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If the information in this site has been of help to you and your goats, Donations are always welcome (and much appreciated) to help the cost of my rescue goats.. Thank you and God Bless!  goatlady
 
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  • Personal  ( 2 items )

    Articles, stories and excerpts from the life of goatlady and her goats
  • Goat Parasite Information and Control  ( 9 items )

    GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITES!!!
    THE SENSELESS KILLER!


    More goats die senselessly from worms than any other disease!
    It has happened to me and probably happened to you.
    This page is designed to give you the most information I possibly can
    to help you learn and avoid losing goats to this misunderstood and overlooked problem.



    parasitology

    The Study of Parasites that Infect Our Goats

    In Layman's Terms
    Everything seems fine in your herd. Spring has sprung..new babies are hitting the ground.... the pastures are getting greener with each passing day.
    Then it happens...
    The babies seem to stop growing.. new moms are losing weight... the yearlings have lost their bloom.. WHAT is happening? They're eating fine.. same hay, same grain.. and new pastures to play and eat in all day.. So??? What could it be? WORMS!!!!!
    Spring is notoriously evil when it comes to the exploding population of wormload in goats.. This is due to what is called "Spring Rise". The warmth of the new days brings out the hibernating larvae that have settled in your pastures since last fall. Not all species can do this BUT the ones that can are especially dangerous to goats.
    New moms are also a special target. Some larvae will hibernate in the body, (This is called "arrested development") and are called upon to come alive (This is called "periparturient rise" when hormones are secreted by pregnant does. She will shed her infectious larvae just in time to infect her new kids. This is the parasite's assurance that their species will go on for more generations.
    SO... what do you do?
    Regular fecal testing is the most efficient way to combat the presence of parasites. This way you are more sure of when they are and are not infected.. therefore when and when not to deworm them.
    Exception to the rule: In the case of parasites being in the 'arrested development' stage, they may not show up in a fecal exam.
    Saving you time, energy., medications and the chance of the parasites becoming immune to the anthelmintics (dewormer medication).
    Other Ways to Determine Parasite Infection
    There ARE ways, although less efficient ways, to look for possible worm-load in goats.. for those of you who do not have a vet nearby.. (BTW- fecal samples can be mailed successfully to an out of town vet).

    Look at the mucus membranes.
    eye showing anemia The most accurate is the inner eyelid. ( I do this exam routinely every time I am with the goats- who ever happens to be nearby.. I take a quick look at their inner eyelids- they are not nuts about having me look- But it does NOT hurt them). Put pressure on the eyeball with your thumb on the outside top of the eye and pull downward with your other thumb to see the inner most eyelid.


    Looking at the gums is not a good way to tell if a goat is anemic or not- which is what you would be looking for in this example.. the mucus membranes will be light pink to white if the worm-load has drained enough of the goat's blood to cause anemia. (A normal healthy color will be dark pink to almost red inside the inner eyelids.) This, depending on the particular worm- can be in a matter of weeks!
    Severe anemia will cause "bottle jaw" or hypoproteinemia. Other symptoms include: weight loss, either chronic or acute, lethargy, dull rumpled looking coat, scouring, constipation.. and the list goes on..
    The bad thing about trying to rely on these symptoms is that so many other ailments also have these same symptoms.
    Fecal Examinations
    This is why fecal exams are so important.. and you can learn to do your own .. you may not be able to determine all the species of eggs seen.. but if you were to notice an excess of eggs in the fecal exam you could either deworm the goat Or better yet.. send the fecal to a vet for positive identification. I also need to mention that a goat can have a parasite load and not be shedding eggs at the time of the fecal exam.. this will depend on when the larvae was ingested and what the "Prepatent Period" for each particular nematode (worm) is. The prepatent period is the time between ingestion of the infectious stage of the larvae and the time the goat will show symptoms. Each parasite is different.
    Keeping a completely worm free herd is impossible.. and unhealthy. Keeping the parasite load way down where it is not affecting the goat's health is what you are aiming for.

    NOTE: If you have heard people refer to some worms as "encysted worms" this is when they are in the "arrested development" stage. Lying dormant in the body not causing any damage to the host until they are signaled to "come alive" and continue development, sometimes in very in large numbers.

    Doing Your Own Fecals

    Doing your own fecals at home is easy and you have the advantage of not having to send or take the fecal to the vet each time you wish to check your goats for worm load.
    A Few Important Points:
    1. The most important thing about preparing to do your own fecals is to make sure the solution you make is correct. If it is too weak, the eggs will not float to the top and you will not get a proper reading.. the egg count will be too low-if at all.
    2. While this is not a pleasant topic; you can take a fecal sample from a dead goat. This is important to know if you have lost a goat and wondered if it was from coccidia or wormload. You will have to reach up inside the rectum to obtain the fecal sample, using either a gloved finger or a Popsicle stick.
    3. Do not be tempted to get a microscope with high power- you don;t need it and honestly you will not be able to see what you need to see with it

  • Goat Articles  ( 22 items )
  • Goat Breeding , Kidding and Kids  ( 17 items )
  • Common Terms and Symptoms used in Goat Raising  ( 3 items )
  • Emergency Goat Care  ( 18 items )
  • Common Goat Medicines and How to Use them  ( 39 items )
  • Know the Body of the Goat  ( 13 items )
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The information in this website; Goat-Link.com, is not meant to substitute regular veterinarian visits- I am not a veterinarian - the information here is derived from my research and personal experience and is meant to be informational and not to replace your veterinarian.

 
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