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Goats/Dwarf Nigerian Goats


QUESTION: Is permethrin, garden and poultry dust, safe for goats?  I have three Dwarf Nigerian Goats and two of them are does, one is pregnant, and one is a billy.  I noticed one doe on both of her ears there are scattered small bald spots and it looks to be very uncomfortable for her (she shakes her head a lot, scratches, and is starting to hold her ears in a lower position) and it looks like a bald patch is forming on her shoulder.   I've tried doing research via the internet but haven't found any solid answers.  I bought some permethrin based dust thinking that might help the bald spot on her shoulder.  Any idea what could be causing spots on her ears?  Would it be safe for a pregnant goat?  I haven't used the dust yet and I won't until I know for sure.  I will take the goats to the vet if necessary.  I just wanted to know if I was overlooking anything first.  Thank you.

ANSWER: The head shaking sounds more like ear mites - you can use mineral oil to put into the ears, then gently pinch the ears closed and move the ears a bit to mix up the mineral oil into the ear canal.  Then release the ears and let them shake the oil out.  (If you have cat ear mite or dog ear mite medication, you can use that on the goats, but the mineral oil (human type) works well too.  Repeat on the other side.  The bald spots could be mange mites - are there any crusty lesions around the bald spots?  You can certainly use the poultry dust for the goats - just be careful around the face/eyes/nose area so it does not get into there, you can make a paste of the dust and a little water and put it on what looks like the affected areas.  Would then dust the rest of the goat and also their bedding.  I would definitely do the dusting outdoors so you and the goats don't breathe in any of the dust.  The bald spots, especially if there are no crusty lesions to go along with the baldness, could be from selenium deficiency.  I advise using human selenium with vitamin D and E - these are oral - for goats over 1 year of age you would crush ten of the 200 mcg tablets and dissolve in a little hot water and then add all the oil from a 1000 IU capsule of vitamin E and all the oil from an 800 IU capsule of vitamin D - mix, cool and give orally.  Even if this is not selenium deficiency you will not hurt the goats, especially the does and their fetuses.  You would start to see new hair growth in about 10 days in the bald spot areas.  Hope this helps - let me know.  

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QUESTION: I did notice some crusty very very small lesions in the bald spots on her ears.  I checked the balding spot on her shoulder today and there isn't "baldness" on her shoulder but it was wet and the hair is shorter and thinner there like she or one of the other goats is chewing on it.  The pregnant goat, I believe is slightly anemic.  Her gums are white but her butt pigment is pink.  I started feeding her bread with molasses, sunflower seeds and nutritional yeast which is fully loaded with all B vitamins.  I'm assuming she is close to 3 1/2 months pregnant, I ordered her some pregnant goat, goat food, which I am hoping will help.  Should I do a de-worming treatment?  Thank you so much for all this wonderful advise, it is helping take the edge off a bit. Thank you, Thank you.

Thanks for the update.  Would treat for selenium deficiency and mites to cover for both.  Re the pregnant doe, would check the inner lower eyelids - if white to light pink then anemic - could be from barber pole worm.  After you start on the higher vitamin feeds check her again in two weeks - if still anemic could need a medicine regimen.  If she has not been on a deworming regimen would certainly start one - I can send you my regimen if you'd like - Donna


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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres


All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.


27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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