near the level or speed that it occurs from the Barberpole stomach worm. FAMACHA, the field test for worms that is mentioned in more detail later in this article, was designed and tested solely for detection of Barberpole stomach worms. A less likely though on-the-increase possible cause in some areas is Anaplasmosis, which is also addressed later in this article.
Both the Barberpole stomach worm and the liver fluke feed on blood, consuming red blood cells and causing anemia. Hypoproteinemia is the protein depletion that results from a rapid reduction in red blood cells. A common external symptom is bottlejaw -- a swelling under the chin that worsens as the day passes and may seem to disappear by morning, only to re-appear the next evening. Edema is the term that refers to the swelling that is the result of fluid leaving blood vessels (caused by hypoprotenemia, i.e. severe protein deficiency) and pooling under the chin. Anemia is a life-threatening illness to goats from which they will not recover until the producer administers long-term treatment with Vitamin B 12 injections and iron supplements. There is no quick fix for curing anemia in goats
The easiest way to diagnose anemia caused by Haemonchus contortus is to use the FAMACHA field test for worms. Using a thumb or index finger, pull down the lower eyelid and look at the color of its inner membrane. A healthy non-anemic goat has a bright red to bright pink inner lower eye membrane. Light pink is not good. White is definitely anemia and immediate treatment is required or the goat is going to die. Repeat: A goat with a light pink or white inner lower eye membrane is anemic and is going to die without immediate treatment. Producers are urged to attend a workshop teaching proper use of FAMACHA. Dr. Jim Miller, parasitologist at Louisiana State University, provides FAMACHA training at GoatCamp™ at Onion Creek Ranch each October. Go to the GoatCamp™ page for information.
Determining the cause of the anemia and its companion symptom bottlejaw is the first step. The best field indicator of anemia is a high FAMACHA score (4 to 5). Have fecals done by a qualified vet or veterinary technician to determine the causative agent and level of infection. Note: The presence of liver flukes cannot be detected by a normal fecal test; a fecal sedementation test is necessary. Choose a dewormer appropriate for the problem and treat the goat. Do not deworm the goat over and over and over again. Over-deworming can stress the goat even more than it is already stressed. Deworm, wait a week, and have fecal counts done. If worms are still present, encysted worms have likely hatched, so deworm again with appropriate dosage.
Producers who expect the anemic goat to be well quickly after deworming will be disappointed, because they've taken only the first step towards restoring the goat to good health. Daily injections of Vitamin B 12 given IM (into the muscle) and weekly oral dosing of Red Cell iron supplement or injectable iron for a minimum of two weeks are important supportive therapies. Vitamin B 12 is an injectable red liquid which must be obtained through a vet's prescription. Red Cell is an orally-dosed over-the-counter equine product. Ferrodex 100 and Dextran iron injectables are available OTC in most states. While it is possible to overdose a goat with iron (and copper), this probably won't happen even with daily dosing (except in kids) because rebuilding red blood cells occurs slowly. However, it is best to err on the side of safety and dose the iron daily for a few days and then weekly thereafter. Geritol is not recommended as an oral iron supplement for goats because it contains alcohol. Giving vitamin B 12 injections daily is safe because all of the B vitamins are water soluble -- what the goat doesn't use, it eliminates from its body in urine. A healthy rumen produces its own B vitamins daily. An anemic goat is obviously not a healthy goat. Estimated dosing for Vitamin B 12 is 4 cc per 100 pounds bodyweight; for Red Cell, 6 cc per 100 pounds bodyweight; for injectable Ferrodex 100, 4 cc per 100 pounds bodyweight. Producers should monitor the goat's reaction to these iron products, some of which may also contain copper, and adjust frequency and amount of dosages accordingly.
Recovering from anemia is a long-term process in both humans and goats. Progress in goats can be monitored by FAMACHA and fecals can be done to determine if worm loads have decreased. After two weeks' treatment, during which time the producer usually has to stomach tube nutrients into the off-feed, weak, and very ill goat, re-do fecals and have a complete blood count test done to determine if sufficient red cells have been created. If not, continue the treatments for another two weeks and repeat the testing.
A goat with a life-threatening level of anemia usually is too weak to eat and goes off-feed. Until the goat begins eating on its own again, the producer will have to stomach tube not just electrolytes but also protein into the goat. Since Entrolyte oral nutritional supplement is no longer made by Pfizer, the producer can mix a protein-based powder into ruminant electrolytes. Add enough goat kid milk replacer into water to make an eight-ounce bottle and pour it into a half-gallon of electrolytes. It seems logical to this writer than eight ounces of whole goat's milk should be able to be used in place of the goat kid milk replacer; however, the producer is urged to check with a qualified goat veterinarian before using this as an alternative. A 100 lb goat needs one gallon of liquids per day. An inactive goat needs slightly less. Divide the amount into two or three feedings and stomach tube it into the goat.
Offer the goat green leaves, alfalfa hay, and high protein pelleted goat feed to help rebuild red blood cells. Keep in mind that anemia results from a massive decrease in protein caused by the loss of red blood cells to blood-sucking internal parasites. Recovery from anemia can take weeks and sometimes months. Goats lose weight very fast and put it back on very slowly. Gain that is too rapid will be deposited as layers of fat around internal organs, so slow and steady re-gain of weight by a recovering goat is best.
Other sources of anemia may come from external parasites such as blood-sucking lice, ticks, and fleas. However, the blood loss from external parasites pales in comparison to that lost from internal parasites
Coccidiosis is a "stealth killer" of goats because symptoms are easy to miss and irreversible damage can be done if the illness is not quickly treated. The protozoan organism which causes Coccidiosis is the intestinal parasite of the genus Eimeria and is species specific -- which means that Coccidiosis in one species of animal cannot infect animals of another species. Example: The long-held belief by some livestock breeders that chickens can infect goats with Coccidiosis is not true.
The parasite causing Coccidiosis is passed through fecal-to-oral contact. While adult goats can contract Coccidiosis (particularly does that have recently kidded -- their bodies are under stress from the demands of nursing multiple kids), young kids' immature immune systems make them susceptible to this disease. Recall how kid goats pick up and "mouth" everything in their surroundings. Some of those objects are goat "pills" (feces) that are coccidia-infected; the parasites quickly take up residence in the kids' intestines.
Coccidiosis is a disease caused by stress from overcrowding, dirty and/or wet pens, and unclean water. Coccidiosis is very contagious and will spread through a herd like wildfire. The first symptom is usually -- but not always -- diarrhea. Along with diarrhea always comes dehydration and sometimes fever. If treatment isn't begun immediately, permanent damage will be done to the intestinal lining and the goat won't be able to absorb nutrients from its food. Weight loss is substantial and sometimes chronic (cannot be cured); if it lives, the goat will always be "poor." In advanced cases of Coccidiosis, diarrhea can be watery, and may contain mucous and blood. Bloody diarrhea is blackish in color.
Fecal testing is essential. A fecal sample placed under a microscope will quickly reveal to a vet the presence of coccidia oocysts in the goat pills. Begin doing your own fecals to keep better control over the health of your herd. This writer's article explaining an easy and inexpensive fecal-testing procedure appears on the Articles page. Diarrhea in kids does not always mean Coccidiosis, but it must be considered. Fecal testing removes any doubt. Remember, diarrhea is a symptom of an illness and not an illness in and of itself. See this writer's article on Diarrhea on the Articles page .
Dewormers have no effect on coccidia. Medication required for treating Coccidiosis, both preventatively and curatively, is totally different from deworming products. Over-the-counter products for treating Coccidiosis include Albon, its generic equivalent Sulfadimethoxine 12.5% (Di-Methox 12.5% Solution by AgriLabs), and CoRid. CoRid is no longer recommended by many professionals because (a) some strains of coccidia have become resistant to it, and (b) CoRid is a thiamine (Vitamin B 1) inhibitor. The importance of thiamine in keeping goats healthy is difficult to overstate.
This writer prefers to use the DiMethox 12.5% solution; it is a generic of Albon and much less expensive. Although Di-Methox 12.5% comes in both liquid and powder, the liquid is easier to dose properly. To treat a herd that is already infected with coccidia, administer three to five cc's of undiluted liquid Di-Methox 12.5% orally to each kid daily for five consecutive days. For adults, dose at eight to ten cc's in the same manner. Di-Methox 12.5% can also be added to drinking water; follow package directions. Limit access to the water source being medicated. Automatic waterers must be turned off to maintain correct dosage strength. Do not fail to individually orally dose each goat, even if the herd's water supply is also being medicated. Preventative dosage is usually one-half the curative dose; read product labels.
The prescription antibiotic of choice is Primor. Administer one tablet orally in the morning and the second tablet by mouth in the evening of the first day -- and then one tablet orally each day thereafter -- for a total of five consecutive days. Primor comes in body-weight dosages, and the tablets are scored so that they can be split in half for accurate dosing. Endosorb, a prescription tablet that calms the gut, dissolves readily in ReSorb, other electrolytes, or water for easy oral dosing. If Endorsorb is not available, over-the-counter Tagamet 200 can be given to goats; kid dosage is is one-half of a Tagamet 200 tablet daily for five consecutive days. Use one Tagamet 200 tablet daily for adult goats. Pepto-Bismol given orally may also be used to reduce to coat the lining of the stomach and reduce gut irritation.
For controlling life-threatening watery diarrhea, the liquid antibiotic Sulfamethoxazole & Trimethoprim Oral Suspension 200mg/40mg per 5 mL (prescription) is excellent. Given orally, the dosage is 2 cc per 100 pounds bodyweight. Dose accurately, as overdosing will constipate the goat.
If the prescription antibiotic Primor is not doing the job of stopping watery diarrhea, consider changing to the ultimate prescription antibiotic for goats -- Baytril 100. Baytril 100 is available both in injectable and tablet form, but the oral treatment is believed to work faster in the gut of the goat. Occasionally a goat has an allergic reaction to Baytril 100 and joint swelling (usually in the knees) occurs, so use it sparingly and as a last resort. Treatment is available to resolve this rare problem; it takes a long time to achieve a cure. Injectable Baytril 100 is easier (and safer to the producer) to use than oral tablets when medicating big and strong goats -- particularly bucks. NOTE: Some jurisdictions prohibit use of Baytril or Baytril 100 in any form (injectable or tablets) in food-production animals; check with your vet.
Banamine is an excellent prescription medication for both calming the gut and bringing down fever. Normal goat body temperature ranges from 101.5 degrees F. to 103.5 degrees F. Banamine should be administered intramuscularly (IM) at a rate of 1 cc per 100 pounds of body weight. A newborn kid would receive .1 - .2 cc (one-tenth to two-tenths of a cc) of Banamine. Banamine should not be used but once every 36-72 hours; it has the potential to cause stomach ulcers.
A severely dehydrated goat should receive Re-Sorb electrolytes, both in an oral drench and in its water supply. Additionally, Lactated Ringers Solution (an inexpensive vet prescription that no producer should be without) should be given under the skin (SQ) at both shoulders -- dose 30 cc per shoulder SQ for kids. A 60 cc syringe with an 18-gauge needle should be used for this procedure. Keeping the goat hydrated with Re-Sorb (or equivalent) electrolytes and Lactated Ringers Solution (LRS) is critical to the animal's survival. Gatorade or Pedialyte may be used in place of Re-Sorb in emergencies, but these products don't have enough glucose -- so keep a supply of ReSorb packets in the medicine chest.
Rehydrating an adult goat that won't drink on its own requires stomach tubing in order to get enough liquid into its body. No amount of oral drenching or giving Lactated Ringers SQ will rehydrate an adult goat. See this writer's article on Stomach Tubing Goats on the Articles.
Green leaves are the best natural product to feed to a sick goat, regardless of the illness. Green leaves will be the first food that it will eat, followed by hay. Don't offer sacked/processed grains to a sick goat; they are too difficult to digest. A goat will begin eating sacked or processed grain feeds only when recovery is well underway.
NOTE: This article provides information on a variety of medications for use with Coccidiosis. Do not try to use them all at one time. Faced with Coccidiosis in a goat, this writer would start treatment with Sulfamethoxazole & Trimethoprim Oral Suspension in an animal with very watery diarrhea, then switch to Di-Methox 12.5% liquid oral solution when the stool begins to achieve a "pudding-like" consistency. On run-of-the-mill cases of Coccidiosis, my choice would be Di-Methox 12.5% liquid oral solution. If fever exists, a Banamine injection would be given. If fever is not present, either Endorsorb, Tagamet 200, or Pepto-Bismol would be used. If Di-Methox 12.5% liquid oral solution didn't work, then Primor tablets(prescription) would be dosed. The prescription antibiotic Baytril 100 would be used as a last resort, when no other treatment has worked. Lactated Ringers Solution would be given SQ at the shoulders to a kid who is not drinking on his own. In all cases, ReSorb electrolytes would be used to avoid/cure dehydration in both kids and adults. Green leaves, if available, should be offered to all sick goats old enough to eat solid food.
At the completion of every five-day antibiotic treatment, repopulate the goat's gut with live bacteria by dosing with an oral probiotic.
When kids begin eating solid food at around two to three weeks of age, the producer should consider offering a goat feed containing a coccidiostat to help prevent a coccidiosis outbreak. The general time frame that kids are at risk for Coccidiosis runs from about two weeks of age (when they begin to pick at solid food) and through five or six months of age (when the immune system is somewhat developed). Feeding a coccidiostat-laced feed will not overcome over-crowding and filthy living conditions. Once goats are infected, cocidiostat-treated feed will not cure Coccidiosis. Some types of coccidiostats are toxic to other farm animals; investigate before choosing a coccidiostat.
Prevent Coccidiosis by keeping pens and bedding clean, water fresh, goats uncrowded, and areas dry. Wet and dirty conditions are incubators of Coccidiosis for both kids and adults. Don't forget the absolute necessity of rotating pastures. No amount of treating for Coccidiosis (or deworming) will offset the need to rotate goats every three weeks into clean, uninfected, and uncrowded paddocks.
Lungworms are a type of roundworm that can be found in the lungs and/or bronchial tissues of goats. Called protostrongylids, there are at least five types of lungworms, two kinds of which are commonly found throughout the United States in areas of heavy rainfall. Wet and undrained pastures are prime areas for lungworms.
The lungworm's larvae gets inside the goat's body when the animal eats an infected slug or snail. Some types of lungworms don't need the snail or slug as a host; instead, they develop into the infective stage on plants that the goat ingests. Adult worms lay eggs in the goat's lungs or bronchial tissue. The eggs hatch into larvae, which are then coughed up and swallowed and pass through the goat's body and into its feces. They are white and thin in appearance and can be three inches in length. The lungworm's life cycle ranges between five and ten weeks. It remains infective to the goat for at least one year.
Goats with lungworms may appear healthy. Severely-infected goats may cough and have trouble breathing. Pneumonia and bronchitis may develop, particularly in young kids. Blocked capillaries and fluid in the lungs can cause illness and death. Lungworms cause irritation to bronchial and lung tissues, resulting in large amounts of mucous that cause difficulty in breathing, repeated deep coughing, and loss of appetite. All lungworm infections cause scarring of bronchial and lung tissues, resulting in some amount of reduced lung capacity.
A mature goat's immune system is usually able to combat a mild lungworm ,infestation. Kids are the hardest hit, since their immune systems are still developing. Sometimes coccidiosis is accompanied by persistent coughing and is mistaken for lungworm infection. Allergic reactions to dust and pollens are sometimes mis-diagnosed as lungworm infestation. Unless the producer raises goats in an area of heavy rainfall and/or standing water, lungworms are probably not the cause of coughing. Coughing can be caused by something as simple as the goat's eating or drinking too fast.
Humans cannot become infected by lungworms and meat from infected goats is safe for human consumption.
There are two ways to diagnose lungworms: (1) Baerman fecal testing, which is a somewhat tricky fecal sedimentation procedure that is easy to perform incorrectly. Having a trained technician perform the Baerman is recommended. Oftentimes very few eggs are found, even by experienced operators. (2) Necropsy examination of the lungs and bronchial tissues after the goat has died. Both of these approaches have costs attached to them that the goat rancher may not want to expend. The producer who suspects lungworm infection is usually better off beginning immediate treatment as outlined below and dispense with testing.
