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goats &parasites

Goats have low natural resistance to worms.

You've noticed they prefer to browse shrubs & eat from a height. Once their food has touched the floor - instinct says 'don't eat it', it might be contaminated with poo & worms.

Recommended testing frequency: 4 times per year

Best months: Jan, May, July & September

Switch the May date for 3-6 weeks after kidding to catch Doe's weakest immune system & cocci in the kids

Goat WEC: £14.50

for up to 5 named samples

Including fluke, coccidia and lungworm

This can be a mix&match of species across the farm


aka the Nematodes:

Teladorsagia, Trichostrongylus, Cooperia, Oesophagostomum



Lower milk production

Poor condition

Slow growth rate

Midline or jaw oedema



aka Barbers Pole Worm:

Haemonchus contortus



Weight Loss


Sudden death

Normal Poos


aka the Cestodes:

Monezia, Thysanosoma


Look horrible when wriggling out - but surprisingly harmless!

Heavy burdens in Kids cause:


Reduced gut motility

Gut rupture & peritonitis


aka Coccidiosis:



Mainly affects kids:

Diarrhoea (often pasty)

Blood & mucus in faeces

Skinny & weak

Abdominal Pain

Permanent gut damage

Healthy adults will often have coccidia in their faeces - interpret positive samples with care before using a coccidiostat

The Parasites


aka Fasciola:

Fasciola hepatica, Fascioloides magna


Anorexia & depression

Weakness & dry faeces

Increased respiratory rate

Ascites (belly fluid)


Sudden death


Dictyocaulus filaria, Muellerius capillaris, Protostrongylus rufescens



Nasal discharge

Increased respiratory rate

Poor condition

Weight loss


Cysticercus tenuicollis - the larval stage of the dog tapeworm Taenia hydatigena


Mainly asymptomatic

large numbers cause liver failure:




aka Crypto:

Cryptosporidium parvum


5-10 day old kids

active, alert & feeding well

very liquid diarrhoea

yellow diarrhoea

Control Tips


Good parasite control is about more than using a drug every 3 months,

you can reduce risk & use of anthelminthic drugs:

  • do not graze with sheep (they share worms)

  • do graze with horses (they 'hoover-up' goat worms)

  • Avoid previously flooded grazing

  • Avoid mud-snail areas, eg by streams

  • Encourage foraging behaviour

  • Feed hay in a rack, never the floor

  • Feed plenty of tree leaves

  • Ensure access to tree bark

  • Rotational graze

  • Increase dietary protein in kids

  • Ensure new animals have a clear FEC

  • Be fastidious with food bowl cleanliness


Focus On: Coccidia

The dreaded coccidia!

Why is it such bad news?

This tiny parasite (Eimeria) infects the gut lining of young kids & lambs. The initial inflammation causes severe diarrhoea.

This inflammation then permanently scars, the animal will always be a 'Poor-Doer'.

The biggest problem - this scarring starts before shedding coccidia in faeces, so a positive test in a sick kid is already too late.

To add to this complex bug's trouble - healthy adult sheep & goats will have a normal population of coccidia living in their bowels - giving a positive test result when nothing is wrong.

As if that all wasn't bad enough - the treatment is difficult. No drug kills all the parasites. Decocquinate, Lasalosid and Monensin and Diclazuril will all help to reduce parasitic load, and should be used to treat in-contact kids & lambs.

Diclazuril (Vecoxan) can be given to all lambs or kids at 4-6 weeks of age on farms known to have a coccidia problem.

To add insult to injury - the bug is extremely difficult to kill in the environment. Sunlight & Ammonia are the only two things to kill this bug reliably.

The key to Coccidia Sucess? Prevention is Better than Cure.


  • Kids & lambs 1-6 months old

  • Brown, watery diarrhoea

  • Blood & mucus in faeces

  • Poor appetite

  • Dehydration

  • Weakness

  • Rough coat

  • Weight loss

  • Fading away & death 



Affected Kids:

  • Vecoxan 0.25mls / Kg by mouth, repeated after 3 weeks​

  • Aggressive fluid therapy - orally with electrolyte solutions and/or subcutaneous saline

  • Antibiotics for secondary infection

  • Hand feeding

In contact kids:​

  • Vecoxan 0.25mls / Kg by mouth, repeated after 3 weeks​



  • Clear away all faeces & bedding

  • Try to encourage as much natural sunlight as possible - coccidi are killed by UV light

  • Get kids & lambs outside as soon as possible

  • Reduce stocking density

  • Clean everything with an ammonia based cleaner, eg superkill max.

  • Change water buckets daily

superkill max.jpg


  • Control build up of manure or waste

  • Ensure good natural daylight

  • Maintain low stocking densities indoors

  • Keep water sources totally clear of faecal contamination

  • Clean indoor housing with ammonia before the start of lambing or kidding season

Known coccidia environments:

Treat kids & lambs with vecoxan (or similar coccidia treatment) at 4 weeks old, and at times of stress - weaning, moving

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