View Full Version : Goat with a swollen face

1st August 2011, 08:20 PM
Hi all,
What would cause a goats face to swell? Our old Toggie (9+) has a soft but puffy face that has only occurred in the last day or so. She is eating and carrying on as normal, might be slightly subdued but I do mean slightly. Our 2 yr Saanen buck also has mild swelling under the jaw. They have been dewormed with Bomatac. Do have Levicare but didn't want to topple them as not sure what the cause is but recall worm burdens can show as swelling.
There is a gum tree that has been felled in the paddock and all goats have been feasting on it. Could this be the cause? Abby's face did go down the morning after drenching but is back up again tonight and also noticed the bucks swelling. All other goats are fine and am wondering if it is a reaction to something they have eaten.
Any ideas?

1st August 2011, 08:37 PM
Worm drench resistence. Been there, done that, including a post mortem though Massey University that proved it (mind a number of years ago!). Speak to your goat Vet would be my advise.

1st August 2011, 08:53 PM
Could be related to worms, are they anaemic at all (nice pink eyes/gums)? Can also be a sign of poisoning I think but in the absence of any other symptoms that seems less likely? Mine get puffy in the face occasionally, I would say more around the cheeks than under the jaw though (but not like they've got food in their checks, definitely more of a tissue puffiness) from time to time and buggered if I know what causes it. It never affects them all at the same time, but all have had it occur at least once in the last two years, & does not appear to be related to worming or minerals, but other than that it has me stumped. It goes away again within a few days or a week at most. Just weird.

1st August 2011, 09:18 PM
Interesting reading on the medicinal value of the eucalyptus trees:

I would suggest that they have bottle jaw, probably due to a worm overload. Protein is lost from the bloodstream into the digestive system and pools in the jaw when the head goes down to graze. Apparently, it mostly turns up in cases of barbers pole worms, and it would seem (according to the above reference) the gun trees can help reduce the barber pole worm load. However, they are possibly quite anaemic and would benefit from a weeks' worth of doses of ironcyclen (I give 5ml/goat/day), as well as a drench that will deal to the barbers pole (a.k.a. haemonchus contortus).

Liver flukes can also cause it, but I would think both barbers pole and liver flukes unlikely where you are because it's too cold??? A few things to think about anyway...

Look up FAMACHA to learn how to check the inner eyelid for anaemia - it's a good thing to learn how to do. Even better, see if you can find a vet how knows how to do it, and have them teach you.

1st August 2011, 09:21 PM
bee or wasp stings....was there a nest in the tree

1st August 2011, 10:24 PM
Thanks for the replies.
Abby's colour is fine and her CRT was within normal range. There have been wasps around the trees in the past, seen on the trees but no nests. With it being winter and rather brisk down here, don't think it too likely as have not seen any for the last 2 months. Have checked Abby for any wounds and found nothing.
Jo, was the swelling with your goats very soft and maliable? Abby's face is, as you said round the cheeks as well as under the jaw and yes it is a tissue puffyness, almost to the point of being 'squishy' but not watery.
Will look into other ideas as well as monitor the situation closely.

1st August 2011, 10:37 PM
Sounds like Bottle Jaw to me too. Artemis had it a few years ago and yes, I think Barbers Pole was the culprit. Vitamin B injection from the vet.... he also gave me another syringe but I can't remember what it was. One of the jabs had to go into the muscle and man it must have hurt cos she dropped to her front knees and bellowed!


2nd August 2011, 08:00 AM
we are talking Southland in the middle of winter - confused as to why everyone is jumping to parasites when there are no Haemonchus down there ! Too cold - especially this time of the year.

There are a number of other things that will cause oedema around the head (and we are assuming it is oedema)
If it is oedema then if you pince the swollen area between your fingers the dents will remain behind when you move your hand away. Íf you don't get imprsssions left then it ain't oedema/bottle jaw.

copper deficiency, coccidiosis, bracken fern poisoning, inadequate protein synthesis due to liver damage,
mycotoxins (a toxin produced by an organism of the fungus family, which includes mushrooms, molds and yeasts.)
Stomach worms especially Barberpole worm (Haemonchus contortus ), Johnes Disease and Liver Fluke all can cause bottle jaw in the goat.

