Keeping your goat worm-free can be a challenging task since many goats graze--picking up worms in the ground that live in goat (and other animal) droppings. In some areas, worming products specifically for goats are difficult to find. In this case, wormers labelled for horses are appropriate for goats. Most horse dewormer comes in paste form--although ask your vet about dewormer you can sprinkle on feed, or even inject. How can you tell if your goat might have worms? The bottom inner eyelid should be bright pink to red in colour, anything other than this indicates worms, according to GoatWisdom.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Purchase dewormer. The 1.87 per cent ivermectin paste for horses is appropriate for goats. Fenbendazole also comes in products labelled for horses, and is also sometimes used in goats.
Adjust dosage. According to Diamond K Goats, you should administer ivermectin at a dose of three times the horse amount. For example, if your goat weighs 45.4 Kilogram, adjust the paste wormer for 136 Kilogram. The dosage will vary with other types of medications. If you are unsure how much to give your goat, consult a large-animal vet.
Insert the paste syringe into the goat's mouth and push the plunger. You may need to lightly restrain the goat for this, and make sure he swallows the paste by holding his head up.
Repeat. According to Penn State, a good deworming program involves starting "a few days before turning goats out to pasture in the spring and then follow up with another deworming several weeks later. Another strategic time to deworm is right after a hard frost in the fall." You may need to deworm as necessary at additional times. Rotate the type of medication to help reduce resistance.
Tips and warnings
- To help prevent worm infestation in your goats, make sure they always have a clean food container to eat out of, preferably one off the ground. If you want to know what kind of worms you may be dealing with, have a fecal count performed. (Most vets will do this.) According to GoatWisdom, rotating your wormer between two or three different products can help you control the worms without building up a resistance. Always deworm a new goat before introducing him to the herd.
- Consult your vet if you think your goat may have a severe worm problem. The main parasites that infect goats include Haemonchus contortus (barberpole worm), round worms including stomach worm, Cooper's worm, wire worm, hookworm, threadworm, whipworm and nodular worm), Trichostrongylus (lung worms) and tapeworms.
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