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Health for your Show Goat

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HEALTH

A healthy goat is important to the success of a club goat project. Sick goats are slow growing and never reach their genetic potential. The key to a healthy goat is the development of a preventative health program. Goats that are purchased for a club goat project should have been on some type of health program and have had a variety of vaccinations.  These treatments would include:

Enterotoxemia or Overeating Disease

A major cause of death in club goats is from enterotoxemia or overeating disease. Enterotoxemia generally results in death and seldom exhibits symptoms. This disease is caused by a clostridial organism which is normally present in the intestine of most goats. Goats which have their feeding schedule abruptly changed or consume large amounts of grain are the most subject to enterotoxemia. There are two types of enterotoxemia--type C and type D. Most often type D causes the disease. There are vaccines available for type D and for combination of the type C and D. All club goats should be vaccinated with the combination (C and D) vaccine. At least two booster vaccinations are recommended following the first vaccination. The first vaccination should be given immediately after purchase or just prior to purchase by the breeder. A good vaccination program should eliminate losses from overeating.

Internal Parasites

Internal parasites are a continuous problem in club goats. Newly purchased goats should be drenched immediately for internal parasites and a second drenching should follow about three weeks later. There are not many drenches approved for internal parasites in goats. Local veterinarians have the best information on what drench will be most effective in your area. Internal parasites build up a resistance to a drench if it is used over a long period of time. Rotating dewormers may be effective in helping to eliminate internal parasite problems.  Dry fed dewormers work best for follow-up every 30 days after the first deworming.

Urinary Calculi

Urinary calculi is a metabolic disease of male goats and is characterized by the formation of calculi (stones) within the urinary tract. The first sign of calculi is the goats inability to pass urine without great discomfort. The goat will exhibit signs of restlessness, kicking at the belly, stretching and attempting to urinate. The most common cause for calculi formation in wether goats is rations with high phosphorous levels. Grains are high in phosphorous and low in calcium; therefore, high concentrate rations, unless properly balanced, tend to cause urinary calculi. The most successful form of prevention is to provide at least a 2:1 calcium to phosphorous ratio in the total ration. As a preventative measure, adding 10 - 15 pounds of ammonium chloride per ton of feed is very successful Clean fresh water will increase consumption and help prevent urinary calculi.

Soremouth

Soremouth is a contagious disease which causes the formation of scabs on the lips and around the mouth of the goat. This is a virus that can affect humans, so care should be exercised when handling goats with soremouth. Iodine can be rubbed into lesions aft the scabs are removed and this will help to dry up the area and reduce the infection.  There is a vaccine which contains many strains of the organism and will help to prevent goats from having soremouth. As this is a live virus vaccine, extreme caution should be taken when administering the product.

Ringworms

Ringworms have become a serious problem in the club lamb industry. Since most of the club goats are shown in the same barns and show rings, it is highly likely that ringworm will become a problem. Ringworms are very contagious and can be transmitted from goat to goat to human to goat, or from contaminated equipment to goat. Since ringworms are generally brought back from a show, a good preventative program is a must. The following products have been used with variable results:

 

Fulvicin powder given as a bolus or used as a top dress.

 

Sannox II 10% solution used to spray goats, equipment, and premises

 

Captan 3 teaspoons/gallon of water, used to spray goats, equipment, and premises

 

Novasan 3 ounces/gallon of water, used to spray goats, equipment, and premises

 

Chlorox 10% solution used to spray goats, equipment, and premises

 

1 teaspoon

5 ccs or 5mls

1 tablespoon

3 teaspoons or 15 ccs or 15 mls

1 ounce

2 tablespoons or 30 ccs or 30mls

1 cup

8 ounces or 16 tablespoons or 240 mls

1 pint

16 ounces or 480 mls

1 gallon

4 quarts or 8 pints

1 pound

0.45 kilograms

1 kilogram

2.2 pounds

Below is a list of common measurements and what they are equal to.

Pinkeye

Pinkeye is a contagious disease that is characterized by excessive watering and a clouding over of the pupil. Goats are very susceptible to pinkeye, especially after they have been transported and moved to a new location. Dry, dusty pens and constant exposure to sunlight can be contributing factors. There are several medications on the market for pinkeye. If improvement is not seen within a few days after treatment, contact your local veterinarian.

Hoof Trimming

When goats stay in small pens with no rocks their hooves grow long and need to be trimmed. Hooves should be trimmed about every six weeks. Always trim hooves one or two weeks before a show in case you accidentally cut into the quick and temporarily lame the goat. This will allow the goat time to get well before the show. If foot rot becomes a problem, it can be treated by placing your goats foot in a zinc sulfate foot bath (10% solution).

Dehorning or Tipping

Some shows demand that your club goat be dehorned in order to be eligible to show. If you plan to dehorn it is preferred to "disbud" goats at 10 - 14 days of age. The older the goat is and the larger the horn, the more stressful it will be on you goat. Other shows simply imply that the goats horns be tipped in order to be eligible to show. This can be easily done and without causing much stress to your goat. However, do not wait until the week before the show to tip your goats horns. The horns should be tipped 4 - 6 weeks prior to the show to allow the horns to heal properly. The main reason these rules are in place is for the safety of the exhibitor.

 Thanks to excrpts from Texas Club Goat Association for help with these guidelines and recommendations.