Goats/Goats Itching


QUESTION: I have a heard of two Nigerian goats ages 4 and two Pygmy goats ages 1  year.  Spring has finally come to Michigan and the goats look like they are shedding their winter coats, however one little one is doing the stomping dance and licking legs all day.  I applied Durvet IVERMECTIN Pour On (for Cattle) on his backline per the dosage prescribed ( 10cc/ml for 22 lbs.)  It was the only pour on at 3 area stores that I called.  However I can't tell when or if I do another application at a later date.  Please tell me what the frequency/schedule of application of pour ons are?  Please tell me if I must treat the entire heard also or just the one?

ANSWER: Sorry to say that pour ons are not good for goats as they are made for the thicker hided animals such as cows and horses and sheep, not goats.  They can be toxic to goats in this manner and most often do not work anyway.  

With that said haev you seen any "bugs" on the hair of the little one? Do you see any loss of hair/bald spots on this little one?  When you say the goats look like they are shedding the winter coats, is this just amounts of under down and not bald spots of regular coat hair?

I advise two items to help with spring time bugs on goats - these are safe on all production of goats and work well.  First off is to use Zimectrin (or a generic ivermectin 1.87% oral gel) oral horse wormer, taking two times the goat's weight and using that to find the dose measurement on the plunger of the wormer, place the lock and give this to the goat orally. If the goat is under 100 pounds it will be difficult to figure out the amount, so the dosing then is 1/2 inch of the wormer.  It kills external parasites from the inside out as well as being an excellent internal parasite/worm control for goats.  Secondly use a horse or livestock parasite dust and dust the goat's coat, without getting in its eyes or nose or yours, and also dusting down the legs and under the tummy.  You may have to repeat the dusting in 2 weeks if you see more scratching happening.  Hope this helps - Donna

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QUESTION: Thank you for your quick response Donna to answer your questions-- a) no I have not seen any bugs on the goat b) regarding their coats they look like they are just shedding under down.  When we brush them we get a lot of down like hair.  Because my children brush them sometimes in the same spots he does have some hair loss I believe to be from over brushing. Like the neck and back. This seems to be the easiest places for the kids to reach when brushing.

My little Pygmy (Rowdy) he was scratching so much I did first give him a dusting of DE (Diatomaceous Earth) about a month ago.    But everyday he is jumping around frantic and stomping and biting (the other three goats are not).  My local vet recommended Ultra Boss Pour On but I could not get to any. So in my calls to various farm and feed stores they all said that many folks use the product IVERMECTIN Pour On (for Cattle)so out of desperation I bought it.  I just could not figure out the frequency for the next application.

To be honest, now I am a little worried.  How do I go forward from here?  More importantly when?  I don't want to overdose the goat.

Thank you

Thanks for your update.  Re the hair loss - these goats could be selenium deficient - I usually advise giving selenium/E/D supplements at least three times a year - this in addition to their being on salt block or salt that includes selenium.  Selenium deficiency causes loss of the hair coat, and many times this is in the neck and back, sometimes sides.  For adult goats use of selenium at ten of the 200 mcg human tablets crushed and dissolved in a little hot water, then add all the oil from a 1000 IU vitamin E capsule and all the oil from an 800 IU vitamin D capsule, mix well, cool and give as an oral drench.  I used to use Bo-Se injectable but found that without the vitamin D many times the selenium/vitamin E just did not work.  If there is hair loss then you give this dose now and again in 10 days.  For regular use you give this orally three times a year.

As to the pour ons - I'm not sure where so many people/feed stores included get the idea that pour ons work for goats - I've seen too many toxic repercussions from this use.  I would not use the pour on again.  I might give it two weeks for the pour on to get out of the goat's system and then use both the oral Zimectrin horse wormer and the livestock dust, or you could start with the livestock dust in a few days and see if that helps.

I take it there is no rash with the itching the one goat is doing?  If so, this could be an allergic reaction and if that were the case then Children's Benadryl usually helps to calm this down.

Hope this helps - let me know.  


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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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