Thoughts on parasite worms

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1 month 2 weeks ago #557333 by spoook
Picture this, 2 paddocks being grazed by about 4 goats for some months, no known problems with these goats.
3 heifers have also been used for cross-grazing.

Bought in 26 new, healthy-looking goats 21/4, drenched 3 days before being moved, not quite sure what drench yet. One new goat found dead the next morning, we assumed from being barreled in the side. No visible signs of any reason for death. No testing done.

Since then, we have lost 3 others. :-(

An FEC on one of the deceased goats gave us a reading so high that we did not complete the count. For those that understand FECs, the first column was well over 40 epg without doing the calculation.

We have brought them all in, weighed and drenched each one with Startect. Have started feeding them feed and hay to build them up, even though we are not short of grass.

I am interested in your thoughts on this dilemma.

Having been through quite a bit these past couple of years, I would love to just walk away while it resolves itself, not an option. I can do this. :-)

There are no bad questions only those that are not asked.
"You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed"

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1 month 2 weeks ago - 1 month 2 weeks ago #557334 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Thoughts on parasite worms
Firstly, sorry this is happening to you, it's always a nightmare to deal with this sort of thing.

So...what could be going on?
The move from their old environment to the new one will cause stress - as we know, goats do not move well.
The goats could be stressed from:
Leaving a familiar environment
Upset rumen from either the long journey or new feed
Disease

All of these will cause an existing worm burden to proliferate. So the worms may be a secondary rather than primary issue.
If it's Barber's Pole then you'll know because of lack of conjunctiva colour. If not, and your animals aren't scouring and very weak then I'd investigate (with a vet) for a possible other primary cause.

There is a possibility of drench resistant worms but you don't sound like you think it's just the worms.

I'd also think twice about drenching them all in future. If you do have drench resistant worms that will make things worse.

Hopefully a follow-up FEC will give you some information to work with.

Let us know and all the best....

Web Goddess
Last edit: 1 month 2 weeks ago by kate.
The following user(s) said Thank You: spoook

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1 month 2 weeks ago #557342 by LongRidge
I have been led to believe that worms have to be adult enough to produce eggs. So if the goats were drenched about 3 weeks ago and the drench was working, then the worms now in the goats would only just be mature enough to be producing eggs. Certainly goats can get re-infected within a week of being drenched with an effective drench so could be showing signs of infection after 3 weeks, but the egg count should not be high so soon. Thus I suspect that the goats are resistant to the drugs in the drench they were given 3 weeks ago. So I would be doing a FEC about now of one of them to check if the Startect is working. If the count is high now then it is not working, but, but, but if the count is low you might have tested the bit of poo that had no eggs in it, so do it again on a new poo.
Also, with goats it is very important to give more active ingredient than sheep should need. I have been told to give 1 1/2 times more than for sheep, but if the drench has levamizol in it this is too poisonous to the goats to be able to do this.
Good luck :-) .

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