There are a few that you would rule due to location and time of year ...dare i saw it but i would be seriously looking at some of the others (such as Johnes) much more closely before i consider the extremely remote possibility that we have Haemonchus issues in a goat in Southland in the middle of winter

2nd August 2011, 10:34 AM
Thanks for the suggestions CV, I'll try the pinch test next time one of mine come up with their puffyface thing, but I'm dubious as to whether it's oedema. GM yeah the puffiness with mine were not hard at all, so I guess I would say soft, but not exactly squishy, certainly didn't feel like there was any fluid as such, more like what I'd expect from something like a bee-sting I guess, but equal on both sides of the face. It just happens so infrequently and usually resolves within a week that I haven't been able to pinpoint a cause.

2nd August 2011, 01:00 PM
If you read my post, I did say that while they may be possibilities, it would probably be too cold in her area of the country, cowvet, and I wouldn't say everyone was jumping to parasites!

With what has been described, I had thought of Johnes, but wouldn't it be strange that only a 9 year old Togg doe and a 2 year old Saanen buck are coming up with it out of the blue? Have either been under any kind of stress lately that would bring it out, goatmama? Not a bad idea to test for Johnes if they are under stress (from what I've been told by our vets, when they are stressed is the best time to test them).

I didn't know about cocci and copper deficiency causing a swollen jaw, thank you for that information.

2nd August 2011, 03:10 PM
stress = recent weather in Southland

and there is a very obvious slant to blaming parasites when you read through the posts!

2nd August 2011, 05:33 PM
Thanks all,
The swelling is gone thismorning and both back to normal so even more strange.
As to stress, the goats are in a large paddock with plenty of grass and hay and a large stand of pine and gum trees plus a calf shed to keep out of the elements.
I agree with you Cowvet, there is a noticable jumping to bottlejaw and barberpole but as also mentioned by Andrea and yourself, we are too cold for that at this time of year.
Abby is not in kid this season (though she did try) so there are also no pregnancy issues taxing her. Gruffy has likewise returned to normal face shape.
If it happens again I will try to get a photo of it and try the finger impressions thing.
I do wonder if it is something they have eaten. Foxglove is the most nastiest thing in the ditches but they dont touch it and we remove them when we see any. Other than that they have the trees-pine and blue gum, goarse, blackberry and sedge + hay and grass and warmed Agresea with fresh kelp when we get to the rocks.

2nd August 2011, 08:27 PM
Check how much gum leaves they have been eating. Gum leaves have a soap-like compound (a or some saponin/s) in them, which can cause gut irritations. Some gums are very poisonous. The koalas have a bug that makes an anti-saponin in their gut, which makes them immune to it's poison.

3rd August 2011, 10:20 AM
Hrmm - spontaneously resolved - now it sounds just like what mine do GM! Curiouser and curiouser... maybe between the two of us we will work it out at some point... [:)]

3rd August 2011, 01:31 PM
Maybe Jo, maybe.

Thanks for the koala tip Rothwell, will keep tabs on their intake.
Jo, do your goats have access to blue gum?

3rd August 2011, 01:39 PM
Rothwell, the gum trees were already here when we bought the place last year and the goats have eaten the greenery from any fallen trees also they have gone for the bark. The neighbour who planted the trees said they are Eucalyptus Cordata. Is this one of the "dangerous" ones or is it all gum trees that should be watched?

3rd August 2011, 01:59 PM
Nope, no bluegums at our place. We do have E. nitens but not in their paddocks.

3rd August 2011, 05:26 PM
Puffy face back again (almost like clockwork) did have the camera on me this time as there were lambs to take photos of. Have tried to get lots of the swelling as well as one of her mouth, a little resistance there but we got her.
Any ideas would be welcome. Tried the pinch test but as this is very soft swelling she bounced back like a lump of 2nd knead bread dough.

3rd August 2011, 06:54 PM
Without feeling it, given the fact that it seems to be appearing at the end of the day (day spent with head down, eating), I would still say bottle jaw, but as to the cause, I don't know. I would probably be getting a FEC to see what, if anything, you're dealing with, and give them some ironcyclen for a couple of weeks (5ml/day) to see if that helps balance things out. That's what I'd be doing if they were mine, anyway.

