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Goats/Fainting goat Hairloss, and low belly with thin indented hips


QUESTION: We just bought an old run down Fainting goat.  She was extremely afraid of people (I think due fears of fainting)  We have not made her faint but if you move to sudden her hind end freezes and she slowly walks away and will come back. We noticed immediately that her hair was falling out (about 2 weeks ago, we also treated the two babies we bought at the same time) and she was itching.  She had long hair and when petting her we noticed that she was sunken around the hips.  She has a low big belly, the people we bought her from said she spontaneously aborted her pregnancy.  It was recommended that we use lice powder.  The flaky scabs seems to be gone, her hair loss maybe getting better.  After talking with our vet she suggested instead of following up with the powder we follow up with ivomec injection.  

We now can pet her very slowly and lure her to us with oats and apples and carrots.  She currently is in a pasture of brush and some grass.  She has clean water, a mineral block.  I am concerned now the under coat is almost all gone.  She looks so thin along her back and hips.  Her belly is large (like she is expecting).  We are told she is due to worming in the fall, can you worm too soon (she was dewormed in the spring).  What can we do to fatten her up?  She is getting to be the sweetest old goat, other than the thin spine, and indent around her hips (my kids said she is squeeshy what is wrong with her?) She seems very alert and active.  The two 3 month olds seems to be plumping up nicely.  She seems to be having normal bowl movements and urinating often. Oh and she does have a very gurgley belly.  In the first week she seems to regurgitate almost clear liquidy  stuff, but we haven't noticed since and thought it was due to the ride to our house and stress.


Some of them just end up looking like that. It does sound like you are doing right with the lice treatment. You should get feces and have the vet check for parasites. Or you can mail it in to a lab at a vet school or else where. If her four stomach are working right you should hear the sounds. You may also want to get her tested for CAE and CL. They can cause weight loss.

She also could be thin from old age. I use unsalted peanuts in the shell for treats. If her appetite is good she may gain weight. I have also used hydrated. Beet pulp in the winter to get weight gain. You could try that. Otherwise, it may just take time, just like with the fear.

Good luck.

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

QUESTION: Thank you so much for your quick reply.  What is CAE and CL, also should she be on hay to supplement.  We have a large pasture with mostly brush and leaves and some grass.  

Would you treat with Ivemec injectable to be on the safe side?  Or would Zimectrin oral for horses be a better spectrum?

CAEV is caring arthritis encephalitis, the goat version of HIV. CL is caseous lymphadenitis, which causes abscesses and other problems. Neither are curable and both are not uncommon in goats.

Yes, it is good to have hay for the goats, so they get more nutrition, also they need a mineral block that is formulated for goats.

You should give all dewormers to goats orally for internal parasites, at twice the cow dose. Either of those products may work, depending on the parasite resistance.

Let me know if you have other questions.


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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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