QUESTION: Hi Donna, I have been asking questions about our goat, Whitley.  The vet was out 2 days ago, because she just looks pathetic.  He looked at her eyelids and gums-they were pale....I have been checking every couple of days, can it happen that fast?  He took a stool sample and it came back with stomach worms and tapeworms. He said to reworm her with ivermectin for the stomach worms (she had been last wormed in Feb and then 10 days later) He said that stomach worms are effected by the ivermectin, but the tapeworms would need to be treated with safeguard.  He didn't know the dose.  I gave him the dose off of the bottle we have, but he thought the dosing was different for tapeworms.  I have always used 2-3 the package recommendations.  How soon can I give her the safeguard?  I don't want to hurt her, but I want to what will get her back on track.  The other thing, I read an article about liver flukes...scary!  The vet said he didn't think that we lived in an area where the flukes are prolifent.  It has been very wet all winter and spring.  Should I get ivermectin plus just to be sure?  I did start her promptly on geritol.  Yesterday and this am, she was waiting for food and water.  I feel like she is see sawing...I just am hoping and trying to get a good outcome!!  Thanks so much DOnna!!

ANSWER: So when looking at eyelids/lower inner, you are looking for rosy pink to red color.  If it is light pink to white then the goat is anemic.  That anemia is only caused by the barber pole worm, not by the other intestinal worms.  The color of the gums can be light pink to even gray pink and the goat is healthy.  Is the goat pooping normally?  That is, is the poop in regular pellet form? As to worming, my regimen that I advise is use of oral horse wormers - switching back and forth between these two every two months - one is Zimectrin (ivermectin) and the other is Safeguard (Fenbendazole) - you can also use the generic types with equivalent percentages of worm medicine in them - for regular worming schedule you use twice the weight of the goat to find the dosage on the plunger and then set the lock at that point or the next line higher - you cannot overdose on either of these wormers and these wormers can be used on all goats.  I switch from one wormer to the other ever 2 months so worms do not become resistant.  I advise against use of either injectable ivomec or use of the injectable ivomec as an oral wormer - they just do not do the job.  When you say the fecal study came back for worms, how many eggs did the vet see?  Most goats are always going to have some eggs show up on the fecal slides.  A huge amount of eggs would tell you if the goat needs to be wormed.  Indeed if the goat has too many worms they are not getting the nutrition they need.  But, again, if they are anemic then they probably have the barber pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) and that is treated differently.  Liver flukes can also cause issues with a goat's lumbar score, in that they do not allow the goat to get the nutrition from their food.  Liver flukes are found in areas where it is wet (can be rainy or have a pond or lake close by that the goat could get to or other wild animals get to and bring the flukes into the goat pastures) and warm.  Let me know about the above questions I have and I will get back to you - Donna

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QUESTION: I had been checking her eyelids and they had been brighter pink.  Yesterday they were lighter pink.  She has pelleted poop.  The vet didn't say how many, he just said a lot of stomach worms and that the tapeworms aren't typically found.  I'm still confused as to what started all of this.  She looked good her entire pregnancy, had a huge dripping udder prior to kidding, kidded without issue, was wormed twice, dropped her milk production and lost weight, basically was off food for several weeks, was supported by yogurt, vit, oatmeal.  I would have thought she would have gotten rid of alot of the worms earlier and if she would have had issues, it would be starting now after the wormer had lost its potency.  Do you think this all adds up to worms???

ANSWER: Before I can say if it is a worm issue I would need to know how many eggs the vet saw.  Goats always have some eggs on fecal studies and they are healthy.  Her illness issue could have been ketosis or pneumonia or stress from kidding, or other items.  The milk production drop just happens when a doe in milk is ill.  The lost weight usually points to not eating well and the rumen not functioning well, as well as nutritive value of her feed intake.  If the lower inner eyelids are at least pink that is usually okay - once they are barely pink or white then that is when the issue of the barber pole worm comes up.  Did she always have a good lumbar/body score? or has she always been on the thin side? Did she always eat well and just before her illness start not eating well?  Had she been drinking water well previously and then stopped?  Is she back to eating and drinking well now? Low protein and low water intake are what usually cause the milk production to drop/mammary system to stop producing.  Did you end up giving her the vitamin B complex while she was off feed? How long of a course of antibiotics was she on? What does her hair coat look like currently? Let me know - thanks - Donna

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QUESTION: For the 9 months we have owned Whitley, she has always been a large, not fat, well conditioned doe.  She ate well thru the first couple of weeks after kidding and then in essence just nibbled or walked away from food-especially the corn mixture.  She drank, in fact, we would give her warm water after we milked her.  She stopped drinking that about the same time the feed issue started.  We found some pelleted food that the previous owner had given us and she eats that and hay and last night was the first time in a long time that she came over while I was filling water buckets and waited for a drink.  And, she drank and drank.  She had vit b while she was off feed along with yogurt.  She refused the oatmeal after just a few "meals" of that.  She was on a 10 course of antibiotics, just finished that this week.  Her tail was up last night, like a "normal" goat would have it.  Her hair seems not so coarse or standing up.  I try to go out at lunch time to give her more pellets and yogurt and she gobbled those up the last 2 days.  Thank you for your time.  Suzie

Thanks for the info and reminders.  It may be that she just needs consistent probiotics to help keep her rumen function.  So hopefully the antibiotic course has taken care of any further issues, and it is just a matter of getting her back to eating well.  You certainly could start the Zimectrin or Safeguard oral horse wormers to begin her on worming - neither of these will hurt her after previous wormers.  We use a general livestock pelleted feed along with use of Calf Manna to add protein and fat to a doe's diet when she is in milk.  Hope this helps - 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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