3rd August 2011, 09:39 PM
Don't have many problems with my Boers but a couple of years ago I had a doe do this - no-one else swelled up, so I had a talk to my vet & we decided to put her on an extra ration of pellets daily (the herd were already on pellets & hay & had a good salt block, & had been drenched). She came right in a couple of days & hasn't had it since. She was a smaller quiet wee doe who did get bullied sometimes & I guess she just needed an extra protein boost to handle that stress.
Worth trying that anyway:)))

4th August 2011, 10:31 AM
Interesting, looks slightly different to what my girls do GM, they've tended to be more down the sides of the face and not so much underneath the jaw like that.

4th August 2011, 02:44 PM
When was the last time that she had a drench that has praziquantel in it? This kills tapeworms, tapeworms affect goats badly, tapeworms don't worry too much about the temperature.
Remember that levamisole is more risky to goats (and to sheep and cattle) than the other drench types. Because she might be sick I would not use a drench with levamisole in it. If you drench her with a drench with praziquantel in it, keep her inside for a couple of hours. If she has tapes she will poo them out in a big knot that is visible.

4th August 2011, 05:24 PM
She was last drenched with Bomatac on Saturday night.
Am possibly going into Riverton tomorrow and will try to get a poo sample off for a FEC.

4th August 2011, 06:12 PM
years ago i took a goat to vets cause she had a huge swell on her underjaw. he got a bucket load of pus out of it. I cant rember what caused it tho

4th August 2011, 07:21 PM
I am seriously seeing a "similar" response to a goat that had something (remember this was years ago) of 26,000 worms (Massey University post mortem).

I do respect Cowvet and her opinion that it is too cold for worms so a little confused but have we not all had the most amazing weather this Winter (including your area) and the problem may have been developing as opposed to what you are experiencing now in terms of weather? No idea!

I think that I need to add that the Saanen goat I had post mortemed (how do you spell that?) also showed more swelling in the cheek area as opposed to under the jaw but well done you to get the FEC done and looking into it for her.

4th August 2011, 08:12 PM
There is more going on here - take a look at her body condition. My suggestion is that you get a blood test and vet exam done and look at her liver function and/or Johnes status. With a blood test being done it is not too much more to get an indication on her copper status.

10th August 2011, 06:29 PM
Had a FEC done and showed a large worm burden. Vet is unsure as to the swelling coming and going and has advised waiting 2-3 weeks to see if the drench makes any diference.
We are trying Dectomax and will do a followup FEC at the same time.
Thanks to all who replied and pushed the worm thing.

Jen - Featherston
10th August 2011, 10:01 PM
bomatac we found absolutely useless for goats, well actually for anything its cheap for a reason imho.

Because of the large worm burden she will be low on iron and iodine, I'd be supplementing her like Andrea said, I am not sure of some of her products but she is way more up on the play than I am - I like Tetonic and B12 injections.

Good luck, let us know how she goes. Have you had your other goats FEC'd or just re drenched them all?

11th August 2011, 07:31 AM
All good points, Jen, and I'm glad it sounds like you're getting to the root cause, gm!

I use ironcyclen (which is iron, copper and cobalt, all of which are needed together for the proper absorption of the other), vigest and ad-lib seaweed meal. They really seem to have a strong desire to eat this when they are unwell, particularly if anaemic.
And, as Jen mentioned, a B12 jab wouldn't go amiss, it's a good one for stress. I would do one now (2cc SQ... I find tenting the skin over the ribs is the easiest place to get it in) and another one in a week.

Keep up the ironcyclen and vigest for a couple of weeks, and leave the seaweed meal out for adlibbing by everyone, or at least add it to their hard feed daily, 1 dessert tsp.

And I agree that bomatac is useless! Every goat person I know down here has said the same thing.