The best treatment is preventative. Keep goats off wet, undrained pastures. Don't allow them to graze early in the morning when snails and slugs are still out. Treat the goats with Ivomec 1% cattle injectable given orally before new pasture season arrives and again in early fall. Ivermectin has been found to be most effective against lungworms. Producers running donkeys with goats are advised to keep the donkeys dewormed; donkeys are known to be a common host for lungworms. And that old standby, pasture rotation, is essential in controlling the spread of lungworms.
WORMS: RESISTANCE, TOLERANCE, SUSCEPTIBILITY
Many goat producers are in a non-stop battle with internal parasites -- usually the blood-sucking stomach worm known as Haemonchus contortus (barberpole worm). All goat breeds are affected by H. contortus. You must develop an organized plan for controlling stomach worms in your herd. Observing your goats for signs of worms, treating as needed, and culling where necessary will be more important than ever.
Do not randomly select a dewormer. Get fecal counts done by a vet to find out which internal parasites are present in your goats. You need to know the enemy you will be fighting. Your problem may be something other than stomach worms, and you may not need to change dewormers. All goats have worms of some type and in some quantity. Their existence is necessary to stimulate the goat's immune system to fight them. If you want to do fecal counts yourself too, that's fine -- but get fecal counts done by a veterinary professional with whom you can compare results. This diagnosis is too important to leave to a producer inexperienced in performing fecals. The FAMACHA field test should be done in conjunction with with microscoped fecal counts; these two tests work well together to give you a comprehensive evaluation of your goats' wormloads.
Do you know why stomach worms are such a huge health issue in goats? Haemonchus contortus worms suck blood, producing severe anemia through their consumption of red blood cells. A heavy wormload is a life-threatening condition to goats. Many goats die from severe anemia caused by heavy stomach worm loads. Until the goat is deathly ill and usually too far gone to be saved, the animal will continue to eat and eat and eat . . . all the while losing ground to the damage being caused by the stomach worm.
Once the worm causing problems is identified, choose the correct dewormer and use it until it quits working. Do not rotate dewormers. Develop the habit of checking the coloration of the inner lower eye membrane (FAMACHA field test) every time you handle a goat for any reason. The inner lower eye membrane should be bright red to bright pink. If it is pink to light pink, the goat is likely wormy; if it is white, the goat is anemic and needs far more help than just deworming. Remember that the FAMACHA field test is only good for identifying the Haemonchus contortus stomach worm, and in most of the USA, other worms can also cause substantial production losses and health issues without causing anemia and death, making FAMACHA of limited value. It is important to know what worms your goats have and to continue to do fecal counts at regular intervals.
Most dewormers used with goats are "off-label," i.e. the manufacturer has not spent the time and money necessary to test the dewormer for effectiveness, proper dosing, and withdrawal times and obtain government approval to label the product for use in goats. The main reason is that goats as a species are not considered a large enough market for the manufacturers to earn back these costs. Safeguard/Panacur has been approved for use with goats, but in many locations in the USA, this product is no longer effective against stomach worms. Morantel tartrate, a feed-based dewormer, has been approved for use with goats. Feed-based dewormers are not very effective when goats are fed in groups because the goat needing the medication the worst will also be the lowest in the pecking order and will therefore get the least amount of medicated feed. Goats should be individually orally drenched with a weight-appropriate dosage of dewormer. (This same reasoning applies to medications put into water for liquid consumption.) Back drenches, also known as pour-ons, are not effective with goats because of the hide structure of the species.
Goats are dry-land animals who are very susceptible to internal parasites, especially stomach worms. Think of them as "first cousins" to deer in how they live, eat, and need to roam over multiple acres of land. They instinctively eat "from the top down" like deer to protect themselves from stomach worms. Goats made to graze on pasture will get infected with stomach worms, especially on short pasture. Do not think that tall grasses are the answer, because goats search for the newest and most tender sprigs as they are the most nutritious. These new sprigs are closest to the ground -- where the blood-sucking stomach worms are waiting to be ingested.
There is much discussion nowadays regarding the level of resistance, tolerance, and susceptibility to worms by different meat-goat breeds. Resistance refers to goats whose immune systems have counteracted the effects of a high worm load and survived, leaving them with fewer worms than their herd mates. True resistance should be genetically set. Tolerance describes goats that harbor in their bodies a worm level that kills susceptible animals; they tolerate the worm infection. Susceptible goats need to be culled and slaughtered -- not sent to a sale barn where other goat producers may buy and breed them. Individual goats within a herd may be worm resistant, but no given herd or breed in its entirety can be so identified. Individual goats that are worm-resistant and worm-tolerant are what you should be selecting to keep. Determining whether they are "worm resistant" or "worm tolerant" requires routine fecal tests and record keeping that may be beyond the capability of some producers and isn't critical to know. Simply select for goats that handle a reasonable worm load and cull the others. I cannot stress enough the importance of culling poor performers, whether they are susceptible to worms or other infections or whether they have poor body conformation. Culling never goes out of style, no matter how long you have been raising goats.
Understand the concept of adaptability. When moved, goats need time (months, not days or weeks, and sometimes longer) to adapt to the bacteria, viruses, worms, cocci, and other organisms that inhabit their new home.
Management is critical. Too many goats on too small acreage is a recipe for a parasite disaster. The number of goats that can be run on a given piece of land is determined primarily by how well the parasite load can be controlled and not by the amount of plant material available for the goats to eat. You have to figure out this number for your own herd, and you do it by starting with just a few goats and culling heavily. Understand that if your facilities are overcrowded, too wet, and/or unsanitary, no amount of culling is going to solve your problems, because you will be expecting goats to live in conditions where no goat can survive or thrive. In such situations, culling isn't your problem; you are in the wrong business.
Do not succumb to advertising that a certain breed is resistant to or more tolerant of worms than any other breed. This has not been
scientifically proven in the USA. All breeds can be made "wormy" through bad management, overcrowding, and environmental conditions favoring worms.
If your goat has irritated skin that has formed crusts that have wrinkled, thickened, and/or lost hair on or under its legs, scrotum, udder, genitals, anus, hooves, ears, face, or other areas without a thick hair coat, it may have mange mites.
Sometimes called "scabies," from the Latin word that means "to scratch," this ectoparasite (parasite that largely lives on the surface of its host) should not be confused with "scrapie," which is an incurable brain disease. Mites belong to the arachnid subclass Acari, hence the other term describing mite infestion is Acariasis. Transmission from goat to goat is through direct body contact and is very contagious.
There are three types of manage mites that can affect goats: scarcoptic, psoroptic, and chorioptic. The mite hardest to eradicate is the scarcoptic mange mite (Scarcoptes scabei) because it burrows into the skin, making tunnels in which it lives and lays eggs, feeding off skin cells and sucking lymph fluid. The body parts cited in the first paragraph of this article are starting points for these mites because they can spread over the goat's entire body. Psoroptic and chorioptic mites don't burrow into the skin but still damage to the goat.
Confirmation of mite infestion requires that a skin plug be taken by a vet and examined under a microscope. Skin scrapings are seldom sufficient because the mites burrow deep into the skin. A plug must be pulled to the point of drawing blood. Sometimes mites or their eggs can be found in fecal samples, but examining a skin plug under a microscope is the most accurate method of diagnosis. Note: All skin diseases require vet examination and diagnosis because it is easy to mis-diagnose by visual inspection and decide to treat for one problem but it turns out to be another. Example: Mis-diagnose fungus as staph infection, use steroids as part of the treatment, and the fungus rapidly gets worse.
The mite spends its entire life cycle either on or under the goat's skin. This parasite cannot survive off its host (the goat) for more than a few days. Intense itching follows the development of lesions, thickening of the skin, and formation of dry crusts. Itching is the body's inflammatory response to the mites' fecal pellets. Zinc deficiency may coincide with mite infestation, and a secondary bacterial skin infection can occur, requiring antibiotics. Mite infestation is more common in winter but can occur in summer. Sometimes mite activity will regress in summer and actively reappear in winter. Environmental conditions affect mite activity. Mite infestation on goats spikes in periods of high heat and drought, in areas where goats live in close quarters and are intensively managed, and when the mites' normal hosts are in short supply in nature (deer, rabbits, etc.). Immune-suppressed goats are more likely to have the worst cases of mite infestation, but healthy animals can be infested when the mite population is high. A group of bucks in rut can be sufficiently stressed that their immune systems are compromised enough for mites to attack them.
The most serious problem caused by mange mites is poor semen production in male goats to the point of actively breeding but unable to inseminate the does. Semen production must be done at temperatures lower than the goat's body temperature. The scrotum's design permits heat loss so that semen can be produced outside of the main body of the goat. Scab formation on the scrotum prevents this heat loss, concentrating heat inside and impairing semen production. Interestingly, the buck's sex drive (libido) is not reduced but his body cannot produce sperm capable of inseminating female goats. Once the mites are killed, quality semen production returns. Some people believe that mite infestation in pregnant does reduces number of offspring, but I cannot find any documented evidence to support that conclusion.
Human reaction to these mites is normally limited to superficial skin irritation which usually clears up on its own. Sometimes topical anti-itch medications are needed.
Aggressive treatment is necessary to kill mites on goats and multiple applications are necessary. No one-time-use treatment will work. Hair must be re-growing on the goat's body parts before treatment can be considered effective. Long-haired goats may have to be sheared for mite eradication to be successful. Since mites can live for a few days off the goat and in the environment before they die, sheds and bedding areas must also be cleaned and treated. All goats in the herd must be treated -- not just the ones with obvious mite infestation.
There are several different products that can be used to kill mites on and under the skin of goats. The dewormer Ivermectin can be injected SQ, dosing at one to two cc's per 50 pounds bodyweight weekly for at least three consecutive weeks. Use the 1% strength Ivermectin and inject SQ over the ribs with an 18 gauge needle to minimize discomfort because this product stings when injected. Topical application of Lime Sulphur Dip must be done at the same time. Lime sulphur Dip (97.8% strength) can be purchased from a vet in concentrate form and mixed according to label directions (4 ounces concentrate to 1 gallon water). Lime Sulphur mix is applied by spray or dip and must be done every week for at least three weeks and sometimes weekly as long as six weeks if the skin isn't clearing up. Topical application of 1% Ivermectin weekly for three or more consecutive weeks is an alternative to Lime Sulphur Dip. A third topical application product is Prolate; follow label directions. There are other products available to treat mange mites, including so-called "organic" or "natural" products. I am leery of them because mites are hard to kill and most of these products use as a selling point that they do not have "harsh chemcials" in them. On the other hand, some of the chemically-based products are very strong, so I favor the Lime Sulphur Dip approach as the beginning method of treatment. Several other products for applying to the goat's skin are available. Check suppliers for products that kill mites.
Livestock guardian dogs (and all other dogs) are also subject to mite infestation and may have to be treated. There is some confusion about the species specificity of mange mites; some research indicates that certain mites are specific to a single species and other literature implies that mites may not be species specific after all. So I think it is wise to check out and possibly treat your livestock guardian dogs. Remember that Ivermectin is toxic to some dog breeds and cannot be used on them.
The important fact to remember is that goats must be treated for sub-cutaneous mite infestation AND on the surface of their bodies at the same time and repeatedly weekly for at least three consecutive weeks.
MENINGEAL DEERWORM INFECTION IN GOATS
Goat producers who live in areas where whitetail deer are abundant should be concerned about Meningeal Deerworm infection in their goats. Rainfall, swampy ground, and leaf litter compound the problems but the presence of white-tail deer are the key.
Sometimes called deerworm or brainworm, the parasite Parelaphostrongulus tenuis uses the whitetail deer as its host and passes through the deer's body without harming it. But with goats, the deerworm seems to "get lost" and winds up in the spinal canal . . . causing hind leg weakness and unsteadiness, progressing to hind leg dragging, inability to walk in a straight line, rear end wobbling from side to side, tremors, inability to stand, and paralysis. Once the larvae migrate over the body, the goat oftentimes but not always experiences intense itching and may begin chewing holes in its hide. There may be multiple small patches or one large patch of leathery skin, often behind the front leg of the body and moving up to the neck area. Shaving the hair off the sites where itching and chewing are occurring will usually reveal a straight line of hard nodules leading from the spine over which the skin has thickened. These are the subcutaneous larvae migrating throughout the goat's body. If the producer diagnoses the problem before paralysis occurs, full recovery is possible.
Goats who develop Meningeal Deerworm infection get it by ingesting the intermediate host, a slug or snail, while browsing in wet areas, such as ponds or swamps, or under dead leaves, branches, and trees. Warm weather in early winter and the resulting lack of snow cover has made this disease common in the eastern part of the United States. Goat producers who raise alpacas, llamas, or related ruminants may find that these camelids are even more susceptible to Meningeal Deerworm disease than goats or sheep.
The producer should suspect Meningeal Deerworm disease if the goat displays neurologic signs or any problem involving the spinal cord, from leg dragging to inability to get up. The disease can be a slow progression of symptoms or can strike suddenly. Pneumonia is a common secondary problem, since the goat is down and therefore inactive. The infected goat does not seem to be in pain, other than the itching; most goats eat and drink until death occurs.
Treatment involves very high dosages of Ivomec Plus or generic equivalent. Ivermectin paste or pour-on are not effective. Ivomec Plus or generic equivalent is recommended because if snails or slugs are present, so may also be liver flukes, and Ivomec Plus will handle both conditions at the same time. Ivomec Plus should be given at a rate of 1 cc per 25 pounds bodyweight for at least seven days, followed by a double-the-cattle dosage of fenbendazole (Safeguard/ Panacur) for five days. (Jeffers carries both dewormers.) Dosing too low means that the deerworm continues to do damage. Enough medication needs to remain in the goat's system so that the blood-brain barrier can be crossed in order to kill the larvae that have already penetrated the spinal column. If the goat is down and can't get up on its own, the chance for recovery is not good. An anti-inflammatory drug like Banamine can be useful in alleviating the inflammation of nerve tissue. Dexamethosone should also be used if paralysis is present, dosing at approximately 8 cc per 100 lbs bodyweight and stepping down one cc per day. Dex should be given into the muscle (IM). If the sick goat is a pregnant doe, use the dexamethasone and let her abort, because she isn't likely to survive if she is trying to grow fetuses while fighting this disease. If the producer is concerned about using Dexamethasone and Banamine at the same time, then use the Dex and forget the Banamine. When symptoms are found in one goat, the producer should either treat the entire herd or watch everyone closely daily for symptoms and begin treatment immediately if discovered.
This treatment, if utilized early in the disease, can stop its progression but cannot undo any nerve damage. Permanent spinal damage (including curvature), weakness in the hindquarters, and/or inability to deliver kids may be the residual effect of Meningeal Deerworm infection. Once the spinal cord is damaged, treatment can only do so much and the goat will never be back to full health. Producers should let at least one month pass before becoming convinced that the animal has been successfully treated.
In the northern and eastern parts of the United States, most infections occur in late summer/early fall or early winter, following a wet summer and mild fall. The larval migration of P. tenuis can take from ten days to over three months. If weather conditions produce wet ground, leaf litter or other slug habitat, and temperatures above 55*F, then meningeal deerworm is likely to appear six weeks after the first warm day and exist for the same number of days that the warm temperatures lasted. Said another way, if two weeks of warm weather occurs in November, watch for the appearance of meningeal deerworm in January. During these timeframes, some producers are using Ivomec Plus or its generic equivalent monthly for up to four months during the at-risk seasons.
Although laboratory testing of the cerebrospinal fluid produces an accurate diagnosis, the key to treatment of Meningeal Worm infection is early aggressive treatment. If all indications tell the producer that the goat is infected with P. tenuis, forget the testing and get on with treatment.
Prevention is difficult. The only proven preventative medication is administering Ivomec Plus or its generic equivalent monthly during slug and snail season. Because slugs and snails travel, ponds, swamps, and leafy wooded areas should be fenced off at least 200 yards from the areas to avoid so goats cannot become exposed to slugs and snails. Test for existence of slugs and snails by putting dry dog food in a small plastic cup, place it on the ground, and cover it with a bucket or box. Check the bucket or box at sunrise and sundown. If you find slugs, you have a potential Meningeal Deerworm problem in play.
