Milk Goat Health and Wellness

Milk Goat Health and Wellness

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Milk Goat Health and Wellness

Disclaimer:  We are not veterinarians; however, we have a lot of experience in raising goats.

Parasites are one of the top four killers of goats.

  • Worms:  Approximately 85% of goat health problems is due to worms and sick goats are often misdiagnosed and incorrectly treated.  Symptoms of worms include diarrhea, sluggishness, a drop in milk production and loss of appetite.  One way to check for worms is to collect a stool sample from the goat and send it to your vet but a really quick way to check is pull the eye lid out to check if it is a salmon pink in color. Salmon pink color is good but if it is a pale pink or white color, the goat most likely has worms.  Your goat should be wormed, provided probiotics to restore the natural balance in its digestive system and given an iron supplement.
  • Coccidia: All goats harbor coccidia.  In times of stress, coccidia can become worse.  Adult goats shed coccidia in feces and contaminate the environment.  As it builds up in the environment, baby goat kids born later can die.  A symptom of coccidia is diarrhea.  It is important to have a separate pen for goat kids the same age and practice good herd management.
  • Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis (CAE):  CAE is a contagious viral infection of goats and is spread via contact through body secretions including blood and feces which can be passed from a doe to her kid.
  • Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL):  CL is a chronic infection caused by Cornebacterium pseudotuberculosis bacteria which is a contagious disease and is best known for abscesses in the external lymph nodes of the neck and abdomen.

Common Problems with a Doe in Milk

  • Ketosis:  Ketosis is a result from improper nutrition and inadequate protein in the pregnancy stage but your doe can be treated by oral administration of molasses, karo syrup or propylene glycol and dosage is dependent on weight.  For prevention of ketosis, properly feed during gestation.
  • Milk Fever:  Milk fever is caused from low calcium in the blood and can be prevented by feeding alfalfa higher in calcium.  A doe with milk fever will show symptoms of lethargy, loss of appetite and poor milk production.  Treatment is done by administering calcium gluconate directly into the bloodstream.
  • Mastitis:  This is an infection of the udder and prevents quality milk.  To treat mastitus, you can milk out the infected udder and infuse the teat with an intramammary medication for 2-5 days and use fever reducing medication.