11th August 2011, 11:59 AM
In case you have forgotten :-)
1. A high worm egg count means that the animal has worms.
2. Whether the egg count is high because she has lots of worms is doubtful until you identify which worms made the eggs. Some worms do relatively little harm but make lots of eggs. Others do lots of harm but make few eggs. And others do lots of harm and make lots of eggs.
3. A low or zero count does not mean that the animal has no worms. It only means that no eggs were found in the small sample tested.
4. Even with a drench family that is working at 100% effectiveness/efficacy, goats can get another infestation of worms within a few days of being drenched. How soon they make eggs depends a bit on the type of worm the animal has. I would re-test earlier, as in 7 days, rather than 21 days.
4a. The "with-holding period" has nothing whatsoever to do with how effective the drench is. It is only to show how safe the meat or milk is for humans to consume.
5. Because some samples might not have eggs in them, it might be worthwhile to take 2 samples from the same animal at different times of the day. Disregard the low egg count sample ie don't average the result.
6. Goats metabolism is different than sheeps, so drenching at sheep weight is very likely to get a rapid worm resistance to the anti-worm chemical. Always drench for more than she weighs.

11th August 2011, 03:25 PM
Jen and Andrea, We give all that want it fresh seaweed hung in the trees or cut in the feeders for adlib iodine and vit. B...
We are giving Abby Agresea at 50mls oraly for over the next 3 days as well as adding it to the water troughs. All troughs on our place are hand filled so we can monitor the ratios of mineral suppliment.
Rothwell, no tapes have been seen in any of the droppings, though there have been a few round worms seen- not a lot mind. All the goats were weighed and dosed yesterday. We couldn't hold them in the milk yard without sacrificing the tree there so they were all put out on grass so we couldn't condense the poo to check it closely.
We will try to get another sample off to the vets next week to check again for worm eggs.
Her face has gone all floppy now with no fluid to bag it up again and I think she is looking a bit happier. As this drench deals with endo as well as ecto parrisites it will treat louse, flystrike and other biting cooties as well as the worms so it will save us time in teh yards.
With the Dectomax being used to hit the worms now, would we still use the Levicare as an inbetween drench?

11th August 2011, 05:58 PM
I would use the Levicare on the sheep, alternating between that, the Bomatac and the Dectomax. Our goats worms got very resistant very quickly to the -ectins, so they get alternated between an -ectin and a bendimadisole (which Bomatac is).
Remember that the ectoparasites also get resistant to -ectins, so only drench when you need to, and only drench those animals that need it..... Even if you have to do some of the others a week later or so .....

11th August 2011, 06:52 PM
goatmama - you originally replied that your goat had a "large worm burden" and then you go on to say that it didn't?

Having been through this, you either have a worm burden or you don't and it needs treatment. Not sure Rothwell why you are being so pedantic about different worms as it is obvious that the drench used is not working and causing drench resistance".

In the "old days" my drench resistant visitors were treated with Ivomec injectable (was magic stuff although not licensed for goats)

What needs to happen in this world is to get people back to the old ways of farming (not that it is old for people who do it!) and that is cross species grazing and rotating pastures. In my opinion, if you can't do that then you have to really rethink what stock numbers you are running and allowing at least 28 days barren paddocks. If you can't, you are overstocked.

Obviously this is my personal opinion but I don't see stuffing animals with all sorts of minerals and add on food as an option if you are not dealing with the major threat to those animals - worm take up and drench resistance. This from someone who ran 98 goats, cattle, sheep and an untouchable orchard on 10 acres in the fertile Pal North area.

Goatmama just know that I am not singling you out in this response as I have no idea how and what you farm (apart from knowing you are a very caring animal owner) but I will keep harping on about this message as it needs to be heard by any number of people reading this site. If you are going to buy an LSB and you care about animals, work the equasion backwards as to what the property can sustain. DON"T overstock and half your problems will disappear in a heartbeat.

11th August 2011, 07:20 PM
Didi - in one half of your post you say you were overstocked on your 10 acre block, and then you say don't overstock. I'm not sure I understand what you mean, except that all the minerals, etc are useless if one is dealing with a major worm burden and drench resistance. Is this correct?

I am seriously overstocked by New Zealand standards, with over 100 goats, several cattle beasts, about 100 assorted poultry, and anywhere from 2-10 pigs at any one time, all on 10 acres. Because of this, proper nutrition is key to helping assist with parasites, as if the animals are well and properly nourished, they have much more resistance to a worm burden, even goats. We can obviously never hope to provide for goats in the way in which they are naturally designed, as they are browsers, not grazers. Hence all the mineral supplements, to cover the shortfall from grazing and fodder feeding. The rest of the livestock are a bit easier in this respect, so they don't get as much, but the pigs and cattle still like to eat the mineral supps, esp the seaweed meal.