Treatment can be unsuccessful, even when the disease is caught in its early stages. Prevention is the key to avoiding this devastating disease.
Scrapie is a fatal degenerative disease of the central nervous system of sheep and goats. Although Scrapie doesn't cross species, it is a member of the family of diseases known as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE's) that includes "Mad Cow Disease" in cattle and Chronic Wasting Disease in deer and elk. Over a period of years, infected and/or susceptible herds become economically unviable as younger and younger animals succumb to the disease. Animals sold from infected herds spread this incurable illness. The existence of Scrapie in the United States prevents the export of breeding stock, semen, and embryos to other countries from herds with known or suspected exposure to scrapie. Captive wild animals have contracted TSE's, but only as a result of being fed TSE-contaminated feed.
First identified in sheep in Great Britain and other Western European countries more than 250 years ago, Scrapie exists throughout the world. Only two countries are certified Scrapie-free: New Zealand and Australia. Scrapie first appeared in the United States in 1947 in a flock of sheep in Michigan. From 1947 through July 2001, over 1600 head of sheep have been diagnosed with Scrapie. In that same timeframe, only seven cases in goats have been reported. Nevertheless, goats as well as sheep have been targeted in governmental efforts to control the spread of Scrapie.
A slow-developing disease, Scrapie detection is difficult on animals under 18 months of age. Currently the only diagnostic tool for goats is to necropsy the brain tissue of a dead goat. Most of the research on Scrapie has been done on sheep, because sheep is the species in which Scrapie has been overwhelmingly diagnosed. Scrapie incidence in goats has been very low, but this may be the result of little attention being paid to goats overall.
Symptoms vary widely and develop slowly. Because the nerve cells are damaged, infected animals display head and neck tremor, skin itching, inability to control leg movement (swaying in the back end, hopping like a rabbit, high stepping of the front legs), lip smacking, good appetite accompanied by weight loss, rubbing against fences and other fixed objects, and biting of feet and legs. The name Scrapie comes from the scraping action the animal displays as it scrapes its hair/hide off. The symptoms are so generalized that they can be easily misdiagnosed. Veterinary disagnosis on-farm is done by visual observation only, and all suspect animals must be reported to Federal authorities. This can lead to problems for the producer whose herd may really be free of Scrapie, but the veterinarian is obligated to err on the side of caution. The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is currently working on a live-animal diagnostic test using procedures that detect the presence of an abnormal prion protein in sheep; however, genetic testing is not available for goats.
There are three main theories about how Scrapie is transmitted; it may be caused by a virus, a prion, or a virino. The majority of scientists tend to believe that an abnormal form of a prion protein is the agent in question. There appears to be a very distinct genetic component to Scrapie. Animals with specific gene patterns may display either a resistance or a susceptibility to contracting Scrapie. It appears that certain genetic patterns (in sheep) allow changes in the prion cellular protein structure that somehow prevent contraction of the disease. Studies are underway to determine how this works. Gene manipulation may be able to create animals that are Scrapie resistant. Unfortunately, goats are not part of these studies.
The details of how Scrapie is thought to work are technical and complex. The goat producer should be more interested in prevention rather than in learning the intricate details of the science behind Scrapie transmission. It is important to know that whatever the Scrapie agent turns out to be, scientists know that it is (a) very resistant to heat, and (b) does not cause any inflammatory reactions or immune system responses in the infected goat or sheep, thereby making current live-animal diagnostic testing techniques useless.
Scientists believe that Scrapie is spread from dam to offspring and other animals through contact with placental fluids. The role of artificial insemination and embryo transfer in the transmission of Scrapie is also under investigation. First symptoms often don't appear for two to five years after infection, meaning that many other animals could have also been infected long before detection occurred in a single animal. Death occurs within one to six months after symptoms appear. The disease is always fatal to the animal.
There is no scientific evidence that Scrapie is hazardous to human health in any manner, even through the consumption of the meat or milk of infected animals.
Control over the spread of Scrapie has been focused on (a) the establishment of a nation-wide Scrapie tagging program (administered at the State level, with differing regulations from State to State, but subject to minimum requirements set at the Federal level) to identify and trace the movement of goats and sheep; (b) genetic testing through the National Genetics Based Flock Cleanup Program (limited to sheep only); (c) eradication (de-population) of animals identified as infected, and (d) research aimed at finding genetic-based resistance to Scrapie. Goat producers will be interested and dismayed to learn that the genetic testing part of the control program involves compensating producers for infected animals but is restricted to sheep breeders only.
The information contained in this article came largely from the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) (1-800-601-9327). APHIS has a section of its website devoted to discussing Scrapie and its eradication efforts.
Clostridium tetani, the causative agent of tetanus, is found widely in both soil and animal feces. When this spore-forming rod is confined to an oxygen-deprived area, such as a deep puncture wound, a potent neurotoxin is released. Because tetanus anti-toxin is not usually effective once the toxin has reached the spinal cord, injecting it immediately is vital if the goat is to have any chance of surviving.
Goats can contract tetanus through puncture wounds, disbudding, fights between bucks, dog bites, castration, tattooing, dehorning, and kidding difficulties (dystocia). The constant rubbing of the neck of a chained or tethered goat can produce skin lesions that result in tetanus. Elastrator bands used for castrating young males can provide an environment for the introduction of tetanus. Many vets recommend against using elastrator bands, instead preferring "open" castration, in which the testicles are removed with a knife and the sac is left open to drain. Tetanus flourishes in areas where oxygen is not plentiful, i.e. anaerobic conditions.
Maintaining a clean environment, particularly in barns where horses are or have been kept, is essential. Horse feces is a well-known repository of tetanus. Tetanus spores accumulate in the soil in vast numbers where livestock is crowded and kept under intensive management conditions.
The incubation period for tetanus can be from a few days to several months,but is usually ten (10) to twenty (20) days. Early symptoms include a rigid gait, mild bloat, and anxiety. Tetanus quickly progresses to the animal's being unable to open its mouth (hence the term "lockjaw"), a rigid extension of the legs (front legs extended forward and together, with back legs extended backwards and together in a rocking horse- like stance),excessive salivation, constipation, inability to stand, neck stiffness with the head pulled hard to one side and accompanying tail and ear rigidity, and seizures. It is not a pretty sight. Once the goat is down and can't get up, death occurs quickly (usually within 36 hours or less).
Diagnosing tetanus can be complicated by the fact that some symptoms resemble those of other diseases. Polioencephalomalacia (goat polio),strychnine poisoning, nutritional muscular dystrophy (white muscle disease), and even laminitis have similar symptoms are certain stages of these diseases.
Treatment involves immediate administration of tetanus anti-toxin, before the wound or infection site is located and cleaned; this is because disturbing the sight while cleaning it can actually result in spreading the toxin. Then flush the wound with hydrogen peroxide as hair, dirt and other debris are removed from it. Penicillin injections for five consecutive days at a rate of 5 cc per 100 pounds body weight will help inhibit the release of more toxin.
Tetanus anti-toxin should be continued every 12 hours for at least two injections and longer if the infection site has not been located or is not easily reachable (i.e., internal infection resulting from kidding difficulties). Keep the goat isolated, quiet, and in darkened surroundings. Milk of Magnesia (15 cc per 60 pounds body weight given orally every 4-6 hours) or an enema may be used to relieve constipation. Electrolytes should be generously given and probably will have to be orally drenched into the goat's mouth, since it is not likely to be able to drink or eat on its own. Intravenous (IV) administration of glucose for nutritional purposes is recommended. For most producers, a vet is needed to do IV treatment. The goat may have to be tube-fed by a person knowledgeable in how to use a gastric tube. This will also relieve some of the bloat that is present with tetanus. Do not give the goat mineral oil, because its throat cannot recognize this substance as something to be swallowed and the mineral oil may be aspirated into the lungs. The goat must be turned from side to side every thirty (30) minutes to one hour to prevent skin ulcerations. Complete recovery in severe cases can take up to several weeks. But recovery is by no means assured. Tetanus is often fatal.
Prevention is easily accomplished by regular vaccination with tetanus toxoid, combined with maintaining clean facilities where the goats live. It is both cost- and time-effective to vaccinate kids with the combination injection for Overeating Disease Types C& D and Tetanus at one month of age and again at two months of age. Vaccinate pregnant does one week before the first doe is expected to kid; this will provide passive immunity to the newborn until it is old enough for its vaccination series to be given. And don't forget to vaccinate all bucks.
When castrating males, give the tetanus anti-toxin injection if the goat is not old enough to have received both toxoid vaccinations. If the goat has already had both toxoid injections, then give a booster of the toxoid vaccine when castrating.
This combination Overeating-Tetanus vaccine is sold under several brand names, two of which are Bar-Vac CD/T and Fermicon CD/T. Annual boosters are necessary for all goats. Do not assume that recently-purchased goats, whether they are adults or kids, have been vaccinated. Instead,give them the entire two-injection series one month apart to maximize protection. CD/T toxoid, tetanus toxoid, and tetanus antitoxin injections can be purchased across-the-counter from animal health supply houses such as Register Distributing (goatsupplies.netfirms.com) and Jeffers(1-800-JEFFERS). Tetanus anti-toxin injections are available in single-dose vials. All three types must be kept refrigerated. Watch expiration dates on the bottles. None of these vaccines are expensive.
It is easy to confuse toxoid and anti-toxin. Toxoid is the vaccine used to prevent the disease; it requires weeks to become effective, must be boostered with a second injection after 28 days, and one vaccination per goat must be given annually thereafter. Anti-toxin is the single-injection immediate protection needed when the disease is present. If the goat survives, wait at least five days from the last anti-toxin injection and begin anew the two-shot series of toxoid injections.
Tetanus is everywhere, but it is very preventable. A responsible,knowledgeable goat producer will provide conditions in which it is not likely to flourish and will preventatively vaccinate all animals.
GOAT POLIO OR LISTERIOSIS?
Different Causes, Similar Symptoms, Similar Treatments
Goat Polio (Polioencephalomalacia) is a metabolic disease with symptoms that often mimic or overlap those of the brain-stem disease Listeriosis (Listeria monocytogenes). In most cases, both of these diseases are seen in goats raised under intensive management conditions. Improper feeding, particularly feeding too much grain and too little roughage (hay and forage) is a significant factor in both diseases. Producers pushing the animal to gain weight too fast can induce these potentially fatal diseases in their goats. Sudden changes in feed can also cause the onset of these diseases.
Polioencephalomalacia (also known as Cerebrocortical Necrosis) is basically thiamine (Vitamin B 1) deficiency. Any change in the rumen's environment that suppresses normal bacterial activity can interfere with thiamine production. Too much grain decreases the pH of the rumen, predisposing the animal to Goat Polio. Glucose cannot be metabolized without thiamine. If thiamine is either not present or exists in an altered form (thiaminase), then brain cells die and severe neurological symptoms appear.
Causes of thiamine deficiency include feeding moldy hay or grain, using amprollium which is a thiamine inhibitor (brand name CoRid) when treating coccodiosis, feeding molasses-based grains which are prone to mold (horse & mule feeds), eating some species of ferns, sudden changes in diet, the dietary stress of weaning, and reactions to the de-wormers thiabendazole and levamisole. Each of these conditions can suppress Vitamin B1 production. The usage of antibiotics destroys flora in the rumen and can cause thiamine deficiency. It is important to repopulate the gut with live bacteria after using antibiotics or diarrhea (scour) medications.
Goat Polio generally occurs in weanlings and very young goats, while Listeriosis most frequently affects adult goats. An increase in Goat Polio occurs in North America during winter when the availability of forage and quality hay is low and producers start feeding increased amounts of grain or expect goats to survive on very poor pasture.
Symptoms of Polioencephalomalacia can be any combination of or all of the following: excitability, "stargazing," uncoordinated staggering and/or weaving (ataxia), circling, diarrhea, muscle tremors, and blindness. Initial symptoms can look like Entertoxemia (overeating disease). There is a component of "overeating" involved in that the rumen flora has been compromised. As the disease progresses, convulsions and high fever occur, and if untreated, the goat generally dies within 24-72 hours. Diagnosis is available via laboratory tests, but the producer does not have the luxury of the time that such tests take.
Thiamine is the only effective therapy, and treatment can result in improvement within a few hours if the disease is caught early enough. Thiamine is an inexpensive veterinary prescription. Producers should always keep thiamine on hand; the most commonly available strength is 100 mg/ml. Dosage is based on the goat's weight (4-1/2 cc per 100 pounds liveweight for 100 mg/ml thiamine) and must be given every six hours on a 24-hour cycle until all symptoms have disappeared completely to avoid relapse. Thiamine, like all B vitamins, is water soluable, so the goat eliminates daily what it doesn't utilize in the rumen. A sick goat's rumen doesn't produce B vitamins, hence the importance of adding them to the goat each day until it gets well. Initially thiamine should be given IM (into the muscle) but can be given SQ (subcutaneously) or even orally after several days of treatment. Some thiamine comes in 500 mg/ml strength, making the required dosage 1 cc per 100 pounds bodyweight. If thiamine is unavailable but the producer has injectable multiple B vitamins, check the label for how much thiamine (Vitamin B1) is present. Fortified Vitamin B Complex contains 100 mg/ml of thiamine, so the 4-1/2 cc per 100 pounds bodyweight dosage is appropriate. Injectable multiple B vitamins containing only 25mg/ml of thiamine require four times the 100mg/ml dosage (18-1/2 cc) per 100 pounds bodyweight, so the producer can quickly see the importance of obtaining the proper strength of injectable B vitamins. The key to overcoming Goat Polio is early diagnosis and treatment. Complete recovery is possible under such circumstances.
Since symptoms of Goat Polio can easily look like Listeriosis, this writer recommends that procaine pencillin also be used. Better to cover both possible illnesses with appropriate treatments when symptoms are so similar than risk the goat's dying. Administer high doses of procaine penicillin (300,000 International Unit strength) every six hours on a 24-hour basis until all symptoms have disappeared and another 24 hours have passed. Higher-than-normal dosage of procaine penicillin is needed to cross the blood brain barrier to put sufficient amounts of the antibiotic into the tissue of the goat's central nervous system. A chart of dosage by bodyweight accompanies this article. Give this medication SQ over the ribs with an 18 gauge needle so that the goat doesn't become a pin cushion of holes from repeated injections. Very Important: Continue all treatment until 24 hours *after* the last symptom has disappeared to avoid a relapse.
Summary: To try to avoid this disease, decrease grain, increase roughage, avoid moldy hay and grain, and don't use feed that is susceptible to mold (molasses-based/textured feeds). Complete avoidance of Goat Polio is impossible. After doing everything "right," producers can still have a goat contract Goat Polio occasionally.
chartlisteriosisListeriosis is a brain-stem disease caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, which is found in soil, water, plant litter, silage, and even in the goat's digestive tract. The bacterium generally enters the goat's body through the mouth and multiplies rapidly in cold temperatures. There are two forms of Listeriosis: one form results in abortions, while the other causes encephalitis. Both types are seldom seen at the same time in the same herd. The organism can be shed in the milk of both carrier and sick goats. Listeriosis is potentially zoonotic (able to be transmitted to humans.) Like Goat Polio, Listeriosis is most often seen in intensive management situations. Unlike Goat Polio, Listeriosis is more common in adult animals than in kids. Because some goats are carriers who never display any symptoms, it is possible to buy infected animals and introduce this disease into a previously uninfected herd.
Listeriosis is brought on by feeding silage, suddenly changing type and kind of feed (grain or hay), parasitism, dramatic weather changes, and advanced stages of pregnancy. The encephalitic form is most common, causing inflammation of the nerves in the goat's brain stem. Symptoms include some or all of the following: depression, decreased appetite, fever, leaning or stumbling or moving in one direction only, head pulled to flank with rigid neck (similar to symptoms of tetanus), facial paralysis on one side, blindness, slack jaw, and drooling. Diarrhea is present only in the strain of Listeriosis which causes abortions and pregnancy toxemia. Listeriosis can be mistaken for rabies. Immediate treatment is critical. There is no time to waste with Listeriosis. Recovery is more difficult and time-consuming than Goat Polio. A goat can go blind and completely recover its eyesight and overall health if proper treatment is provided; such treatment can take days or even weeks, depending upon the severity of the illness and how quickly treatment was begun.
