Goats/mange mites

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QUESTION: I have 5 nubian goats:  4 (females) are now infected with mange.  The 5th shows early stage of itching (only wether).  The two goats that have had it the longest are: 3 l/2 years old that has had mange problem for 2 years), and 2 l/2 years old (had it for 1 year).  The other three weren’t affected until three weeks ago.
    --All have normal temperatures, chew cud, have normal bowel and bladder function, eat and drink fine, and are up and about.  I live in Rhode Island.  They eat second cut hay from Canada and have a small amount of daily goat grain, sunflower seeds and goat treats each morning.  Fresh fruit and vegetables are also provided when available. All have access to fresh water, Manapro minerals and a salt block.
    I have tried many treatments for EXTENDED periods of time on the above two goats:  These include:  Ivermectin injections; clove oil, olive oil, lavender, tea tree oil treatments; lime sulfur treatments; there have also been home/farm vet visits with unproductive biopsy’s ; one vet dermatologist visit; 7 special bath/shampoo visits to a vet clinic; home/farm baths every 2 days for weeks with vet supplied secondary infection special shampoo; and lastly and currently, I have been using petroleum jelly to cover all infected areas.  Their hair has begun to grow back (slowly) on all of the areas using the petroleum jelly.  I thought that finally I was making some progress when last week I found two other goats with small infected areas.  Now one of them has lost a good portion of hair on one side of her body.  I’m continuing to use the petroleum jelly on them too.  
    Someone is coming to clean out all the hay in the barn and scrub the wall (not sure what product should be used).  I am beside myself with worry and don’t know what to do next.  I was sure the petroleum jelly would suffocate the mites—none of the other treatments worked.  Your expertise and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. NG

ANSWER: HI Nancy
I have spent the last couple days trying to dig into this issue for you - I have spoken to a few vets from Cornell and Texas A&M and they all concur on the  same thoughts  as what I find in this article below - I am SO sorry you are dealing with this  for you and for the goats -  this is one of the most difficult things to get under control.

The best information  I have found on my research is an article that states this:

"Confirmation of mite infestation requires that a skin plug be taken by a vet and examined under a microscope. Skin scrapings are seldom sufficient because the mites burrow deep into the skin. A plug must be pulled to the point of drawing blood. Sometimes mites or their eggs can be found in fecal samples, but examining a skin plug under a microscope is the most accurate method of diagnosis. All skin diseases require vet examination and diagnosis because it is easy to mis-diagnose visually, decide to treat for one condition, then it turns out to be another. Example: Mis-diagnose fungus as staph infection, use steroids as part of the treatment, and the fungus rapidly gets worse.

The mite spends its entire life cycle either on or under the goat's skin. This parasite cannot survive off the goat for more than a few days. Intense itching follows the development of lesions, thickening of the skin, and formation of dry crusts. Itching is the body's inflammatory response to the mites' fecal pellets. Zinc deficiency may coincide with mite infestation, and a secondary bacterial skin infection can occur, requiring antibiotics. Mite infestation is more common in winter but can occur in summer. Sometimes mite activity will regress in summer and actively reappear in winter. Environmental conditions affect mite activity. Mite infestation spikes in periods of heat and drought, in areas where goats live in close quarters and are intensively managed, and when the mites' normal hosts are in short supply in nature (deer, rabbits, etc.). However, the year 2015 has brought dramatic climate changes from drought to rain in parts of the USA, along with a resurgence of mites. Immune-suppressed goats are more likely to have the worst cases of mite infestation, but healthy animals can be infested when the mite population is high. A group of bucks in rut can be sufficiently stressed that their immune systems are compromised enough for mites to attack them.

The most serious problem caused by mange mites on bucks is poor semen production. Semen production must be done at temperatures lower than the goat's body temperature. The scrotum's design permits heat loss so that semen can be produced outside the main body of the buck. Scab formation on the scrotum prevents this heat loss, concentrating heat inside and impairing semen production. While the buck's sex drive (libido) is not reduced, his body cannot produce sperm capable of inseminating female goats. Once the mites are killed, quality semen production usually returns. I cannot find any documented evidence that the doe's ability to become pregnant and carry to term is affected by mite infestation."

"Aggressive treatment is necessary to kill mites on goats. No one-time-use treatment will work. Hair must be re-growing on the goat's body parts before treatment can be considered effective. Long-haired goats may have to be sheared for mite eradication to be successful. Since mites can live for several days off the goat and in the environment before they die, sheds and bedding areas must also be frequently cleaned and treated. All goats in the herd must be treated -- not just the ones with obvious mite infestation.

There are several different products that can be used to kill mites on and under the skin of goats. The dewormer Ivermectin can be injected SQ, dosing at one to two cc's per 50 pounds bodyweight weekly for at least three consecutive weeks. Use the 1% strength Ivermectin and inject SQ over the ribs with an 18 gauge needle to minimize discomfort because this product stings when injected. Topical application of Lime Sulphur Dip must be done at the same time. Buy Lime Sulphur Dip (97.8% strength) concentrated form and mix according to label directions. Lime Sulphur mix is applied by spray or dip and must be done every week for at least three weeks and sometimes weekly as long as six weeks if the skin isn't clearing up. Topical application of 1% Ivermectin weekly for three or more consecutive weeks is an alternative to Lime Sulphur Dip. Jeffers carries Lime-Sulphur Dip concentrate.