I'm not sure gm said that she didn't think her goats had a large worm burden, but it was the vet that suggested this...

In any case, understanding the nutritional needs of the livestock you keep is very important, as well as keeping on top of the parasites, and I think this goes hand-in-hand.

11th August 2011, 07:55 PM
Check her copper status, looking at her coat and ill thrift and feeding a high zinc 'suppliment' (seaweed) thats what i would be dealing with myself, being that zinc depletes copper levels.
Check her teeth as well.
Ive said for years Bomatac is a cheap and nasty drench that does SFA for any worms in goats.
Goatmama, I dont think much of dectomax either, so make sure to follow up with more FECs

11th August 2011, 08:45 PM
I said that the FEC was high, yes. I also said that as the goats could not be kept in the yards for the night- ie, put out in a paddock (7 goats on a 4 acre paddock) and the mums and kids(5 of which are Arapawa and 2 Saanen) in another acre and a half sized paddock, that I didn't see any large wormy poos. Only 1-2 thread worms in some poos that had to be searched for.
We are by no means over stocked with 15 sheep and 9 dairy breed goats + 7 Arapawa goats running on 10 acres. Feed and fellow paddocks are available without having to overly supplement the animals.
Our sheep are organic and will not eat hay so 2 paddocks were left aside for them all summer and Autumn. They are still in the first half of the second paddock and not looking at being out of there for 3-4 more weeks.
There are usually 2 paddocks empty at any given time.
Bev, We will give her and any others who look like they need it some extra copper.Her teeth are fine, sound and with no swellings around the gums.
As said before, we will get another FEC done next week and see where we go from there.

11th August 2011, 09:59 PM
Andrea - I never suggested I was overstocked on the property referred to as it was so incredibly fertile and with the stock I was running, the fencing I put in, it was easily capable of rotational grazing and obviously cross grazing.

I have in previous threads said that this particular property was deficient in Copper, Iodine and Selenium and we did drench the kids (angora) with this, with weaning weights in one year changing from previous 9 - 12kg to top weight after drenching of 23 kg at weaning but nothing was supplied for adults (that I can recall) apart from grass and hay - and maybe this was the magic potion - willow every day that there were leaves on the shelter belts.

You are right Andrea in your situation that with that amount of stocking, you are in a very different situation to what I was describing and no doubt you do have to feed differently to someone who is not carrying that amount of stock. Hell I don't know your property but I would assume you are far too heavily stocked and therefore having to put additives etc into your animals that I never had too. Your choice entirely and yes I do believe that all the minerals etc are a waste of time if your stock are burdened with worms. Seemingly yours aren't and well done you for managing what you do. Trouble is many wouldn't and don't (it is a learning curve) and my first thoughts are to under stock and learn how to deal with what you have first.

Goatmama is definitely not overstocked from her description but my problem would be that goats and sheep share the same worm family problems. I think there is a very good article on this site that explains the issues, written by Marjorie Orr. Perhaps a beefie or two to clean up the paddocks?

12th August 2011, 09:36 AM
Didi, sorry for the reactiveness of my last post. We are wanting to do things the good old way and keep all animals on site and well fed without the need to pump into them all the suppliments and drugs that the big money hungry outfits do (please note that I have no idea what others on this site do or their motives for having animals and intend no offence to anyone)
We are wanting to run a few animals, enough to be self sufficient and enjoy them as well as providing a quality lifestyle for our children.
The old Toggie still has reoccuring bouts of puffy face, as does the Saanen buck so the orriginal reason for this post still exists.
We will see how they respond to upping the copper.

12th August 2011, 09:45 AM
goatmama .... if you are not treating your sheep for worms then they will be infecting the soil with worms that the goats will not get resistant to. So a very dangerous situation if you ever have to put the goats into paddocks that the sheep have been in within the last 6 months or so.
In NZ, especially cooler parts, 28 days will not kill the eggs or worms. But the grass will grow more and longer so that the worms have to climb higher up the grass leaf to be eaten.
If you want goats then cattle are exceedingly good cross grazing companions, and sheep are exceedingly bad ....