Treatment involves administration of high doses of procaine penicillin (300,000 International Unit strength) every six hours on a 24-hour cycle up to and through 24 hours after the last symptom has disappeared to avoid relapse. Higher-than-normal dosage of procaine penicillin is needed to cross the blood brain barrier to put sufficient amounts of the antibiotic into the tissue of the goat's central nervous system. A chart of dosage by bodyweight accompanies this article. Very Important: Continue all treatment until 24 hours *after* the last symptom has disappeared to avoid a relapse. Give the procaine pencillin SQ over the ribs with an 18 gauge needle so the goat doesn't become a pin cushion of holes from repeated injections during this intensive treatment. This author also uses Vitamin B 1 (Thiamine) along with the penicillin treatment. Thiamine is an appropriate addition to treatment of any sick goat. Dosage is outlined above in the Goat Polio section of this article. Dexamethasone ( cortico-steroid) injections can be used to reduce brain stem swelling. Dexamethasone will induce labor in pregnant does, but the doe is likely to abort anyhow as a result of this infection, so producers might be wise to abort the pregnancy if they wish to save the sick doe. Dexamethasone dosage is 5 to 6 cc per 100 pounds bodyweight given IM in decreasing amounts daily. Example: Goat is 100 pounds liveweight. Dosage is 6 cc into the muscle on Day One, 5 cc on Day Two, 4 cc on Day Three, 3 cc on Day Four, 2 cc on Day Five, one cc on Day Six, nothing on Day Seven. If the goat is over 100 pounds, drop dosages daily in increments of two or three cc's. Example: Dose a 200 pound goat at 12 cc on Day One, 10 cc on Day Two, 8 cc on Day Three, 6 cc on Day Four, 4 cc on Day Five, 2 cc on Day Six, nothing on Day Seven. Dexamethasone should be tapered off rather than quit abruptly. This writer would be reluctant to use Dexamethasone on young kids six months of age or less except under the direction of my veterinarian.
Prevention: Feed your goats properly. No silage; the possibility of mold is too great. No moldy feed or hay. Clean pens. No sudden changes in types of feed (grain or hay). Lots of free-choice quality roughage, particularly in the latter stages of pregnancy. And don't overfeed on grain.
NOTE ON HYDRATION/NUTRITION: Do not fail to keep the sick goat hydrated and fed. With Goat Polio and Listeriosis, a goat is usually totally off feed and water. This means that the producer must stomach tube nutrients (electrolytes, energy, protein) into the goat. A 100 pound goat needs one gallon of fluids daily. That is 3,840 cc's. No producer can syringe 3,840 cc's of fluids daily into a goat without stressing both the goat and the caregiver. All of the proper medications won't save a goat if that animal dies of dehydration/starvation. Entrolyte (oral calf nutrient powder containing electrolytes and 13% protein) or comparable product should always be kept on hand for these situations. Do not offer grain to a sick goat but instead provide easy-to-digest forage plants (weeds & leaves) and grass hay.
HOOF ROT, HOOF SCALD, AND HOOF ABSCESSES
Hoof diseases in goats are a health problem as well as an economic liability, because a goat that has lost its ability to stand, walk, and forage is not a productive animal. Leg tendons begin to contract within 24 hours on a goat that is 'down' and cannot get up, making a bad situation even worse. Weight loss in the goat results in money lost to the producer.
Fusobacterium nodosum and Actinomyces pyogenes are common bacterial causes of hoof rot and hoof scald. Hoof rot occurs on the sole of the hooves and between the wall and the hoof, while hoof scald occurs between the hoof's claws ("toes"). Both hoof rot and hoof scald are contagious and are frequently seen in hot wet climatic conditions. Standing water provides an ideal incubation condition for the spread of foot rot and foot scald. Wet ground in hot weather softens the hoof and keeps it moist, making injury more likely and allowing bacteria to penetrate. Hoof rot and hoof scald rarely occur in arid hot climates, even when goats are maintained in crowded conditions. Hoof abscesses occur when the inner structure of the foot is injured and an infection sets in; the most common causative agent is Fusobacterium necrophorum. Ticks may take advantage of favorable conditions, causing deep wounds between the claws that result in hoof abscesses.
Herd management is a major factor in the development of hoof infections. Marshy pastures, overcrowding, and overgrown hooves are major causes. Because these diseases are highly infectious, bringing in goats that already have the diseases or turning goats out on infected pastures are methods of disease transmission. Participating in goat shows where a producer's goats may encounter infected animals is another method of introducing hoof diseases into the herd.
Certain dietary conditions can predispose goats to conditions which can lead to hoof diseases. Zinc deficiency can result in swollen and/or deformed hooves and can cause lesions or cracks which provide a route for bacteria to enter the hoof. Zinc is essential to protein synthesis and cell division. Too much calcium in the diet (but not calcium from legumes) can lead to zinc deficiency. Goats who quit eating and begin loosing weight as a result of zinc deficiency will resume their feed intake in less than a day after a minimal amount of zinc (10 mg/kg) is added to their diets. Male goats may need somewhat more zinc in their diets than do females.
Routine hoof trimming is vital. Overgrown hooves tend to turn inward and curl over the sole of the hoof, providing an incubation site for the anaerobic bacteria (organisms that thrive without oxygen) which cause these diseases. This author has an article, with diagrams, on Hoof Trimming on the Onion Creek Ranch website's Articles Page.
Lameness is the first sign of hoof rot; the smell of rotting tissue is unmistakable. Hoof scald is equally painful and debilitating to the goat, but odor is not normally present. Generally, both hoof rot and hoof scald affect more than one hoof, while hoof abcesses are restricted to one hoof and sometimes even to one claw of the hoof. The hoof is swollen, hot, and painful when touched. Pus pockets in between the claws are common.
Hoof problems in goats are often chronic because they are directly related to management and environmental conditions. Therefore, getting control over the circumstances which cause the problem is vital.
Proper hoof trimming must be regularly and routinely followed by antibacterial footbaths and oftentimes antibiotic treatment, both systemically through antibiotic injections and topically via application of products such as Kopertox and zinc sulfate. Note: Remember to disinfect the trimmers after each goat's hoofs are trimmed to prevent the spread of infectious bacteria. Trimming the hooves removes the dead tissue and exposes the anaerobic bacteria to oxygen in which it cannot live for long. Infected hoof trimmings should be burned or otherwise permanently disposed of to prevent re-contamination. Pus pockets must be drained before a hoof abscess can begin to heal. It is important to clean the infected area throughly with hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexadine, Nolvasan, or equivalent after hoof trimming has been done and before applying topical medications.
Antibacterial footbaths can work, but the problem is getting goats to walk through them, given their natural aversion to getting their hooves wet. Producers need to study their pen layouts and determine how best to utilize footbaths. The footbath must be located where the goats must walk through it every day on their way to feed, water, pasture, and/or shelter. The footbath must be both non-toxic and non-irritating. A solution of zinc sulfate is recommended, since other products (copper sulfate and formalin, for example) may either sting, give off irritating fumes, or be toxic if ingested by the goats. One producer reports that he successfully uses a solution of three parts turpentine and one part Hoof N Heal mixed and dispersed via a spray bottle.
Formalin (10% buffered formaldehyde) is an excellent disinfectant for controlling problems such as hoof rot/scald/abscesses -- and even soremouth and caseous lymphadenitis. While it is not suitable for use in a footbath, formalin works well when painted full strength onto an infected hoof after the diseased area has been cleaned and dried. If the hoof has abscessed, soak a cotton pad with formalin and wedge it into the abscess -- changing daily. It may be necessary to wrap the hoof to keep the cotton-soaked formalin in place.
Some footbath products will stain the goats' hair when spashed onto the animals' bodies. This is an economic liability for hair-goat producers. In all cases, treated goats should not be turned back into contaminated paddocks but instead should be housed on dry ground or on raised platforms with drainage slots to allow the hooves to dry and the antibacterial footbaths to be effective.
Systemic injections of antibiotics are helpful when used in conjunction with footbaths and uninfected pastures. Oxytetracycline 200 mg/ml (LA200 or equivalent) is particularly effective in combatting infectious hoof diseases. If infected goats are not current on tetanus toxoid vaccinations, then tetanus anti-toxin should be given in conjunction with other treatments. Tetanus is also caused by a bacteria which flourishes in an anaerobic environment.
Intervet makes a hoof rot vaccine for sheep and cattle (brand name VOLAR) that is available without prescription from mail-order houses and is safe for use with pregnant females in those two species. Although its application with goats is off-label, some producers are reporting success using it.
Control over infectious hoof diseases can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Maintaining a completely closed herd is one method. This means never participating in shows and not buying animals from other producers. Since this is not very realistic, the breeder should carefully inspect all newly-purchased animals for hoof problems and inquire about the source herd's health conditions. Running the new goats through a footbath and quarantining them for at least two weeks is sound herd management, both for infectious hoof diseases as well as other illnesses. Hard, rocky ground upon which the goats can walk and climb contributes to hoof health. Routine trimming and use of walk-through footbaths during hot wet weather is recommended.
Diarrhea should not be considered an illness in and of itself but rather a symptom of other more serious health problems in goats. Before treating a goat for diarrhea, it is essential to determine why the animal is scouring. Administering a diarrhea-controlling medication can make the situation much worse. Slightly soft stool is sometimes the body's way of ridding itself of undesirable products through the purging effect of diarrhea. For example, one step in the treatment of Floppy Kid Syndrome involves the use of a laxative (Milk of Magnesia) to induce mild diarrhea so that the kid's body is rid of the stagnant toxic milk that has overloaded its digestive system.
There are four major causative agents of diarrhea in goats: bacteria, viruses, parasites, and management practices (overcrowding, poor sanitation, or nutritionally-induced problems).
Diarrhea can be the symptom of many different illnesses, including bloat, ruminal acidosis, laminitis/founder, copper deficiency, aflatoxin poisoning, anaphylactic shock, plant toxicity/poisoning, renal failure, selenium toxicity, coccidiosis, enterotoxemia (clostridium perfringens type C&D), salmonellosis, E. Coli infection, caprine herpes virus, heavy parasite infestation, and goat polio.
However, diarrhea is not always the result of an infectious disease. It can be nutritionally induced by overfeeding on milk or grain, by using poor-quality milk replacers, or by sudden changes in feeding schedules or in the type of feed being offered.
Neonatal Diarrhea Complex, which is the term used to describe diarrhea occurring in kids under one month of age, the cause of which may not ever be diagnosed, usually occurs during kidding season when extremes of weather take place . . . . excessive heat or cold or heavy rains. Kids less than one month of age do have not fully functioning immune systems, so diarrhea can take a heavy toll. Dehydration, acidosis, electrolyte depletion, and hypocalcemia can result. The kid becomes weak and can't stand, has a dry mouth and cold extremities, body temperature drops below normal, and the sucking response is often lost. Sick kids should be isolated from the herd, placed in sanitary facilities, and fed in containers that are up and off the ground to prevent further contamination. Administration of oral and subcutaneous electrolytes along with an appropriate broad-spectrum antibiotic is the recommended treatment.
Coccidia and/or worms usually are the cause of diarrhea in kids over one month of age. Both of these conditions are transmitted by fecal-to-oral contact and occur most frequently in intensive management situations where pens and troughs are not kept clean and dry and overcrowding exists.
Adult-onset diarrhea is less common than in kids, but nevertheless is quite possible. Overfeeding on grain (such as shell or cracked corn) can cause severe ruminal acidosis . . . literally shutting down the goat's digestive system . . . and can result in death. Heavy parasite loads can cause diarrhea in adult goats. Almost anything which negatively affects the proper functioning of the goat's rumen may cause scouring.
When a producer sees diarrhea in one of his goats, do not run for a bottle of Pepto-Bismol, Kaeopectate, or Scour Halt. First figure out what is causing the scouring, then treat appropriately. Use a rectal thermometer to take the goat's body temperature. Mix electrolytes (ReSorb or equivalent) and orally drench the animal to prevent dehydration. Administer electrolytes under the skin (subcutaneously) if the goat is already seriously dehydrated. Never use Immodium AD to control diarrhea in a goat. This product can stop the peristaltic action of the gut, bringing the digestive process to a halt, and death in not uncommon under such circumstances. If the scouring is slightly soft stool, let it run its course. When body temperature is above the normal range, use a fever medication and an antibiotic to control infection. Obviously, very watery diarrhea requires a different approach and much more intervention on the producer's part.
Producers should recognize diarrhea as a symptom of a more serious health problem and investigate further to find the cause before running for the Scour Halt bottle. Sometimes, but certainly not always, the diarrhea is helpful in clearing up what is wrong with the goat.
Although Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) is by far the most common cause of abscesses, lumps and knots on the body of a goat can be the result of other conditions. Moreover, it is easy to mis-diagnose other health problems as abscesses.
Types of Abscesses:
Injection Site Abscesses may occur when producers administer vaccines to goats. Indicative of the immune system's response to the vaccine, these large roundish lumps usually disappear over time and without human intervention. Because it is so frequently used, the overeating-tetanus vaccine CD/T is probably the product best known for causing injection-site abscesses. Using dirty needles or re-using the same needle can also cause injection site abscesses. Flush erupted abscesses with 7% iodine and pack the site daily with Triple Antibiotic Cream until healed. This is particularly important in hot climates where flies and other insects are prevalent.
Puncture Abcesses occur when something sharp penetrates the goat's body and can appear almost anywhere . . . on the face, body, leg, or hoof. Plant thorns, nails. . . almost anything sharp . . . can cause abscesses. Flushing the wound with 7% iodine and administering a tetanus anti-toxin injection is usually sufficient treatment.
Animal or insect bites or stings can abscess, including but not limited to bites from snakes, spiders, scorpions, and dogs. Penicillin is advisable for serious punctures, particularly those caused by bites from another animal. See my article on Snakebite on the Articles Page of my website. The recommendations contained therein generally apply not only to snakebites but also to other animal bites.
Cheek Abscesses sometimes occur when the goat bites the inside of its own cheek where the upper and lower molars meet.
Tooth-Root Abscesses are usually seen around a molar in the lower jaw and may correspond with gum disease or broken/loose teeth.
Umbilical Abscesses, though rare, can occur at the site of the umbilical cord's attachment to the kid's body. Aspiration (drawing out) of the fluid using a sterile needle and syringe is necessary, followed by systemic (system-wide) antibiotics.
De-horning Abscesses can occur if a scab forms over the open sinus cavity before all infection is eliminated.
Umbilical Hernia Abscesses can occur internally if the hernia is not promptly treated by a veterinarian.
Liver, Lung, Brain, and Rumen Abscesses are internal and usually result from bacteria travelling through the goat's system; these abscesses are most likely Caseous Lymphadenitis. (see below) Goats infected with Tuberculosis often have multiple internal organ abscesses.
Wattle Cyst Abscesses occasionally occur at the base of one or more wattles or at the site where a wattle was surgically removed. Though normally present at birth, wattle cysts may not be noticeable until the goat grows. Wattle cysts contain a clear liquid which can be thick or thin, and the site may abcess when the liquid is aspirated (removed with a needle and syringe). Other than being confused with CL, wattle cysts are harmless.
Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) is the most common cause of abscesses in goats. Goats with knots under their ears, on their flanks, or about their chests have a huge probability of being infected with the bacterium which causes CL abscesses.
Recurring (chronic) lymph node abscesses in goats are caused by the organism corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis. These abscesses can be both external and internal. While the bacteria is highly contagious and spreads through a herd rapidly, the knots (which appear at lymph-gland sites) can be slow to develop, sometimes taking months or years to become visible. No goat breed and no geographic area is exempt from goats being able to ontract this disease. Females contract CL at about the same percentage rate as do males. Wethers display a lower incidence of the disease, perhaps because they are generally terminal animals. The high infection rate in older animals confirms that the organism can be acquired at any time and that exposure increases with age.
