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Goat Deworming

Goat Deworming Part 1

DEWORMERS ARE DIVIDED INTO THREE CLASSES:
It is now proven that rotating between classes of dewormers is not an effective tool to prevent build-up of resistance.
Internal parasites are often one of the greatest health threats to goats. The problem has been compounded by the ability of the parasite population to develop resistance to dewormers, making it necessary to deworm strategically only the most severely affected animals, rather than deworming all animals in a herd.
Deciding which animals to deworm can be aided by using the FAMACHA© score, which measures anemia by comparing the color of the lower eyelid to a color chart, and is especially valuable when dealing with the barberpole worm. The Five Point Check© is another aid to deciding which animals need deworming, and utilizes the FAMACHA© score, but also includes scoring body condition, hair coat, soiling around the tail, and edema under the jaw (bottle jaw) to detect worm loads from parasites besides the barberpole worm.
Deworming only the severely affected animals, along with other management practices such as pasture rotation, use of (copper oxide) capsules/copper bolus, fasting and repeat dewormer dosing, administering two different classes of dewormers at the same time, and feeding serecia lespedeza as a source of condensed tannins are all tools in the kit to reduce the effects of parasite resistance.

Important Note on Chemical De-Wormer Dosages for Goats:

Goats metabolize wormers differently than other animals; drugs clear their system faster.  As a result, goats require higher doses of wormers for effective treatment.  Most of the wormers available for use on livestock are not labeled for use in goats and so are not labeled with the correct dose for goats.  For a treatment to be effective, you need to use the correct dose. It is better to use slightly more of your wormer than less because it won't be effective in clearing all the worms out and you end up contributing to building a resistance to wormers this way.

 Cattle pour-on dewormers should NEVER be used in goats to treat internal parasites(Do Not use orally).

Drug resistance to multiple drugs and sometimes to all available drugs in parasites of goats is extremely common.

To improve the effectiveness of deworming treatments, multiple dewormers may be administered at the same time sequentially. It is important not to mix the different drugs together as they are not chemically compatible. They should be given separately, but can all be given at the same time, one right after the other. It is always recommended to treat goats selectively given their individual need for treatment based on FAMACHA score, fecal egg count, body condition score, and other health measurements as a guide. This recommendation is even more important when using drugs in combination. If all animals in the herd are treated, resistance to the dewormers will develop rapidly, and if using a combination there will be nothing left to use when this happens.

There are 3 Classes of Dewormers for Goats

Know Your Goat Dewormers

Moxidectin (Cydectin) & Ivomec are Dewormers for goats.
What are they called? How do they work? What dosage & method? (copy and print this information for own reference)
Knowing the answers will help you understand when and how to use dewormers effectively and not develop worm resistance.
Note: Many goat breeders use Cydectin which comes from the macrocyclic lactone class, sucessfully. Remember use it until it is no longer effective, rather than rotating your wormers.
What are Macrocyclic Dewormers such as Cydectin & Ivomec? (Courtesy of the American Institute For Goat Research)
Most common macrolide dewormers are ivermectin (Ivomec) and moxidectin (Cydectin). So far, only fenbendazole and morantel tartrate are approved for use in goats. All others, such as Cydectin and Ivomec, would be used as extra-label. A number of these dewormers have gone off patent and are now marketed under different generic names.
The macrocyclic lactones (avermectins and milbemycins) are products or chemical derivatives of soil microorganisms belonging to the genus StreptomycesThe avermectins in commercial use are ivermectin, abamectin, doramectin, eprinomectin, and selamectin. Commercially available milbemycins are milbemycin oxime and moxidectin. The macrocyclic lactones have a potent, broad antiparasitic spectrum at low dose levels. They are active against many immature nematodes (including hypobiotic larvae) and arthropods. The published literature contains reports of use to treat infections of >300 species of endo- and ectoparasites in a wide range of hosts. Moreover, a single therapeutic dose can persist in concentrations sufficient to be effective against new nematode infections for prolonged periods after treatment. This sustained availability protects animals from reinfection by some nematode (and arthropod) species for several weeks, which helps control pests that intermittently or constantly challenge livestock.
How does this dewormer work?
Macrocyclic lactones are extensively distributed throughout the body and concentrate particularly in adipose tissue. Adipose tissue, or fatty tissue and connective tissue consisting mainly of fat cells. It is found mainly under the skin but also in deposits between the muscles, in the intestines and in their membrane folds, around the heart, and elsewhere.
Recommended Oral dosing:
Ivermectin (Ivomec for Sheep) Used Extra-label Dosage at 24 ml per 100 lbs of goat/sheep. Per Dr. Ray Kaplan, DVM, PhD, University of Georgia: 6 ml per 25 lbs of goat/sheep and 12 ml per 50 lbs of goat/sheep.
Withdrawal: 14 days for meat and 9 days for milk
Note about use and Resistance:
Resistance has developed primarily because dewormers have been used and rotated too frequently and many times under-dosing occurs. Make sure you do these 2 steps to avoid building resistance: continue using a wormer (when it is needed) until it doesn't work anymore and make sure you are dosing strong enough to destroy the worms.

Additional Note on Cydectin

For a short period, it was recommended to administer Cydectin (moxidectin) by injection. However, new information suggests that the oral route is preferred. 

Some Goat Herd owners are learning to do fecal testing and it is really a big help. One such states: "I learned from fiascofarm.com and had my vet check out a couple of my tests. I have since learned that I personally think that worming can be very overdone. This year I checked after birthings and only had two out of 10 that I wormed. I no longer worm 10 days later unless I see eggs in the sample. Even with a pretty clean sample I recheck it a week or so later to be sure. This has been working well for us for the last couple of years and will hopefully stay that way."  

Doing you own fecal testing is not hard and it is a very useful skill to have in caring for your animals. There is an investment you must make in terms of supplies for this procedure, but these tools will pay for themselves very quickly since you will no longer have to take your fecal samples to a vet to find out if you have a worm problem. A step by step guide with pictures may be found at fiascofarm.com

Goat Deworming Part 2 is found on the "Goat Dewormer Print-Off" page.

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