12th August 2011, 10:07 AM
Don't think a worm burden on the ground is going to be much of a problem for them by this time next week.

Have you tried drenching them with strong tea? The tannins can act as a tonic, if you have access to wormwood or willow bark make the black tea up with some of this in it. Add garlic (dried is fine) and molasses and seaweed meal and let them scoff that down. I have heard that putting a bit of copper pipe or similar in the water trough works for upping copper intake, but you can't do this if sheep drink from the same trough.

I have used Bomatec on the goats with little success, and have changed to Matrix as it works 1st time every time. (As Rothwell will likely say, it has Levamisole in it so care needs to be taken with goats)

It has been a hard slog getting and keeping our stock healthy but we are getting there. Running 3 x Angus steers on the property for just over 2 years really seemed to help. The sheep and goats are not getting the worm burdens that they used to.

I found that I couldn't go completely chemical free, and now bring out the chemical preparations when needed, and only then.

Keeping the stock healthy with a balanced approach has worked best for me. (a bit like bringing up children really)[:p][8D][;)]

12th August 2011, 10:27 AM
Rothwell, the sheep are worm resistant- I know that doesnt mean they dont have worms only that they are resistant to them. They have come from organic stock and have never been chemicaly treated, thats how we intend to keep things with them.
Goats have their paddocks and the sheep have theirs. there is a paddock that all have to pass through to get to the yards but unless absolutely necessary both species are not in together.
Xartep, we have begun giving the goats tea bags. I like the sound of the copper pipe in the troughs- must make a point of finding some. Would putting some bluestone into the water be a good idea or make it up as part of a wormwood tea and if so what amounts would you advise?
Against having cows on site as our ground and trees are still getting over the prievious owners running of them here. Almost all of the gum trees have been ringbarked and are standing/falling firewood.

12th August 2011, 11:49 AM
thing with putting 'extra' in water troughs is every animal drinks a different amount etc, higher chance that an animals wont drink enough, which is an unnessary risk or some may drink too much risking excessive/toxic amount
Ive always put copper in troughs, mainly to keep them clean, and im sure that it keeps the pukes/ducks out. I still give all animals a copper bullet, 4grm for young calves and goats, 12 grms for adult cows/goats. Never give goats injectable copper
We milked 250 goats on 26 arces, 100 replacments on land till Nov, 15 beefies and 5 arces of non grazing lucerne, 2 acres into pasja for summer breakfencing, as well as horses, sheep and pigs. All grass suppliments made on farm. 100 tonne of kiwifruit brought in over winter, plus kale crop break fenced over winter so paddock where turned over and regrassed every year
We were on very fertile sandy loam, so grass never stopped growing

12th August 2011, 12:20 PM
Xartep said I have heard that putting a bit of copper pipe or similar in the water trough works for upping copper intake, but you can't do this if sheep drink from the same trough.

Someone recently told me they split an old copper hot water cylinder lengthwise to make 2 water troughs for their goats (no sheep on the property) and I wondered if I should see what is still behind the barn in the old copper line.

12th August 2011, 04:52 PM
if they are copper deficient then a copper bullet is best - the copper pipe idea is flawed in that the copper would not be available at the quantity required to deal to the goat deficiency!
parasites - will be at a low level at this time of the year in Southland - if it is parasites it has been a major issue for this goat for a number of months.
Time to get a good feeding, mineral supplementation and worming program in place for these goats

14th August 2011, 10:39 AM
Thanks Cowvet. The FEC was just below 3000 so yes a severe overload that toppled her lastnight. The rest of the goats are now (yes I know it should have been sooner and Abby's loss is weighing heavy with me as it was completly avoidable, I just didn't see the signs in time) on a regular FEC testing and drenching programme.
God willing this season will be better for all the animals.

14th August 2011, 03:17 PM
I understand that only tapeworms come out alive from an animal. All the other worms are very tightly attached to the host, and sit there laying eggs. I have only seen tapeworms in poo. So if you are seeing worm-like things in the poo, then I suspect that they are not worms.
Andrea, can you clarify for me please?