Caseous Lymphadenitis in goats is a world-wide problem which continues to baffle scientists striving to find either a prevention or a cure . . . neither of which currently exists. Infection occurs through wounds caused by head butting, punctures, and shearing, by ingestion, and even occasionally via inhalation. Internal abscesses can cause major health problems. The disease can affect the lungs, liver, and kidneys; respiration may become rapid and difficult, and infertility can result from scrotal abscesses in males. Udder abscesses in females can seriously deplete milk production. External abscesses are most common under the ears in the head and neck region of the goat's body, while internal abscesses appear most often in the lungs. In decreasing percentages of frequency, external abscesses are found under the ear, on the shoulder, on the flank, and in the udder/scrotum areas.
All abscesses on goats are not necessarily CL abscesses. The bacterium actinomyces pyogenes also produces a fast-growing nodule, but it contains a smelly, greenish pus. A simple and inexpensive test can be done on blood samples or pus (exudate) to determine the bacterium causing the abscess. Most nodules . . . as high as 90% or more . . . . . are CL abscesses.
Breeders who let abscesses burst and infect the ground have created for themselves a very long-term problem. CL can survive temperatures of minus 50 degrees F. Some evidence exists that it is less survivable in hot, dry climates, but studies are not advanced enough to reveal at what temperature and how long the weather must remain very hot and dry to eliminate Caseous Lymphadenitis in contaminated soil. The bacterium survives better when mixed with dirt, hay, and feces and when it comes into contact with wooden rather than metal troughs, posts, fences, and feed bunkers.
Caseous Lymphadenitis is extremely resistant to antibiotic therapy because the thick caseous pus is contained in a tough fibrous capsule which antibiotics cannot penetrate. The abscesses usually develop slowly and contain a cheesy, dryish, white pus about the consistency of toothpaste. Lab testing on blood samples is the only diagnostic tool currently available to determine if a goat without a visible abscess is infected, and tests on goats under six months of age are very unreliable. Active, runny, open abscesses are most accurately testable. Older lesions don't shed enough of the bacterium to be readily detectable. The incidence of "false negatives" is high, particularly in goats displaying no visible signs of abscesses. This is one good reason NOT to buy goats at commercial auctions; you are usually buying someone else's problems.
Note: Eating the meat of CL-infected goats will not NOT transmit CL to humans; external abscesses come off with the hide and internal abscesses found in organs are discarded.
CL is chronic (recurring), incurable, and not preventable at this time. Existing vaccines were developed for use in sheep. If used on goats, not only will the vaccine provide no protection against the disease but the vaccine manufacturer (Colorado Serum) advises that it will also cause painful leg swelling and other unpleasant side effects. Autogenous vaccines --- vaccines made from a specific herd's infectious material --- are far less than 100% effective and may legally be used only on that herd. Goats already infected with the CL bacterium cannot be helped by any vaccine.
To manage an outbreak of Caseous Lymphadenitis in a goat herd, create a "sick pen" dedicated solely to CL-infected goats; use it for nothing else. Immediately remove an infected animal from the herd and place it in isolation in the "sick pen." NEVER let the abscess burst on its own and contaminate pen or pasture. When the abscess begins to feel soft or the hair starts coming off its center, prepare to open the abscess and remove the exudate.
Gather the following supplies: disposable latex gloves for all persons involved, a #10 disposable scalpel, several 3 cc Luer slip syringes (no needle required), tweezers, paper towels, 7% iodine solution, a rectangular shallow pan, a gallon of bleach, and several plastic bags into which the used paper towels, exudate, and contaminated gloves can be discarded and securely bagged. It is also wise to have a hard-sided container (like an old Band-Aid can) into which the scalpel and Luer slip syringes can be placed for disposal. Before entering the "sick pen," pour a small amount of bleach into the shallow pan and place it outside the pen for use as a "shoe bath" when exiting the pen. This should help prevent the spread of CL bacterium to other areas if by chance it adheres to the soles of your shoes.
Humans can contract Caseous Lymphadenitis; a skin lesion exposed to the bacterium is an invitation to this highly-contagious organism. Find a dependable, strong helper to hold the goat down. Cover exposed body parts with clothing and put on disposable gloves and protective eye gear. Enter the "sick pen" and place the goat on its side on the ground. Cut into the abscess perpendicularly to the goat's body . . . NOT at the base or at the top of the abscess . . . taking care not to allow the contents of the abscess to squirt on you. (Keep your mouth closed.) A "ripe" CL abscess oozes material the consistency of toothpaste. Using paper towels, squeeze the abscess until all of the pasty content is out and a bloody liquid begins to appear. Apply pressure from several directions, since most abscesses are comprised of several chambers closed off from each other. (This is why antibiotics are not effective; the medication cannot reach the encapsulated abcess.) A second incision is occasionally required.
Flood the interior and the exterior of the incision with 7% iodine, using a 3 cc luer-slip syringe. Be careful to keep the iodine from running into the goat's eyes, ears, nose, or other orifice near the incision. Bag all infected materials tightly, step into the bleach shoebath as you leave the pen to prevent the spread of the bacterium, and burn all items which came into contact with the infected exudate. Use Betadine Surgical Scrub or similar product on all exposed parts of your body and change clothes and shoes before going on to your next task.
Keep the infected goat in isolation until the wound completely heals. Repeat the above-outlined procedure several times at approximately three-day intervals, as needed, because an abscess tends to fill up again . . although usually with less and less exudate . . . until it quits draining and begins to heal. With really large and complicated (multi-chambered) abscesses, it is advisable to soak a piece of gauze in iodine and place it (using tweezers) inside the incision, with a bit of the gauze hanging out of the cut, so that you can pull it out later and re-clean the abscess. This will prevent the incision from healing over, so you won't have to cut the animal again. Complete healing, including re-growth of hair over the incision site, will take a minimum of four to six weeks.
Infected areas should be thoroughly cleaned of all contaminated materials. The top two inches of dirt may be removed from the barn, shed, or pen areas, but dispersing a solution of tri-sodium phosphate or similar agent onto the ground should cleanse the area. Agricultural lime may also be spread and allowed to remain in the soil. The extent to which the producer takes this clean-up depends largely upon how well he/she contained the CL outbreak.
IMPORTANT ALTERNATIVE CONTROL METHOD FOR CASEOUS LYMPHADENITIS:
Some producers choose not to cut open the abscess but instead inject one-half cc (1/2 cc) Formulin (10% buffed solution) directly into the lump, using a 22-gauge by 3/4 inch needle. A repeat injection may be necessary several days later. Great care must be taken in doing this as nerve paralysis and even death can result. Once the Formulin is injected, hold your gloved finger over the injection site for a few seconds to keep the liquid from running out. This must be done before the hair comes off the nodule, as the abscess is very close to rupturing at that point, but not while the knot is still very hard. Keep the goat isolated from the rest of its herd until the Formulin-injected abscess falls off and the skin is fully healed.
The advantage of using Formulin is that the abscess is never opened, so other goats are not exposed to the exudate. The disadvantages are that the producer is not absolutely certain what he/she is dealing with if the pus is not tested , and the knot remains visible for a period of time until the Formulin shrinks it and causes it to fall off the goat's body.
This writer is beginning to lean towards the Formulin method of controlling CL outbreaks in a goat herd, primarily because it contains the very-infectious bacteria. Formulin is used to preserve laboratory specimens. Contact a vet to find out where to purchase this product.
Today there is no adequate method available to get complete control over Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) in a goat herd. This fact makes it very important that meat-goat producers urge vaccine manufacturers to research and develop a CL vaccine made exclusively for goats. Attached to this article is a Sidebar containing a form letter to Capra Products that you can fill out, sign, and send to them. Capra Products is working hard towards getting a CL vaccine developed specifically for goats and getting the required government approval of such a product. Completing this form and sending it to Capra Products is critical to this process, because vaccine manufacturers will not commit money towards developing new vaccines without prior evidence that there is a market to which they can sell their new products. Click Here for Form.
Conditions that may be mistaken for abscesses:
gtmed1Cud chewing causes a bulge in the goat's cheek during ruminal activity that may be mistaken for an abscess.
Salivary Cysts are painless swellings on the side of the face that are filled with saliva. Do not lance a salivary cyst, because the salivary system provides vital bicarbonates needed in digestion, and to do so can result in life-threatening rumenal acidosis. Instead, use a sterile needle to aspirate (draw out) the odorless, colorless watery or slightly blood-tinged fluid from the cyst.
Arthritis can cause enlarged lymph nodes that are often initially mistaken as abscesses when in fact Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis is the cause.
Joint infections may be accompanied by swollen lymph nodes.
Lymphosarcoma (cancer of the lymph glands) may cause swollen lymph nodes that look like abscesses.
Swellings caused by bites (snake, scorpion, spider, dog) may be mistaken for abscesses.
Bottlejaw (severe parasite infestation to the point of anemia) results in a fleshy loose pouch of skin under the chin.
Fights among goats (usually bucks) may result in swelling near eyes, horns, down the face, neck, and chest.
Goiters occur when the thyroid gland enlarges as a result of low thyroxine output and may be mistaken for abscesses.
Urethral rupture can cause swelling in males when urine leaks into tissues under the skin.
Fungal infections can cause recurring subcutaneous (under the skin) swellings called mycetomas that may be mistaken for abscesses.
Flank and ventral (in front of the udder) hernias usually can be ruled out as abscesses by visual inspection.
CAE, CL, and JOHNES DISEASE
Incurable But Not Equal
Goat producers tend to think of Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis (CAE), Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL), and Johnes Disease as equally dangerous and unwanted. While no goat producer wants to purchase goats that have one or more of these incurable diseases, the truth is that they should not be lumped together as equally devastating illnesses.
CAE is a retro-virus, like AIDS. It is transmitted through colostrum, milk, and body fluids. Although very debilitating to the infected goat, CAE is not believed to be transmittable to humans.
CAE blood tests detect antibody produced in response to infection with the CAE virus. However, because only very small amounts of the antibody are produced in the early stages of infection, these low antibody levels may not be detectable by some blood tests. Therefore it is not advisable to test for CAE until the goat is at least six to eight months of age. Most female goats will develop detectable levels of antibody at or shortly after their first freshening (kidding).
CAE is incurable, untreatable, and not manageable. Goats infected with the CAE virus should be slaughtered for meat consumption. The meat is safe for human consumption.
CL is caused by a bacteria that can in theory be transmitted to humans but in fact seldom happens. This disease is transmitted through oral ingestion of the pus or through direct contact with the pus through a cut on the body. CL does not transmit through colostrum, milk, or bodily fluids. I repeat: CL does "not" transmit through colostrum, milk, or bodily fluids. CL bacteria is filtered by the goat's lymph system to the underside of the skin, where it is contained in thick-walled abscesses that are impenetrable by antibiotics. The problem with CL occurs when an abscess breaks open into the environment, spredding pus that can infect the goat's herdmates. Internal abscesses are possible but much more common in sheep than in goats. Slaughter facilities routinely identify and condemn abscesses in internal organs and allow the rest of the goat to be processed for food. The meat from CL-infected goats is safe to eat after the affected areas have been condemned and discarded.
Blood testing for CL has a high degree of accuracy, depending upon the type of blood test used, but the only way to be absolutely certain if the abscess contains the CL bacteria is to test the exudate (pus). There are many types of abscesses. Two abscesses often visually mis-diagnosed as CL are pasteurella abscess and a. pyogenes abscesses.
CL, while incurable once the goat contracts it, can be vaccinated against with the CaseBac sheep vaccine (same bacterial organism affects both sheep and goats) and will in the not-too-distant future be able to be vaccinated against with a goat- specific vaccine currently in development by Colorado Serum. CL is also manageable either by lancing and cleaning out abscesses or injecting the abscess with 10% Formalin. I have articles describing how to do this on the Articles page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com. If you decide to employ one or more of these methods, read these articles carefully and contact me if you have questions. While no sane producer chooses to have CL or any other infectious disease in the herd, CL is nowhere near the health, managerial, or economic disaster that is CAE and Johnes.
Johnes Disease is the caprine equivalent of chronic wasting disease in deer. This bacteria is passed via fecal-to-oral contact. Chronic in dairy cattle herds and becoming more common in goat herds, Johnes Disease stays in the ground for a very long time. Johnes is very debilitating to infected goats and usually doesn't show up for years, producing a situation where all of the herd can become infected before the producer sees symptoms. Johnes-infected goats should be slaughtered for food consumption; the meat is safe to eat.
Johnes is not believed to be transmittable to humans, but it is incurable and untreatable in goats. Both types of tests for Johnes have their drawbacks, but producers suspecting Johnes Disease should definitely have their goats tested immediately.
If you suspect any disease in one of your goats, always use disposable gloves when handling the animal. Before you decide to cull the goat, you need to know what choices are available to you. Your goals and your managerial style will impact your decision. This article is intended to present those options to you so that you can make that decision based upon facts rather than emotional heresay from other goat raisers.
URINARY CALCULI IN GOATS
Urinary Calculi, commonly called known as "Water Belly," is a urinary-tract disease in goats. Urinary Calculi prevents both urination and breeding in males. Female goats can but seldom do contract Urinary Calculi because of the straightness and shortness of their urethra. The twists and turns of the longer male urethra make passing solid particles difficult at best and impossible at worst. Urinary Calculi is a disease that can and does kill goats quickly.
Urinary Calculi is almost always the result of improper feeding by the producer. A proper calcium to phosphorus ratio in feed, hay, and minerals is critical; this ratio should be 2-1/2 to 1. Although the disease is called Urinary Calculi, the real culprit is phosphorus -- specifically too much phosphorus in relation to the amount of calcium in the diet. Feeding too much grain concentrates and/or feeding grain concentrates with an improper calcium-to-phosphorus ratio is a major cause of Urinary Calculi. Overfeeding or improper feeding of grain concentrates causes solid particles to develop in the urine; these solid particles block the flow of urine out of the goat's body, causing great pain, discomfort, and oftentimes death. Producers who have experienced urinary-tract stones themselves will understand the seriousness of and pain associated with this condition.
Besides grain concentrates, there are other factors affecting the calcium-to-phosphous ratio in the goat's diet. If the minerals being fed have the proper calcium-to-phosphorus ratio and the goats are not being fed a diet heavy in grain concentrates, then the producer should have both water and hay tested for mineral content. Many types of hay (Bermuda is one example) are high in phosphorus. Hay fertilized with chicken litter will be even higher in phosphorus levels. Adding calcium carbonate (ground limestone) to goat minerals can help bring the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio back to the 2-1/2 to 1 range. However, it is essential to work with a goat nutritionist to find the right amount of calcium carbonate to add to the mineral mixture to get these ratios on target.
Goats used for show purposes are prone to Urinary Calculi because their owners tend to over-feed them with grain concentrates. Young wethers (castrated males) are especially susceptible to Urinary Calculi. Castration stops both testosterone production and the growth of the urethra. Solid particles cannot pass through a urethra that has not been given the opportunity to grow to its normal diameter. The chance of contracting Urinary Calculi in male show goats can be reduced by not wethering (castrating) them until they are five to six months of age -- giving the diameter of the urethra time to grow. Castration of a goat of this age should be done under sedation by a veterinarian. The addition of hay or some other type of long fiber to the goat's diet is absolutely critical to help avoid Urinary Calculi. This is a big problem with some show-goat producers because they tend to take goats off long fiber and push grain concentrates. This is asking for major Urinary Calculi problems.
Urinary Calculi requires immediate medical attention. This condition will not correct itself and if left untreated, the goat will die. Symptoms of Urinary Calculi include tail twitching in males, restlessness, anxiety, and a "hunched-up" body posture as the goat strains to urinate. Sometimes the producer mis-diagnoses the problem as constipation or bloat because of goat's behavior and body stance. The producer should closely examine any male exhibiting these symptoms. Watch for signs of difficulty with urination.
