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Goats/goats with cough


QUESTION: we have alpine dairy goats.  3 kids that are 2-3 months old have a cough  and sound congested at times  but all have clear nasal discharge  for about the last 2 weeks.  iv been concerned of lung worm so we dewormed them  2 times ten days apart  with ivomec plus first and then ivermectin the second treatment. they are all eating and drinking well. we also have a doe due to freshen within the next couple of weeks and she is now starting to cough  not sure what is causing this or if this could be viral among them.  we havent dewormed the doe because we arent sure what is safe during pregnancy?  not sure if it could be pneumonia but we treated one with antibiotics and it has been 2 weeks and he is still pneumonia contagious among goats?  any ideas would help please and any  info on dewormers safe for pregnant does this far in term we were going to wait until she freshened but she may need it sooner

ANSWER: There are many reasons that goats can cough, from dusty hay, to seasonal allergy, to penumonia. It could be spread from coughing. I imagine if it was lungworm then your deworming would have turned it around. So I would rule that out. (Also lungworm is a dry cough, without the runny nose.) I would wait to deworm the pregnant doe until after she kids.

I would also suspect that it isn't pneumonia because the antibiotic didn't help the one. Consider trying something like benadryl syrup one one of them to see whether it changes anything for a day.The dosage is 5 ml for kids and 15-20 ml for adults. It could be dusty feed, an allergy.

Have you taken temps? that would give you an idea whether it was penumonia.

I had a goat that coughed for years. She was very healthy and happy, but she never lost that cough. It used to drive me crazy, especially during nights I had the baby monitor on to hear goats that were about to kid.

Good luck.

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

QUESTION: all the temperatures are 102-103  which i think is normal  so it must be an allergy or maybe our hay is too dusty.  so that rules out pneumonia?  i will try the benadryl like u said

You are right; those are normal temps. If your hay situation is anything like ours has been, the hay is dusty and older. Thank goodness they have just cut fresh hay here.

Hope the benadryl does something or the coughs just go away like they came.


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Cheryl K. Smith


Goat Health Care; basic goat management. Author of Goat Health Care (2009) and Raising Goats for Dummies (2010)


Publisher of Goat Health Care, I have raised miniature dairy goats since 1998. I published Ruminations, the Nigerian Dwarf and Mini Dairy Goat magazine for 7 years and mentor other goat owners, as I was mentored for my first years.

American Goat Society (AGS), The Miniature Goat Registry (TMGR)

Raising Goats for Dummies (author) Goat Health Care (Editor and Author), Ruminations, Dairy Goat Journal, Issues in Law and Medicine, Topics in Health Records Management, Oregon Bar Bulletin, Midwifery Today, Countryside

BS, Health Information Administration JD, Law

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