14th August 2011, 04:08 PM
Sorry, not to what you are referring, Rothwell..... I've also seen roundworms in poop, but others, such as the haemonchus, in one goat that died from an overload, there were so many of them in the gut you could see them swirling the contents. It was really rather disgusting. That was the VET that cut open the goat within seconds after death and explaining what we were looking at.

Kittens that are overloaded with worms will poop them out as well, even before any anthelmintic is given. We have had plenty of sickly ferals here to have experienced that firsthand. Yuck.

14th August 2011, 04:16 PM
Yes they most certanly are worms. I can accept being wrong about things and bow to others experience. They are worms that were seen.

The nature of giving an animal a de-wormer is to parralize the parasite so that it lets go of the host and can then be eliminated via the poo and out of the host. What's the point in drenching the animal if only the eggs get removed and the adult worm remains?

Worms in poo were only seen after treatment so understand if timing may have been an issue here. Not having a go so please don't take offence. I know what I saw.

14th August 2011, 07:13 PM
So sorry about Abby, its a hard thing to happen and even knowing or being knowledgeable, Goats either fail so rapidly or manage for an extreme length of time before you get a hint, and by then its only a matter of doing the best you can.

It is one of the reasons that I went with my ferals crossed over the milkers, the ferals came with a natural worm resistance and have passed this on to the next generations. The Nubians needed an extreme amount of care in comparison and even with this and the assistance of the Vets struggled and eventually died.

Regular eye color checks (at least weekly) and poop checks are a must. I handle my goats daily, regularly just sit in the paddock with them and observe and rugby tackle the least friendly one often to check its eye color. (She just won't get used to being handled [;)]) I recently had a FEC done on a grumpy goat, normal looking pellets FEC count over 1700. Leaving that for another week or 2 could have been fatal.

Anyway just saying been there, done that, and don't beat yourself up too much. It can be tough having goats, they do things differently to sheep and other livestock.

14th August 2011, 08:19 PM
Thanks Xartep. This place is usually my main port of call before the vets and is where I know there are others with similar experiences and a wealth of knowledge as well as compassion. A place where the animal isn't 'just a goat'.
Thank you all.

Jen - Featherston
14th August 2011, 11:36 PM
hugs for your loss GM. I know its a sensitive thing, but did you have her tested for johnnies? I had nubians years ago that developed a drench resistance but after discovering this and getting them on a strict drench and FEC program they were great - had beautiful glossy coats etc. After losing my fav goat to salmonella, I sold them on only to find out later that they had Johnnies disease :( apparently it is very wide spread in goats in NZ and affects them so badly. I am wondering if there is possibly a connection with drench resistance and Johnnies?

If your goats do have Johnnies, there is not a lot you can do except not breed from them again and let them live out their lives (or not as you might decide - its a heartbreaking choice) Once your heard goes, then you need to spell your property of goats for I think 12-24 months before re-introducing and test before you buy!

15th August 2011, 09:29 AM
Hi Jen, No she wasn't Johnnies tested. From what I understand it should cause her to scour to the max, yet her poo was normal goaty raisins. We lost both her daughters earlier in teh winter and am really wondering if goats can survive in this neck of the woods. They have all the shelter they could want. I have noticed the goats from Otago and further north have not done well here, yet the ones we got from within the region are still doing fine and have had fewer foot problems. It may be a geographical/ climitisation thing. Who knows but perhapse a small cow like a Dexter might handle the elements better.

15th August 2011, 09:55 AM
I've been watching this thread for a while, goatmama, and I'm going to write something you may think lacks compassion for you, but not for your poor goats!

Farming animals means actively overseeing and managing their needs and complaints. When more than a couple of animals die from circumstances you've not managed well enough, then you have a problem. As Cowvet wrote earlier, worms would have been a problem plagueing your goat for months. It's not enough to leave this stuff to God's will when you are the animal owner responsible for their actual wellbeing.

Your posted pictures suggest, if that goat didn't look very undernourished to you, that you're not viewing the state of your animals objectively - and don't think I'm throwing stones from the door of my glasshouse here, I know how easy it is to become accustomed to the declining state of a herd/flock of animals and not see that your animals' condition has slipped well below the acceptable norm. If your herd of goats all look like that, then you are overstocked for the amount of feed you're able to provide.