To examine the penis by extending it out of the urethral shaft, sit the goat on its rump for easier handling and manually work the penis out of the shaft for visual examination. This can be impossible to do in goats wethered very young because the penile shaft may still be adhered to the urethral process -- one more drawback of wethering at a very young age. (A sign of sexual maturity in a buckling is his ability to extend his penis out of the shaft.) Before a male can be catherized to relieve a build-up of urine,the pizzle must be cut off. An experienced producer can do this, but most folks should have this procedure performed by a qualified veterinarian. The pizzle is the "curley-qued" appendage on the end of the penis. Oftentimes the pizzle of a goat with Urinary Calculi is black and crusty in appearance. Removal of the pizzle does not affect breeding ability. If this treatment is unsuccessful, the goat must be taken immediately to a qualified veterinarian; the need for surgery under sedation is likely. If the producer waits too long, surgery won't save the goat. Surgery is no guarantee that the goat can be saved.
Do not force a goat with Urinary Calculi to drink lots of water; if fluids can't leave the body because the exit is blocked, the only alternative is for the bladder to burst. A burst bladder cannot be fixed and is fatal. In many cases within 24 to 48 hours after the onset of Urinary Calculi the untreated goat's bladder will usually burst and the flow of urine into the sub-cutaneous tissues on the underside of the body ("Water Belly") will precede a quick and painful death. Administer Banamine (1 cc per 100 lbs bodyweight daily) for the pain that accompanies Urinary Calculi.
Vets recommend that ammonium chloride be used to treat Urinary Calculi. Ammonium chloride can be purchased in small quantities (four-pound packages) from Pipestone Vet Supply at 1-800-658-2523. Here are the dosing instructions provided to me by a producer who has been successful in using Ammonium chloride to cure Urinary Calculi. Mix the following in 20 cc water and orally drench: One (1) teaspoon Ammonium chloride per 75 lbs bodyweight every 12 hours for 2 days, then 1/2 tsp AC per 75 lbs bodyweight every 12 hours for the next 3 days, then 1/2 tsp once a day for 3 days, then 1/4 tsp daily as a preventative. Dosages are based upon 75 lb liveweights. Ammonium chloride burns the throat, so stomach tube it into the goat.
Some producers have had good luck using a product called Acid Pack available through Register Distributing: goatsupplies.netfirms.com or 1-888-310-9606. This writer has no experience with either Urinary Calculi or with Acid Pack. Regardless of the treatment used, the goat must be taken off all grain concentrates and offered only grass hay, fresh green leaves, and water during this treatment regimen. This is not usually a problem since the goat is so sick that it is struggling to live and isn't interested in eating or drinking. Producers without these products on hand might consider trying -- in the short term until they are obtained -- "Fruit Fresh" from the canning aisle in the grocery store. Again this writer has no personal experience with this product but hears from time to time of producer-reported success using it. Immediate veterinary assistance is highly recommended when Urinary Calculi is suspected.
Occasionally -- very occasionally -- Urinary Calculi may be the result of the mineral content of the water that the goat is drinking. The local county extension office should be able to test the water to determine mineral content. The producer can easily test the pH of the goats' water supply by purchasing a fish-tank testing kit. The water's pH should be neutral (a pH of 7).
The key to avoiding Urinary Calculi is feeding the goat a proper diet. Producers experiencing Urinary Calculi in their goats must change their feeding regimens. Carefully read feed labels for proper calcium-to-phosphorus ratios (2-1/2:1). Some prepared goat feeds contain ammonium chloride in the formulation, but this is no guarantee that Urinary Calculi will be avoided. Most importantly, offer lots of free-choice forage/browse and good-quality grass hay and reduce the amount of grain concentrates being fed. Both the health of your goats and your financial bottom line will improve.
Goat Medications And Proper Usage12/18/2013
GOAT MEDICATIONS AND PROPER USAGE
Also detailing medicines that are NOT effective on Goats
Start with the fact that I AM NOT A VET. I am trying to share
some of the knowledge that I have gained over the years, by working in close association with
qualified vets, and breeders that I respect, while working on my own goats. This is meant as a guideline and
quick reference, available all in one place, and as breeders, we are sorely lacking in that. Most
medications that you can, or cannot use for goats will not say so on the label. That is because very little
research money has been spent on goats specifically, and the largest majority of vets are still not up
to speed on what goats need, or can handle. Please note that you use this information at your own risk,
since I’m not licensed, but it may help you tremendously, if you’ll take the time to really read this, and
familiarize yourself with it. When discussing possible treatments with your vet, this will give you
a pretty good idea of what is needed, and with some vets, that can be immensely helpful. This is not a
definitive work, as there are other medicines out there that other people have used.
*** Indicates medicines that you really should eventually have on hand, some of which require a vet
prescription, but I’ve indicated which ones do.
ALBON 5% in Solution
(or Sulfadimethoxine 12.5%, is it’s generic near-equivalent) This is the current best available medicine for preventing or treating Coccidiosis. If using the Sulfadimethoxine, buy the solution, do not bother with the powder! It is marketed under the brand name Di-Methox, and make sure it says 12.5%. Use this orally in it’s full strength at the rate of 3-5 cc for kids, and 5-10 cc for adults, depending on weight, per label instructions. This is for the initial dose. The following 4 daily doses are at half that amount. For goats that are seriously ill,
you can also mix this in all sources of drinking water, but only doing it in drinking water is NOT enough.
(81 mg) If the goat is teeth grinding, indicating pain, you can crush up one baby aspirin for each 10 pounds of goat. Drizzle with molasses and dissolve in hot water. Give to goat orally, and can be given every 4 hours, as needed. Note: this may seem like a lot of aspirin for a larger goat, but it takes a large dose to cross the brain synapsis and have any effect. You can use adult aspirin, as long as you are careful of the 81 mg per 10 lb. ratio. Real aspirin, and not Ibupropen or Tylenol is important, as the vehicle those medicines are carried in can severely irritate the goats’ stomach lining and affect their sense of balance. No milk
BABY MAGIC This is the recipe you can make at home, equaling the commercial product Nutra
Drench. It stimulates appetite, eases stress, helps with hydration, gives a boost of energy, boosts the
natural immune system, and is considered by most goats to be a treat. I use it most often right after a
doe kids. This is the basic recipe, and I usually multiply it enough to come up with half a gallon or so.
8 ounces very hot water Stir vigorously and serve to goat hot. They appreciate a hot drink 2 Tbsp. Molasses much the same as we enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or cocoa.
2 Tbsp. Light Karo Syrup
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Baking soda
***BANAMINE (FluMeglumine) VET PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED Multi-purpose,
this is an anti-inflammatory that is good for bringing down fever, stopping
severe diarrhea in very young kids, calming the muscle spasms in the gut caused by severe digestive
problems, and relieving pain and soreness and swelling associated with bites and stings and other
injuries. Normal dosage is 1 cc per 100 lbs. and must be injected IM, but can be used at ½ cc per 25-30
lbs., IM, if really necessary. A newborn kid with fever and bad diarrhea would get no more than 1/10th- 2/10’s of one cc, IM
. BE AWARE THAT IT CANNOT BE USED BUT ONCE EVERY 36 HOURS, AND NOT FOR MORE
THAN 3 TIMES, TWICE IS BETTER, AND ONLY THE SECOND TIME IF IT IS REALLY
NEEDED. I cannot tell you how important that is! If over-used it can do permanent damage to the kidneys, and can cause ulcers in the digestive system. 72 hour milk withdrawl time.
***BANANA BOAT SUNBLOCK This is the only brand of sunblock which is hypoallergenic to
goats and oil free. After clipping goats, if sunburn is a potential problem, apply early morning and early
afternoon daily. Rub in completely until there is no shine left, as damp or partially damp areas will attract and hold germs next to the goats’ skin and pores. Does not affect the milk.
BAYTRIL (Enrofloxacin 2.27%) VET PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED Baytril is prohibited for use in
several states. It is NOT approved for use in food or milk animals because of the residual effect of the
antibiotic itself. Technically it is a broad-spectrum antibiotic to be used ONLY after all other antibiotic
therapies have failed. I will not let a vet give it to my own personal animals…period!
BAYTRIL 100 (Enrofloxacin 100 mg/ml) VET PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED This has been
approved for use in cattle, but is extremely hard on goats, as it takes more out of them than some have
left to give by the time you have no other medications to pursue. It is used for gut-related illnesses and
respiratory illnesses such as Pasteurella, not Pnuemonia. If you have a very sick goat and no other
antibiotic is working, Baytril 100 is the final step, but odds are they will not survive, and at that point,
you may want to assess if you want to spend more money on a last ditch effort that is usually
unsuccessful. The dosage is 4 cc per 100 lbs., once a day for a minimum of 3 days, given IM. Singleuse
dosage is 6 cc per 100 lbs., given IM. There is a minimum of a 56 day milk withdrawl on this one.
***BENZATHINE PENICILLIN (Long-acting Penicillin, marketed under TWIN PEN, or COMBIPEN)
Label directions say 1 cc per 25 lbs., given every other day for three to five injections. It takes
effect faster IM, but can be injected SQ if problem is not critical. It is best used for infection in the dam
after difficult births, anytime you have to go up inside the goat to prevent infection, and infection
resulting from injuries. I also use it for Pnuemonia, particularly Interstatial Pnuemonia, (The Pnuemonia
that forms between the lobes of the lungs, and is much harder to detect.) For critical problems it can be
given at 1 cc per 20 lbs., IM, daily for 3 to 5 days, alternating sides. For use in Goat Polio Encephalitis
it is given every 6 hours, along with Thiamine, for the first 3 days, and then twice a day for the next 2-4
days. REFRIGERATE, shake well, and heat shot only to goat’s body temp under hot running water
before injecting. 72 hour milk withdrawl.
(Ocytetracycline) This is the non-sting version of Ocytetracycline, and my personal choice for alternative broad-spectrum antibiotic use. May be given either IM or SQ. It is important to note that any Ocytetracycline interferes with bone and teeth formation both en utero and while kids are growing and may discolor and weaken kids’ teeth. As with any Ocytetracycline, it canoccasionally cause abortion, with the chances of birth defects being higher in the first two trimesters of pregnancy. However, it is the only treatment in “abortion storms”, when doe after doe starts to abort.This is caused by Chlamydia and other specific bacteria that only Ocytetracycline will stop.Very effective for treating pinkeye, even in pregnant does,
because the abortion causing Chlamydiabacteria is usually the cause of pinkeye. It is also very
effective for treating hoof rot and hoof scald, and mastitis. Dosage is 1 cc per 25 lbs. every other day for a
maximum usage of three injections. When using this for pinkeye, follow the dosing above and put 1-3
drops in each affected eye, twice a day. 72 hour milk withdrawl.
BIOSOL (Neomycin Sulfate) For use in scouring kids and adults only when Coccidiosis is NOT
the problem. Works on digestive-system bacterial infections. Overdosing will result in constipation and
severe cramping. For kids, give 1 to 3 cc orally every 12 hours until goat berries are normal. For adult
goats give 3-5 cc orally, until goat berries are normal. This is not my first choice of product to use,
because there is very little margin for error. 5 day milk withdrawl.
BO-SE and MU-SE VET PRESCRIPTIONS MAY BE REQUIRED FOR EITHER,DEPENDING ON THE AREA OF THE COUNTRY YOU LIVE IN. This is an injectable medication for Selenium deficiency. Do not use arbitrarily! Selenium is a heavy metal, and is toxic, and you have only the smallest margin for error. In most areas breeders only need to provide loose minerals in conjunction with their feed. Before using, find out
if your area is Selenium deficient, and to what degree…talk with your county or parish Extention
Office. Selenium deficiency most often shows up as weak rear legs in kids, not to be confused with FKS, or
Floppy Kid Syndrome. Older goats will look “sickly” and don’t put on weight, and don’t thrive. Selenium deficiency is also known as Nutritional Muscular Distrophy or White Muscle Disease. When injections are required, your vet should determine the amounts, after discussing your feed and minerals.Usually, if needed, shots are given at birth and at 4 weeks. Does may need injections 4-6 weeks before kidding, and bucks may need injections twice a year. BRYONIA (Bryonia Alba) This is a product that is available at health food stores, and is proported to aid in the cure of mastitis. This product is entirely useless, so save your money!
CALCIUM GLUCONATE 23% SOLUTION A handy item to have on hand in case of Milk Fever and/or Floppy Kid Syndrome. This is a quick way to introduce Calcium and electrolytes right after the dam kids, if needed, SQ. Use in conjunction with a Vitamin A and D shot, or the Calcium won’t be absorbed properly. Can repeat the Calcium Gluconate shot daily for 3-5 days, if needed, but only one Vitamin A and D shot is necessary. No effect on the milk as this is absorbed into the doe’s body. Look for a small bottle, as you don’t need it
***C & D ANTI-TOXIN This is a safe solution to many problems.Severe diarrhea in very young kids, toxicity situations in which the goat is frothing at the mouth – except for choking – and is used tocombat FKS, or Floppy Kid Syndrome. This provides short-term protection only, as it’s effects last only a few hours, but works very rapidly to solve the problem, and is not at risk for overdosing. Young kidswith the above problems can be given anywhere from 20-60 cc, depending on size of kid. Since you can’t overdose them, aim at a higher dosage rather than giving too little. Caution: This nullifies the protection of CD/T vaccine. Therefore, 5 days after finishing the C & D Antitoxin you must revaccinate the animal with CD/T, and again 28 days later. No milk withdrawl time.
***CD/T (Clostridium Prefringens Type C & D – Tetanus Toxoid) Provides long-term protection
against Overeating Disease and Tetanus. The preferred injection site is in the area leading to the armpit,
on the back-side of the front leg. If you have a Tractor Supply Company store, look for the CD/T Alpha
7 brand-name, as it will not leave a lump. Other brands may create a lump, which is the body’s way of
creating antibodies to the vaccine, and the lump will usually go away eventually.New born kids and goats you purchase into your herd should be vaccinated with 2 cc at 28 days, ordate of purchase, and then again 28 days later. Initial vaccination requires two injections the first time around, with one injection annually after that. It will not hurt purchased animals if they have already been vaccinated, and you do it again, but it is essential that they have this protection. This medicine is NOT based on the animal’s weight, and the dosage is the same regardless of weight or age. The first question out of any goat-qualified vet before treating for major illness or injury is what was the date ofthe CD/T vaccination? MUST BE REFRIGERATED, and
shots should be given at room temperature,not warm. No milk withdrawl time.
CMPK ORAL SOLUTION (Calcium supplement) This is a cattle product, available in feed stores.
It is a rather ineffective way to get more Calcium into a goat, when needed, but it is sometimes available
when other things aren’t, which is it’s only appeal. Dosage is 30-60 cc, orally, and is a very short-term
COMBI-PEN See Benzathine Penicillin.***CHILDREN’S BENADRYL LIQUID (Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride Antihistamine)Temporarily relives symptoms of allergies to dust and pollen,
including watery eyes, coughing, clear mucus discharge and sneezing. Also helps on the rare occasions
when a goat will rub against vegetation that causes a skin irritation and itching. Give orally. Not for
use in newborns and not more than 2 cc for a baby. 5-15 cc, depending on size of older goat, every 6 hours
as needed, but best if dosing does not extend beyond 5 consecutive days. May make the goat sleepy, but
it is very effective. No withdrawl time on milk.
***COLOSTRUM, COLOSTRUM SUPPLEMENTS AND COLOSTRUM REPLACERS
Newborns must have colostrum during the first few hours of life, and while their own dam’s is best, if
this is not possible for whatever reason, you should keep colostrum in your freezer. Even if the colostrum is not from their dam, it is from your specific location, and will provide the necessary immunities. Milk each dam out completely at 24 hours after birthing and freeze. I measure it into 4 or 8- ounce amounts. Then double ziplock-bag the colostrum, and date the bag. This stays good in the freezer for 2 years. Do not use colostrum beyond the kid’s first 24 hours, as they are no longer able to absorb it, and they then require milk. If you do not have frozen colostrum you will have to buy a commercial goat colostrum replacer, not one from a cow. If this is the case, colostrum supplements along with the colostrum replacer is a good idea. Note: Goat colostrum is also viable for dogs or cats,or any mammal, and if you have too much on hand, your vet may be grateful to have some offered to them for their freezer!
CoRid (Amprollium) This is a product for helping to prevent or eliminate Coccidiosis. While this
used to be the only product available for this, it is NOT the first choice anymore! This product is a Thiamine
inhibitor, effectively shutting down the immune system while in use, so I would NOT suggest that you
use it at all! Albon or it’s generic near-equivalent Sulfadimethoxine 12.5% are preferred over CoRid.