The product which I have found that works best to kill mange mites is Pierce's All Purpose Nu-Stock. It is a sulphur, mineral oil, and pine-oil-based cream in a tube that should be applied using disposable gloves (because it is messy and smells bad). I think it works best because (a) it stays on longer, and (b) it "suffocates" the mites. Apply at least once a week for minimally three consecutive weeks. Nu-Stock also has lots of other uses. Jeffers carries Nu-Stock."

NOW this being said - while this article does not mention the use of topical  delousing treatment such as Ivomec  POURON http://goat-link.com/content/view/180/168  OR Eprinex  http://goat-link.com/content/view/181/30/ which I didn't see mentioned in your post

I have personally used it successfully with  biting lice but never have had mites myself so  while the product does target  mites, I  do not have personal experience with it.

I hope this might shed a little  light on the problem.  Keep in mind what ever you are doing for the goats who have returning hair growth is  working.. at least partially -

I wish I had a more concrete answer for you.



[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much for your response.  I do have some questions:
•   Do you recommend Ivomec Eprinex over Ivomec POURON?
•   Is the topical application of Ivomec to be used in conjunction with the Ivomectin SQ injection-- if the Lime Sulphur Dip is not used?
•   I just bought Permethrin10; is Ivomec(tin) better?
•   Will I have to get all the petroleum jelly off before I use anything else?
•   What will remove petroleum jelly? (It does seem to disappear on its own after a few days.)
•   How do you know if a goat has a suppressed immune system?
•   What can be given for this condition?
•   What do you give goats if they need zinc?  Are human (crushed) zinc pills ok?
The goats do live in a close environment; they bed down at night (in cold weather) in a closed insulated 8 x 10 room.  I forgot to mention in my first post that Nu-Stock has been used extensively. My hesitation at using the Lime Sulphur Dip is that the weather is too cold for the goats to be covered in it.   At the present (until I hear from you), I am continuing with the petroleum jelly—hair is growing.   It’s hard to imagine anything being able to breath under that goo.  
Thank you so much for your help; I have been very stressed and frustrated watching my goats with this situation.

Answer
QUESTION: Thank you so much for your response.  I do have some questions:



•   Do you recommend Ivomec Eprinex over Ivomec POURON?

I use  the Ivomec Pouron.. the Eprinex is mostly for use  in wet weather

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•   Is the topical application of Ivomec to be used in conjunction with the Ivomectin SQ injection-- if the Lime Sulphur Dip is not used?

This is how I use it..  both  at the same time.. I personally have not used the lime sulpher dip

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•   I just bought Permethrin10; is Ivomec(tin) better?


I have had better luck with Ivomec POUR on for lice..Permethrin10 seems  pretty strong   for putting on them, might use this to spray the  pen sleeping area.. let it dry before letting the goats back in..  

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•   Will I have to get all the petroleum jelly off before I use anything else?


no.. all you need to do with  Ivomec POUR ON  is dribble  down the backline  from the neck to the tail.. a dribble here move a few inches, dribble.... move.. dribble.... move.. trying to  spread  the amount  for  the entire length of the spine

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•   What will remove petroleum jelly? (It does seem to disappear on its own after a few days.)

nothing  it's ok.. leave it ..

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•   How do you know if a goat has a suppressed immune system?

no real testing I know of.. but when a goat  seems to get every little bug,  not thrifty.. not a healthy goat - always  with wormload no matter what you do.. thin - scruffy..

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•   What can be given for this condition?

BO-Se is a great immunity builder. it is a vet RX  injectable medication..  selenium/vitE combination..
Never use MUSe.. Way too strong.. ONLY BOSe


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•   What do you give goats if they need zinc?  Are human (crushed) zinc pills ok?

a good mineral for goats should have zinc in it..

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The goats do live in a close environment; they bed down at night (in cold weather) in a closed insulated 8 x 10 room.  I forgot to mention in my first post that Nu-Stock has been used extensively. My hesitation at using the Lime Sulphur Dip is that the weather is too cold for the goats to be covered in it.   At the present (until I hear from you), I am continuing with the petroleum jelly—hair is growing.   It’s hard to imagine anything being able to breath under that goo.

I agree no dipping in cold weather.. the  sleeping area.. that is insulated .. and closed..  There IS air circulation at the top right? You never want to have a completely closed in area..   you need openings at the top for fresh air..  because a closed space will promote pneumonia.. you don't want openings near the bottom  so the breeze is not cold on them..  but near the top.. I personally  do not like closed in  sleeping areas.. Just in case  (God forbid) something were to happen.. no way to escape.. I don't know where you are but  even if you left the door open and  put  straw bales in the front  of the opening to block any breeze.. maybe even bales in  the sleeping barn.. situated in a sort of maze where they can tuck in around  or behind them..  Keep in mind too that Straw its notorious for harboring  buggies,., mites and lice.. so if your bedding is straw this may be the culprit

IF the bald areas is showing hair regrowth..  something is working..  :)  



Thank you so much for your help; I have been very stressed and frustrated watching my goats with this situation.

I imagine you are.. it is very stressful to see ongoing issues and  no end in sight.. I'm so sorry you are going through this.  :(  

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Specializing in New Goat Owner understanding of goat physiology, goat anatomy, goat care and herd management. *I am not a veterinarian, any advice and information should be verified by your veterinarian before administering to your goats. (! During times of severe weather in the Midwest, I may experience a delay in internet service due to the interference of the satellite reception - but will answer your questions as soon as service is restored. !) Note: Keep in mind, the goat expert is volunteering her time to help other goat owners, she also runs her farm with her own herd of 100 goats and may not be at her computer at all hours. Questions are answered as soon as she can possibly read and answer them, usually within 24 hours.

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