I am well aware this is an unpopular stance to take, but I can't say, "oh, poor you," nor "don't beat yourself up" about something you didn't do everything you could to prevent or alleviate. Do beat yourself up about it and learn a lesson from it, so you're a better animal-keeper in future.

15th August 2011, 10:47 AM
Thanks gm and A .... I will look harder, and maybe carry the magnifying glass more often. Then I might see the problem before it become such a problem.
Since we have been cross-grazing our sheep and goat pasture with donkeys, both the sheep and goats have been much better. But we have also culled most of the goats so only have 15 on 40 acres.
Ruth, I agree with your suggestion, but ..... goats conditions look hugely different in the morning than in the afternoon, much more so than the cattle, sheep and donkeys that we have. So with assessing goats, some allowance has to be made for the time of day.

Jen - Featherston
16th August 2011, 12:01 AM
it was very brave of you to post Ruth, and I think you have done so tactfully with the greatest of intent for GM and her goats.

I just went back and looked at the pic's again, and I don't think in this case it would have made much difference morning or evening. A few things I noted are: the lack of gloss on their coats, drawn pin bones (hip bones) and a tucked up look in the three I could see in the photos.

Even though she didn't have scours, its very cheap to get the test for Johnnies done post mortem and it is the only way to get a 100% certain diagnosis. I really think you need to rule this out, cause if your goats do have this it will just be on going heartache. The tests are not expensive and much more acurate now days.

16th August 2011, 10:15 AM
Ruth, I agree with your suggestion, but ..... goats conditions look hugely different in the morning than in the afternoon, much more so than the cattle, sheep and donkeys that we have. So with assessing goats, some allowance has to be made for the time of day.

Oh please - lets stop beating around the bush and confusing people. Gut fill and body condition should NEVER be confused and the size of the belly does not even come into a body condition score - you look at the cover over the skeleton along the back, over the hips etc. That does not change from morning to night!

16th August 2011, 11:54 AM
Agreed that Abby was light on condition and she always was. They have hay adlib as well as plenty of grass available to them.
We are going into town today and will take samples for Johnies.
Ruth, I agree that we can not leave everything to God's will yet it is a fool who says that there is no God. Granted you did not say that and this is not a religious debate nor the place for one. Yet without a strong belief and obedience to the Creator of heaven and Earth, we wouldn't have been blessed to even have animals. The vets have been consulted throughout and we have done what is required for our goats .
The sheep are all in very good condition and are thriving here being hardier animals.

16th August 2011, 12:04 PM
cowvet, I strongly agree with cattle and sheep, and also agree (but to a lesser extent) with goats. But from a photograph, how do you feel the spine?

16th August 2011, 12:12 PM
If you can see the spine from a photograph, let alone every other angle and dip in the animal's skeletal structure, the animal is emaciated.

17th August 2011, 12:24 PM
Out of my own interest, I have just been out to condition score our non-pregnant goats. Goats don't carry very much fat on their body. Our goats are not pregnant, except the Saanan doe. She and the Saanan wether are very thin. But that's how they are made. The woollies are also very thin .... but that too is how they are made. The feral is a bit thicker across the back .... but that's how he is made. The Boers are a bit thicker across the back, and some more than others .... but that's how they are made. I can body-score sheep - they are fairly easy. I can body-score donkeys - they are very easy. I can body-score cattle but each cow tends to be different, so they are more difficult. The only way I can body-score goats is by knowing each one individually, because they all have different optimums.

17th August 2011, 01:08 PM
Sorry to hear the news GP :-(

17th August 2011, 05:51 PM
Thankyou Rothwell.
She may have 'looked' thinner than others yet when strung up she had more fat to her than the weather that was put in the freezer in early autumn and he had a lovely glossy coat and rounded hips.
As Rothwell said, 'its how they are made' and her condition itself was not overly under for the particular goat in mention.
All goats had been dusted with Pestine earlier in that week also wich anyone would know will dull their coats.

17th August 2011, 06:31 PM
Anyone might (or might not) know that, GM, but that wasn't what I was looking at in your photos. Coat sheen can be very individual, not a reliable indication of much. Many people have commented on glossy coats in animals whose bones are almost poking through the skin. Those animals might look "healthy" on the day, but they've no resources to withstand an illness, should it befall them.