However, if CoRid is you only choice, buy the liquid and not the powder, for better control over dosages. For prevention of Coccidia, use 2 ounces per 15 gallons of water. For treatment, use 3 ounces per 15 gallons of water. Limit the goats to one source of water, and treat for 5 consecutive days. For severely infected cases, mix 1 ounce CoRid in 5 ounces of water and orally drench twice a day for five days…kids should receive 20-40 ounces of this mixture, twice a day. Adults would get 40-80 ounces of this, twice a day, for 5 consecutive days. 28 day milk withdrawl.
***CUT-HEAL Creates a protective barrier which stops germs, bacteria, AND flies! Aids in rapid
healing and minimizes proud flesh and scarring. Useful for major or minor wounds, skin irritations,
burns, cuts, and even re-growing new skin. If you get hurt out in the field, we’ve used it dozens of times
on ourselves over the years. Available in spray, which I like best, dauber and powder. Something you
should never be without, and it is very affordable. No effect on milk.
***CYDECTIN (Moxidectin 5 mg/ml) This is the top of the line in de-wormers. Do not use for so
long that the animals become immune, as there is nothing above this to go to. It is listed as a pour-on for
cattle, and you can use it topically for treatment of lice and external parasites. For external use,distribute 1-3 cc evenly from base of neck to tail head, along spine, depending on size of goat. Thepurple coloring will go away on it’s own. External use is worthless for internal parasites however. For internal paracites use at a rate of 1 cc per 22 lbs., unless treating for Humuncous Contortus or Screw Worms. In that case use at a rate of 1 cc per 11 pounds. Re-worm again 10-14 days later, to catch worms hatching out, as any wormer will only get the adult worms and not touch the larva. Wear gloves as this will absorb through your skin and can turn you inside out if you absorb too much of it! 72 hour milk withdrawl.
CyLence POUR-ON INSECTICIDE 1% This is a cattle product that is supposed to help with several
kinds of biting flies and two kinds of lice. It is pricey and you have to use it every few days. The bottle I
bought probably 12 years ago is still almost half full. Guess that explains how good this product is!
DEXAMETHAZONE VET PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED While I do keep “Dex” on hand, this is
not for use by newbies and amateurs, because of possible side effects. You HAVE to know when to use
this drug, so it may be best to let your vet handle this one. Used for swelling and inflammation once
infection is under control. Vets use this to induce labor when the slow introduction of labor over a 48
hour period is desired. Must be tapered off slowly to avoid serious health problems, if given in larger
amounts and then suddenly stopped. Tapering off over a 5 day period is normal. Dosage varies
depending on the problem being treated.Do not use in conjunction with broken bones, as it interferes
with bone repair. It also interferes with, but does not stop the immune system. 5 day milk withdrawl.
***DEXTROSE SOLUTION 50% Although this is generally an IV product, it is very effective in
weak newborns when you slowly drop 1-2 cc in the mouth and under the tongue for quick energy. It can
be enough to give the baby enough oomph to begin to suckle. It is inexpensive and easily available.
DIATOMACEOUS EARTH (DE) Used by some breeders as a “natural” de-wormer. However, I
cannot find any scientific research of DE’s effectiveness in controlling internal parasites. I have,
however, seen multiple tests where it was considered to result in failed tests. It is somewhat effective on
keeping the fly population down. If choosing to use DE as a food additive, make sure you have “food
grade” DE, and check fecal samples regularly for worms, as depending on it for parasites can result in
DMSO GEL (Dimethyl Sulfoxide 90%) Very effective for external use on swelling, as it warms and
opens the pores, and has a drawing effect. I use it in conjunction with heat treatments and physical
therapy, for injured muscles and tendons. Wear gloves as this product will absorb through the skin and
is not approved for human use yet in this strength. Rub product into swollen area, and apply heat
treatment for 10 minutes per session, at 2-4 times a day, depending on severity. No milk withdrawl.
DOPRAM VET PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED Eliminates respiratory distress in newborns, caused
by troubled births, including C-sections. Drop 2/10 cc under kid’s tongue immediately upon birth to
stimulate lung activity. May also be used in difficult birthings, requiring kids to be physically pulled out
***EPINEPHRINE Probably the most inexpensive medicine in all of the goat’s needs. Absolutely
required that you have it at all times. It is used to counteract shock in animals, and should ALWAYS be
carried with you when you give injections, along with a fresh syringe and needle. If a medicine should
drop an animal unexpectedly, you will not have time to run and get it. If you need it, don’t worry about
warming it, give it NOW! Dosage is 1 cc, SQ, per 100 lbs. No milk withdrawl.
***EXNEL VET PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED Excellent broad-spectrum antibiotic used
primarily for respiratory illnesses and Pnuemonia. Also may be applied directly into eyes at first sign of
pinkeye, to prevent the progression. This is the generic form of Naxel, and has the added improvement
that it does not require refrigeration and may be kept for a very long time, where Naxel can only be kept
for 7 days, or frozen in syringes in pre-measured amounts. It is also considerably cheaper than the
Naxel. Dosages are delineated on the bottle, using the same amounts as for swine. I don’t know the
milk withdrawl time on this one.
***FORTIFIED VITAMIN B COMPLEX This product may be substituted for Thiamine, although
the dosage is twice as much as this contains only 100 mg/ml of Thiamine, upping the dose to 4 cc. An
effective tool when dealing with a goat that is off it’s feed, as this stimulates appetite, at 2cc IM or SQ,
and when used in the larger doses, stimulates the natural immune system. Note: it is advised that this
product be stored away from sunlight. No milk withdrawl.
FLEET’S ENEMAS SUPPOSITORIES Useful for treatment of constipation and toxicity reactions,including FKS, or Floppy Kid Syndrome. Also, if you have a baby girl born with her vagina turned out, use a Children’s Fleet Enema Suppository (or generic equivalent) to move her bowels for the first time,passing her “plug”, and the vagina will return to it’s proper position. Make sure to put the suppository into the RECTAL opening, not the vagina! This product is easier on kids who are over-stressed or ill from some other cause, than Milk of Magnesia for constipation. Follow up with Probios treatmentschedule. 5 day milk withdrawl.
***FURALL SPRAY (Furazolidone 4%) A topical antibacterial, anti-germicidal spray for immediately after you burn horn buds, and for use on superficial lacerations and abrasions. Comes out icy cold, which also stops the burning and internal heat associated with horn burning. Not recommended for major injuries, as an allergic reaction may occur if the laceration is too deep. Effective against staph infections AND flies. After spraying, leave it alone and let it wear off naturally over time. Spray is bright yellow.
***GATORADE Excellent product for re-hydrating sick animals, regardless of age, and for balancing
electrolytes and helping to restore proper Ph. Can be used as an oral drench, put into baby bottles for
kids to suck, or mixed into drinking water. If using the powdered form, follow directions and mix with
warm water, orange seems to be their favorite flavor of choice. Sometimes very helpful for getting goats to want to drink, when transported to shows. There are no restrictions on amounts or number of times you use it. Does not affect the milk.
GENTAMICIN SULFATE ORAL SOLUTION This is a pig product, and is often very hard on
goats. In some states, administering Gentamicin to meat or milk goats is against the law. This is an oral
antibiotic and is used only for severe gut-related illness. It is a one-time use product, and I don’t allow it
on my own goats! Milk withdrawl is a minimum of 28 days
GoatAde Another of the commercial products, similar but possibly slightly superior to NUTRA DRENCH,
but you can use Baby Magic recipe given earlier with almost equal results. Designed to be given orally, it helps with stress, hydration, and stimulates appetite, giving a boost of energy. Does not affect the milk.
HIBICLENS 4% SOLUTION This is an over-the-counter drug store product, used to cleanse deep
wounds, before applying medicine.
***HYDROGEN PEROXIDE A cheap and efficient product when cleaning wounds, and bar none,
the best teat dip you can buy! For teat dipping, pour Hydrogen Peroxide into cap of bottle and dip each
teat, after every milking. Pour the capful on the ground, making the cap self-cleaning. This kills the
germs on the teat, and goes up into the milk tube to prevent germs from following that route. It prevents
chapping and germs picked up through wet skin tissue, caused by dipping entire teat, as in other
products, and negates any need for udder balms or sprays, which attract and hold germs. This information came directly from the head of the Mastitis Research Foundation. They test each product
available for teat dipping, regardless of price or procedure, and he assured me that less is more! The
cheapest brand of Hydrogen Peroxide is exactly the same as the most expensive, as this product was
used when establishing the laws governing medical product labeling, so Dollar Store Hydrogen Peroxide
is just perfect!
IMMODIUM AD In spite of the fact that Hoegger’s Supply will suggest this product in small doses,
DO NOT USE this product for diarrhea or anything else on a goat. As little as one drop too much can
completely STOP the peristaltic action of the gut (releasing the food from one stomach to the next, to
the intestines) and can cause a quick and horrible death.
***IVOMEC 1% INJECTIBLE Also sold under the names IVERMECTIN, and IVERCIDE,
depending on who makes it. This is an excellent product for eliminating worms. It is a clear, oily liquid
which works best if you give it orally at a dose of 1 cc per 55 lbs. Do not under-dose, as that is the same
as not dosing at all. It can be injected, at a dose of 1 cc per 110 lbs., but that stings something awful and
is not as effective as the oral dosing. It is the de-wormer of choice when involving Menigeal Deerworm
Infection. Note: None of the clear wormers will kill Tape Worms. As with any wormer, re-worm again at 10-14 days to catch larva that has hatched out. Is well tolerated for longer periods of time than most wormers. 72 hour milk withdrawl.
KAOPECTATE Same thing applies to this medicine as does to Immodium AD. Do NOT use this
product on goats. See Immodium AD for reasons why.
***KARO SYRUP, LIGHT See recipe for Baby Magic. For reasons why Light Karo Syrup, see propylene glycol.
KETOFEN VET PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory that helps
reduce swelling and temperature. This is not for use by newbies or amateurs as it has very specific
applications only. If prescribed by your vet, it helps reduce pain and discomfort, but it cannot be used
over long periods of time, as it collects in the kidneys and can do damage with over-use. Milk
withdrawl not listed on packaging, as this is considered a horse product, but my vet says 72 hours.
KOPERTOX For use as topical application to the hoof in cases of hoof rot and hoof scald. It forms a
liquid bandage on the hoof, IF you can get them to stand in it for as long as the bottle indicates. Used in
conjunction with Oyxtetracycline injections for hoof infections. If the hoof rot/scald is bad enough, I
may fool with this, but truthfully, I don’t usually, because it is something of a bother to use. I have used
it, however, in years where we’ve gotten so much rain that it’s hard for the goats to find a dry place to
stand, for days on end. 72 hour milk withdrawl.
***LACTATED RINGERS SOLUTION VET PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED For re-hydrating
kids and young goats. Using a 60 cc syringe with an 18 gauge needle attached, draw out the Lactated
Ringers Solution, warm it in a pot of water, and inject 30 cc SQ at each shoulder. Can be used several
times a day until the goat’s electrolytes are in balance. This is inexpensive, can be purchased with or
without the more expensive tubing for hooking it up for IV application, and can be a life-saving measure. Will form a lump under the skin, which will readily be absorbed into the body.
LA-200 (Oxytetracycline) This is my personal least favorite of the products in the Oxytetracycline
spectrum, as it is harder on the goats. Can be given either IM or SQ. See Biomycin for doses and
restrictions, as the same numbers apply to both. 72 hour milk withdrawl.
***LUTALYSE VET PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED A good thing to have on hand in case of needing to abort a wrong breeding on a doe. If a buck gets out and breeds a doe too young to get pregnant, for example. Exactly 10 days after the breeding, give the doe a single shot of Lutalyse, at 2cc, IM only. The same dose is suggested, regardless of size of doe, with the exception of a 3-6 month old doe, when you would use 1- 1 ½ cc. If the doe comes into a raging heat, she has successfully been aborted. If she exhibits no particular reaction, the breeding hadn’t taken anyway. This is hard on a doe,so do not use it without really thinking about it first! There are those breeders who will use this to try to bring a doe into heat, so they can match their birthing dates to shows. If it doesn’t work the first time, they try it again exactly 10 days later. I am
entirely opposed to doing this, as it is extremely hard on a doe, and causes such a jarring effect on her
internal works, up to and including a higher percentage of risk of miscarriage in does forced into cycling. Technically, this is a horse product, and horses are large enough and have slow enough metabolisms that they can be induced into estrus synchronization successfully, but goats do not have that advantage.
METRONIDAZOLE TABLETS (500 mg) For treatment of Giardia, resulting in diarrhea from
ingestion of fetid water, caused by goat berries or poultry feces in water source. Also can be used for
scouring kids and adults when Coccidiosis is not the underlying cause. Works effectively against eColi
and other digestive system bacterial infections. Dosage is ½ pill, morning and night for adult Nigerians,
half that for babies over 1 month of age, for 5 days. Crush pill and drizzle w/ molasses. Use just enough hot water to be able to draw into syringe. Not my first choice, due to the length of time needed here. Store away from sunlight.
***MILK OF MAGNESIA This is an over-the-counter drug store product that is useful for constipation and toxicity reactions, including Bloat, Overeating Disease, and Floppy Kid Syndrome. Administer orally at a rate of 15 cc per 60 lbs., every 4-6 hours until the goat berries go from small and hard to clumpy and back to normal goat berries. Always use electrolytes for hydration when using Milk of Magnesia or any other laxatives. 5 day milk withdrawl.
MILK REPLACER While milk replacers may be less expensive than cow milk, and more convenient,
I personally can’t state how strongly I am against them! In 6 separate University studies on Johnnes
Disease, the only common factor among all the goats showing positive for Johnnes was the fact that they
were raised on milk replacers as babies. Johnnes is a cow disease, which usually doesn’t manifest itself
in cows, beyond the fact that they are carriers, because of their incredibly slow metabolisms. Goats have
a much faster metabolism and they are entirely prone to contracting Johnnes from the milk replacer!
Johnnes is an incurable, slow wasting disease and is fatal, and if left to run its course, causes a very painful death. Whole cow milk is better, but if you can’t afford that, at least go to powdered milk, rather than milk replacers. It is pasteurized before dehydration, which kills the disease up to about 97% efficiency.
MINERAL OIL This is an over-the-counter drug store item that should NOT be used on goats.Contrary to the name, it literally strips their bodies of their minerals. Worse yet, it has not got a flavor that is recognized by goats as something that triggers the swallowing mechanism, and is easily aspirated directly into the lungs. If a goat has an impacted rumen or other causes necessitating the use of oil, use corn oil or common vegetable oil. These have a taste to them, which will make the goat swallow when given orally and work better, and at much less cost to both you AND the goat!
***MOLASSES See recipe for Baby Magic, earlier in this paper. For uses and benefits see propylene
NAXCEL (Ceftiofur Sodium) VET PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED Naxcel is pricey but an
excellent broad-spectrum antibiotic used primarily for respiratory illnesses, such as Pnuemonia. This is the
original that Exnel comes from, and you may prefer the generic, Exnel. Naxcel comes in two bottles –
one bottle has a powder, which must be kept refrigerated even in powder form, and the other bottle is
sterile water. When combined, the medicine will only keep in fridge for 7 days. In order not to have to
dispose of the remaining medicine after initial use, draw up syringes in doses of ½ cc, 1 cc, 2 cc, and 3
cc. Put needle caps on them, place in Ziploc bags by dosage, and put those bags into a second Ziploc
bag. Label and date it and place in freezer with the needles up. Note: Syringes thaw quickly, but keep
the needle cap up, because sometimes the medication will settle into the needle cap and will be lost
when you pull the cap off. Dosages on the bottle are not sufficient, as they are listed for sheep and swine, but not goats. If newborn kids have respiratory distress or e.Coli infections, they must receive a minimum IM dose of ½ cc, daily for 5 consecutive days. A 100 lb. goat needs at least 5-6 cc of Naxcel IM for each of the 5-day course of treatment, and you can break it down by weight for goats in the middle. 5 day milk withdrawl, after you finish the course.
