Goats/goat health


QUESTION: we purchased two goats about a month ago and brought them home 4 hours from where they lived.  

the goats toss their heads up and rotate them around as if looking at something all the time.  they are losing weight, when we check the food they have not eat much and the water is not going down.  we have seen them take a sip and eat a little but not sure what to do with the weight loss and the heads being tossed up and around a lot.

ANSWER: How old are the goats?  Have you noticed any discoloration of their grain and/or hay?  What plants are in their pasture? What color are their lower inner eyelids?  Have you taken a temperature on them?  If so, what was the measurement? What part of the country are you located in? What does their poop look like? Are they bucks, wethers, or does?  What is their feed regimen - what type of grain/what type of hay?

The tossing of the head and rotating the head around sometimes is a sign of something bothering them such as parasites, or not feeling well.  Have they been grinding their teeth at all? Any foam at their mouths?  

Are they up on their worming regimen?  Are they up on their CDT toxoid vaccinations?

Please let me know the answers to the above questions and I will get back to you - thanks - Donna

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: they are yearling Boare Does.  they do not have a temp.  fresh hay and corn. in a shed for shelter and a fence area that has cedar trees and snow in it.  Western part of Colorado (Rifle).  coloring is getting lighter on eye lids and inside lips.  still on their feet and friendly.  losing weight.  until we gave them dewormer last night and pro bi otics they still had pellet poop and peeing.  this moring they have the runs.   not foam at the moth and have not noticed any grinding of teeth.  feet are trimed up and no injuries.

Thanks for the update.  What was their temperature measurement? What color is the diarrhea?

The light color inner lower eyelids could indicate anemia from worms, specifically the barber pole worm, which has a different treatment than regular worms.  Or anemia can come from liver flukes, were they near a pond or other outdoor water source where you got them from?  What dewormer did you use on them last night?  How cold has the temperature been getting where you are?  Too much probiotics can cause loose stool.

I would advise doing several things to cover for several possibilities.  I would start them on injectable penicillin at 3 cc/100 pounds body weight given intramuscularly in the rear thigh muscle twice a day (use of a 20 gauge 3/4 inch needle is best) for 5 days.  They also will need probiotics every day they are on the antibiotics.  I use yogurt but if you have regular livestock probiotics that's fine too. Would also start on human vitamin B complex - 3 capsules crushed and dissolved in a little hot water, cooled and given orally once a day - I mix in the yogurt and thin so I can use an oral drencher.  Would also give them a liver fluke/barber pole regimen - this is Safeguard oral horse wormer (Fenbendazole) given once every 7 to 10 days for three dosings.  You use three times their body weight to find the dosage on the plunger, place the lock and give orally.  Would also give them warm molasses water and/or electrolytes to keep them hydrated with the runs.  If the runs continue for more than 12 hours would start on human pepto bismol at 1/2 cup per 75 pounds body weight given orally three times a day - usually this helps within one day. Would also start on one human iron tablet crushed and dissolved in a little water, given orally twice a day for 7 days - this is to also help with the anemia.

The penicillin would cover for pneumonia which it sounds like they may have.   The horse wormer covers them for possible liver flukes or barber pole worm - this treatment will not hurt them even if they do not have these internal parasites.

The human items are usually available at most grocery stores and/or drug stores.  Safeguard oral horse wormer is usually available at all feed/farm stores (sometimes they have a generic type of fenbendazole wormer that is available too).  

Hope this helps - let me know - 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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