Goats have poor 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
Highest risk periods: after flooding, kids
aka the Nematodes:
Teladorsagia, Trichostrongylus, Cooperia, Oesophagostomum
Lower milk production
Slow growth rate
Midline or jaw oedema
aka Barbers Pole Worm:
aka the Cestodes:
Look horrible when wriggling out - but surprisingly harmless!
Heavy burdens in Kids cause:
Reduced gut motility
Gut rupture & peritonitis
Mainly affects kids:
Diarrhoea (often pasty)
Blood & mucus in faeces
Skinny & weak
Permanent gut damage
Healthy adults will often have coccidia in their faeces - interpret positive samples with care before using a coccidiostat
Fasciola hepatica, Fascioloides magna
Anorexia & depression
Weakness & dry faeces
Increased respiratory rate
Ascites (belly fluid)
Dictyocaulus filaria, Muellerius capillaris, Protostrongylus rufescens
Increased respiratory rate
Cysticercus tenuicollis - the larval stage of the dog tapeworm Taenia hydatigena
large numbers cause liver failure:
5-10 day old kids
active, alert & feeding well
very liquid diarrhoea
Worming Treatment Options
The main wormers suitable for goats are listed.
Levamisole is not listed due to too many adverse effects in goats.
Avoid pour-ons as these can cause skin irritation.
POM-V products require a vet prescription, POM-VPS are obtained from a licensed pharmacist (inc online) who will ask some relevant questions
The 'Top-Shelf' wormers such as Zolvix (Monepantel), Supaverm (Closantel & Mebendazole) are not listed - these should only be used after in depth discussion with a vet.
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
Increase dietary protein in kids
Ensure new animals have a clear FEC
Be fastidious with food bowl cleanliness
Follow our Small Holding at Orlestone Farm for 'Worm of the week' and 'Plant of the week' tips:
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.