Goats get internal parasites (worms) very easily and babies haven’t built up their immune systems to fight them off as well as adults. Coccidia is one of the main killers of babies. It causes diarrhea. Barber pole is another very dangerous worm but mostly shows up later as they grow. If diarrhea shows up, test, and treat accordingly.

UPDATE:  YOU HAVE TO TREAT FOR COCCIDIA TO GROW HEALTHY GOATS  Two strategies can be taken when dealing with coccidia, treatment and prevention. Once coccidia shows up it can be treated with SMZ’s (Sulfamethoxazole & Trimethoprim 800 mg Tabs) or other dewormers. Some may choose Calf Pro (Cattle dewormer) that can be added to the milk bottles daily for coccidia prevention or medicated feed (However, we do not choose medicated feed/grains).

It’s very important that you don’t under dose your goats when giving anthelmintics. It’s better to overdose your goats than to underdose them. If you don’t wipe out the parasites they can become immune to the dewormer and it can cause antibiotic-resistant superparasites and more issues down the road. You can often expect to see diarrhea in goats if changing feed, milk brand, or other changes in diet. It’s usually not a bad idea to give it a day to pass naturally; if persistent diarrhea continues it should be treated. Remember diarrhea is not the problem but is the result of something else. 

Worming Supplies

  • 10ml syringe/ oral drench
  • Dewormers
    • I recommend: Ivermectin (FDA approved) for lungworm, barber pole or stomach worm; Valbazen/Albendazole (FDA approved) for liver fluke, lungworm & barber pole or stomach worm; SMZ’s (not FDA approved) for Coccidia.  Calf Pro can be used as a Coccidia preventative when added to the goats milk at week 2 (the dosage is very small for goats). It is recommended to give your goats a Probiotic following any Antibiotic treatment.  We use Probios.
    • I DO NOT recommend: Safeguard
  • Pepto Bismol or Kaopectate or Platinum Bio-sponge

Different sources state different doses for Ivermectin injection. Most bottles say to give 1cc per 100lbs, to prevent resistant bugs it’s common to give goats 1 cc for every 50 lbs.

Our recommended dosage for Valbazen is 8 to 10 ml per 100lbs. Note: this is not the recommended dose on the bottle but our recommendation for goat dosing.

For Pepto Bismol or Kaopectate, these medications are helpful when diarrhea is present. Observe babies and if it does not clear within 24 hours, then treat. Diarrhea is common if the diet is changed (milk brand, etc.), really any time the digestive system is irritated. It can also be a sign of coccidia or other more harmful conditions. Pepto can help relieve these symptoms by coating the lining of the digestive system and solidifying waste. Dose 2 – 5 ml for kids and 10 – 15 ml for adults.

Another option for treating Diarrhea is Platinum Bio-Sponge. Found in paste or powder form.

It’s difficult to give specific measurements for these medications. Varying from herd to herd, the parasite load they carry, and how often they are treated. Frequently treated herds will likely need higher doses as will goats with heavy parasite loads.

UPDATE: Parasite loads also vary by geographic location. Warm climate locations such as the Southern US can face heavier parasite concentrations. Colder winter climates that freeze help kill off eggs and parasites in the environment. Warm climate locations will need to adjust their worming schedule appropriately and may require higher doses.

How to Administer an Oral Drench

[video_embed url=”https://youtu.be/LhxuWfZli_4″]

Testing for Worms

Rather than have to schedule a vet visit every time,  you can gather fecal samples of suspect goats and send them via mail and receive results in a week. There are some parasites they do not test for, however; you can additionally request them to test for them if you specifically inquire.

The company is called MidAmerica Agriculture Research Inc., you can visit their website here.

Be sure to follow the testing Instructions here and fill out the testing form

Testing Schedule

If your goat is showing signs that they may have a parasite, test them right away, but if not follow this general schedule.

  • 6 months
  • 1 year
  • Once a year after their first year.

High-frequency treatment can lead to antibiotic-resistant ‘super-bugs’.

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