***NEOSPORIN PLUS Maximum Strength (Bacitracin Zinc-Neomycin Sulfate-Polymyxin B
Sulfate-Pramoxine Hydrochloride) This is an over-the-counter drug store item, and it is extremely helpful in many ways. Always get the one with the “Plus” as the goats will not try to scratch or lick it off, they way they do with the regular Neosporin. For use on teats that develop bumps, due to bacterial or fungal problems, rub in thoroughly, so no shine or moisture is left. For use on minor abrasions, to aid in healing. For use in eyes, when treating with pinkeye, if you don’t have Oxytetracycline available.
NFZ PUFFER (Nitrofurazone) This is the pure, powdered form of the medicine found in Furall Spray.
It is used to promote tissue regeneration in deep wounds, promoting healing from the inside out. You
must first clean and disinfect wound daily, before puffing this into the wound, and should only be used under a vet’s direction. I can tell you, from experience, that the goat will hate you completely by the
time you use this enough to get them past their need for it! It is easier on deep wounds than the spray,
but the cleansing process is painful and slow.
NUFLOR (Florfenicol) VET PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED When Naxcel/Exnel does not resolve
the respiratory problem, the next step up is Nuflor. Administered IM every other day for a maximum of
3 injections. This is very thick, so you will need an 18-gauge needle, using a Luer Lock syringe, or the
needle may shoot off the syringe, causing the goat to have a needle stuck in it while the medicine is lost.
Dosage is 1 cc per 25 lbs. If the goat has contracted full-blown Pnuemonia very rapidly, or is in bad
shape, I may skip the Naxel and go straight to Nuflor, but I do not automatically use it, as you do not
want to get the goat immune to this medicine. There is nothing above this to go to in cases of immunity.
5 day milk withdrawl.
NUTRA DRENCH See Baby Magic recipe for explanations and how to make this yourself at home.
OXYTETRACYCLINE Antibiotic in an alternate spectrum to Penicillin. See Biomycin 200, LA-200.
***OXYTOCIN VET PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED This is used after kidding, when a doe does
not pass her afterbirth. Must be used before the cervex closes, so you have approximately 5 hours after
the birthing of the last kid. This causes labor contractionsthat expel the afterbirth. This is NOT a
comfortable experience for the doe, so only use it after waiting to see if she will do it on her own!
Dosage is 1.5 cc per 100 lbs., and it can be used again exactly 1 hour later, in extreme cases, where one
shot is not enough. It may NOT be used more than that! Not to be used unless you have been with the
doe the entire time, and you know for a fact that she has not passed the afterbirth. Do not put her
through this if there is the chance that she has passed the afterbirth and eaten it! 48 hour milk withdrawl.
PEDIA LITE This is a grocery store item, in the baby aisle, that is an excellent source of electrolytes,
but can be pricey. See Gatoraid for details.
***PEPTO BISMOL This is an over-the-counter drug store item, and one of the few items where
the actual brand name matters, as you do not want the generic equivalents in this case. The
vehicle that the medicine is contained in on the generics looks and acts like little razor blades in
tiny tummies, when seen through a microscope, while the vehicle in Pepto Bismol looks like little
round BB’s, and does not damage the stomach lining. Dosage is 2cc every 4-6 hours for newborns
and 15 cc for every 10 lbs. over that, using the same time frame. You cannot overdose with Pepto.
Before treating for diarrhea, first be sure that you know the cause of the problem. In the case of
the doe letting the baby have too much milk, and over-running the rumen, wait up to 4 hours and
see if the problem doesn’t take care of itself, unless the baby is scouring. Always follow up with 3-
5 days of Probios beginning the day after the last treatment, to repopulate the gut with vital live
bacteria used for digestion. No milk withdrawl.
***PROBIOS GEL Also marketed as PROBIOTICS, depending on who makes it. A valuable and under-used tool to help combat stress and repopulate the gut with beneficial flora, to aid in digestion and maintain Ph balance. Should always be used after the completion of any program of antibiotics, or laxatives, after bouts of diarrhea/scours, and stress such as kidding, and used once a day during and after travel. Suggested use is 3-5 days, once a day. Doses range from a dab the size of a pencil eraser to about ¾” laid out on your finger for larger goats. Open the goat’s mouth and smear the Probios on the roof of the mouth. The gel will begin to melt at their body temperature, and placing it on the roof of their mouth prevents them from being able to expel it. No milk withdrawl.
PROCAINE PENICILLIN (Penicillin G) While having many uses, including those listed in Benzathine Penicillin, this must be used daily instead of being able to skip a day. Dosing is 1 cc per 25 pounds IM or SQ. See Benzathine Penicillin for more details. REFRIGERATE and warm shot under hot running water to not more than the goat’s body temperature before injecting. 72 hour milk withdrawl, although you can freeze the milk for use in baby bottles later, but for goat use ONLY.
PROPYLENE GLYCOL An oily liquid that comes in 1 gallon containers and is used for Ketosis in
does. It is also used to help balance the Ph after high stress situations that would lead to stomach acidity. Use 50-60 cc twice a day for an adult doe until she is back on her feed. Administer orally only. If you do not have all the ingredients for Baby Magic, you can use this, or molasses, or Light Karo Syrup to help, but Baby Magic is the preferred, for Ph. This freezes at well above 32*F, so store indoors, in a controlled temperature environment. Does not affect the milk.
RED CELL A horse supplement, this is an excellent source of Iron, for helping goats to recover from
Anemia. Available at most feed stores. Follow dosing directions on bottle, and give orally, once a day,
for 10-14 days.
RE-SORB oral electrolites. Comes in powdered form and is used for re-hydrating sick animals, regardless of age. Can be used as an oral drench, put into baby bottles for kids to suck, or mixed into pans of drinking water. Each packet should be mixed with ½ gallon warm water. Use this or other similar products in conjunction with Lactated Ringers Solution on extremely dehydrated goats. Does not affect milk.
SAFE GUARD (fenbendazole 10%) Also marketed as Panacur, for horses. This is one of the white
wormers, and I’m ever so sorry that it ever listed the idea that it is good for goats! This is the same
medicine as in Valbazen, but in a lesser strength, and this is NOT strong enough to get the job done!
You have no idea how many people I talk through dying goats that believe that their goats have been
properly wormed, and invariably under those circumstances, it turns out that they used Safe Guard. This
is for horses, NOT good enough for goats!!! If you are using Safe Guard get rid of it. All you are doing is building an immunity to the medicine contained in it without getting the benefits of using the medicine in a strong enough strength. Please trust me on this one!!! Even if you use more of it, you are NOT increasing the strength, only the volume.
SNAKE VENOM If you have a goat that dies from snake bite, please be aware that you can put yourself in harm’s way by moving that goat, without proper precautions. You can’t always see where the snake bit the animal, especially if bloating has even begun to set in with the heat. Before you move that animal you put on rubber gloves, or if you’re wearing the medical style of gloves, put two on each hand. If you should happen to press on the bite location, you could release some of the venom and do yourself bodily harm, if it should contact with a sore, a mosquito bite site, your eyes, mouth, nose, etc.Snake venom is still active for 48 hours, even in a dead host. If the animal is alive after having been bitten, you may want to get it to the vet immediately. The vet may be able to lance the site and clean it out, and this is one of the circumstances when a vet would probably use Dexamethazone. The odds of a goat surviving snake bite depend on too many variables to list here, so that is a judgement call you’d have to make at the scene.
***SPECTAM SCOUR HALT This is a pig scour medicine that can be used to control diarrhea and
especially scours in adults and kids over one month of age. Be very careful to follow dosing directions
exactly, as too much of this product can stop the goat up permanently, but the right amount is often very
helpful, when Pepto Bismol isn’t enough. It is given orally, and best when you SPLIT the daily dose into one half in the morning and one half in the evening. Follow up with a schedule of Probios, as listed earlier. 5 day milk withdrawl.
SULFADIMETHOXINE 12.5% Marketed as DI-METHOX 12.5%. This is the generic for Albon, and very nearly as good, at a portion of the price. See Albon for details on dosing and length of treatments.
SULFAMETHOXAZOLE and TRIMETHOPRIM TABLETS (400 mg/80 mg) An oral antibiotic given over 10-14 days for the treatment of continuing low grade fever and/or problems that keep returning, after a normal course of antibiotics. Use in conjunction with Tagamet, preferably, or Tums,as listed in this paper. Dosage is 1/2 pill, twice a day, for 100 lbs. Babies would get 1/8 pill to ¼ ,depending on size, twice a day. Grind up pill, drizzle w/ molasses, and dissolve in just enough hot water to draw into syringe.
SULMET (Sulfamethazine Sodium 12.5%) For the treatment of Coccidiosis, same as Sulfadimethoxine 12.5%, only this is designed as a water treatment only. It is not as effective, as it is not for direct ingestion. Look carefully at the spelling, and you will see that it is NOT the same medicine. Do not confuse the two! Dosages for water treatment are on the bottle.
TAGAMET This is an over-the-counter drug store item that can be used on goats in conjunction with
oral antibiotics, to help keep from upsetting the stomach, for gut-related problems, such as Coccidiosis.
Dosage is ½ Tagamet (200mg tablet) per 100 lbs., once a day for 3-5 days. Does not affect the milk.
***TEAT DIP See Hydrogen Peroxide for details - the best teat dip, bar none.
TETANUS ANTITOXIN For short term protection in the case of Tetanus and Tetanus-like infections.
Available in single dose vials, and use the entire vial for adult goats, cutting back proportionately for kids. Five days after using this you need to start the CD/T vaccine program over again. REFRIGERATE.
***THIAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE VET PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED (Vitamin B1) One of the most important medicines in your arsenal!!! Thiamine is what stimulates the natural immune system. Among other things this is used in conjunction with large doses of antibiotics to treat Listerosis and Goat Polio. Early detection of the problem is essential if you are to save the goat! Moldy hay and/or feed is the most common trigger for these diseases, but may also be caused by ingesting fungus, such as mushrooms, or from sudden overly stressful events. This comes in two different strengths, so be SURE to check your bottle. In 200 mg/ml bottles, dosage is 2 cc Thiamine IM every 6 hours, for first 3days, then 2 shots per day for next 2-4 days. In 500 mg/ml bottles, dosage is 8/10 cc, following the same schedule. DO NOT OVERDOSE. Dosage for lesser problems is 2cc, twice a day in the 200 mg/ml strength, or half that in the stronger version. Carry
Epinephrine with you while doing shots, in caseof Anaflactic Shock, which I’ve never had happen, but it is
listed on the bottle as possible.
TODAY, TOMORROW, QUARTERMASTER ETC. These are single-treatment teat syringes that are supposed to help overcome mastitis. In a perfectly clinical world, where the goat would stand
perfectly still while you shove something foreign up their teat, this might work. Ideally, you are supposed to completely milk out the teats twice a day, and then stick NOT MORE THAN 1/8” of this syringe, designed for cows incidentally, up the milk tube and hold it steady while you back-flush the teat, working it up into the udder. In reality, in the three cases where my former vet insisted that I do this, I have done far more harm to the goat than the good that the medicine ever could have done. I do agree that you need to milk the teats completely out, twice a day. After that is where this treatment and I part company!!! I would never use these products again, even on a dying goat!!!
TUMS This is an over-the counter drug store item that can be helpful when used in conjunction with
oral antibiotics, to help maintain the Ph balance, and keep the antibiotics from upsetting the stomach or
doing harm to the stomach lining. For gut-related illnesses such as Coccidiosis, or when you need a
quick infusion of absorbable Calcium. Dosage is 1 Tums, per 10 lbs., ground up and drizzled w/ molasses, and add just enough hot water to make into something you can draw up in a syringe, and give orally, once a day for duration of oral antibiotics. In the case of a quick fix of Calcium, give once a day for 3-5 days.
TWIN PEN Long acting Penicillin, see Benzathine Penicillin.
TYLAN 200 (Tylosin) See Biomycin 200 Oxytetracycline for same dosing and schedule.
***VALBAZEN (Fenbendazole 11.5%) This is the best broad-spectrum de-wormer for babies, bucks
and does that you are certain are not pregnant. It can be used for longer periods consecutively without
becoming immune, and it is the ONLY wormer that gets Tape Worms. It is also the ONLY wormer that
will kill Lung Worms. This is the same medicine as Safe Guard, but in the proper strength!!! For
safety, NEVER use on pregnant does, or does that even might be pregnant, as it can cause birth defects
and/or abortion, especially in the first two trimesters. I don’t chance it with pregnancies…period! Dosage is 1 cc, orally, per 25 lbs, if you are worming on a schedule of every 3 months and weather conditions are normal. If you are treating goats that are showing signs of being wormy, double the dose.Worm again in 10-14 days to catch the larva that hatches out. If you are using for Lung Worms, do the same thing again after an additional 10-14 days, for a total of 3 treatments in sequence.
***VEGETABLE OIL/CORN OIL This is the usual grocery store kind of cooking oil. If you have a
goat with an impacted rumen and need to move things along, this oil is preferred. There is a flavor to it,
and will trigger the swallowing mechanism, so the oil will go to the rumen and not the lungs, as is the
case in Mineral Oil. If a goat has broken into a feed bin and gorged, it is a good idea to give the goat oil
to make things move along, rather than waiting for the gut to impact. If a goat is constipated, and you have nothing else on hand to help with that, use vegetable or corn oil, until you see the goat berries coming out looking oily. Oil may trigger diarrhea, so you may have to let the gut clean itself out, and
then treat with Pepto Bismol to reestablish normal order.
VETROPOLYCIN ANTIBIOTIC OPTHAMALIC OINTMENT (Bacitracin-Neomycin-Polymyxin triple antibiotic) VET PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED Top of the line eye ointment, for use in Entropia (where the eyelid turns inward, scratching the eye with the lashes). Aids in healing scratches and ulcers of the eye, such as those caused by pinkeye as well. No need to keep it on hand, the vet will prescribe it as needed. To be honest, I find that Neosporin Plus does the same job at ¼ the price. This is finer quality, but I’m not convinced that it’s
VETROPOLYCIN ANTIBIOTIC OPTHAMALIC OINTMENT WITH HYDROCORTISONE
VET PRESCRIPTION REQUIRED Same medicine as above, with the additon of the Hydrocortisone. NOT for use with ulcerations or scratches on the eye, but as a follow up after healing, to reduce the swelling. Do not use this product without a vet’s permission, as your naked eye isn’t good enough to see if the eye is scratched or ulcerated.
***VET RX A natural product for relief of symptoms of stuffy nose, clear runny nose, that has been in
use since the late 1800’s, for good reason. The cap is designed to deliver one drop at a time, and you put
2-3 drops in each nostril, as needed. For treatment of ear mites and/or ear canker, including in dogs/cats, heat in a pan of very warm water for a few minutes, checking temperature of medicine before using, and deliver 1-2 drops in effected ear, then push gently on outside of ear to rub it around. Do not stick foreign objects into ear to do the rubbing!
***VITAMIN A & D VET PRESCRIPTION NEEDED Best when administered SQ, for use when administering Calcium, as Vitamin D is what is needed in order to make Calcium absorbable. In cases, most often found in bucklings, where the legs are bending outward or refuse to straighten out, administer one dose, to allow them to utilize the Calcium in their milk. Also for use in Floppy Kid Syndrome.Generally one shot is all that is needed, but you can repeat in 60 days, if necessary. Dosage in babies is ¼ to ½ cc. Dosage for adult goats is 1-2 cc.
***VITAMIN B12 LIQUID VET PRESCRIPTION NEEDED A vital component for goats who are anemic from worms or just about any illness related stress. Helpful with goats who have gone off their feed. Administer 1-2 cc, SQ, depending on severity of condition, per 100 lbs., using an 18 gauge needle, as this is very thick. Can repeat again in 2 weeks, if necessary. Store away from sunlight.
WOUND KOTE SPRAY A less effective, more dilute form of Furazolidone than that which is found in Fural. To coat and disinfect surface wounds, minor cuts and skin abrasions. I would suggest that you would be much better off with Fural Spray. This is a purple spray, rather than the yellow of Fural, and it wears off much quicker, with less healing, coating ability.