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Parasites


Goats have parasite issues more so than do dogs, cats, horses or cows.  Partially that's because there is so little research done on goats in this part of the world.  In parts of Africa and the Middle East, goats are the main source of milk and meat along with fiber.  Unfortunately, those parts of the world don't seem to spend much money on medical research.  Here in the US, most of the agricultural research into parasites has to do with cattle since cows are our main source for milk and meat.  Most of the goat parasite medications are really for cattle.

 

Last summer we lost Paxton, one of my favorite Angora goats.  Pax had the most amazing white fleeces.  His fleeces were heavy with lanolin and very fine. Unfortunately, he was very susceptible to parasites.  He was the first, and often the only, goat to have high egg counts when we ran fecal samples on the herd.  He had to have a transfusion as a yearling because the worming wasn't working.  He got a little better as an adult but he never could really cope with parasites.

Dr. Ridlen and his staff were out here last Tuesday to do the annual spring cleaning for all the livestock.  The goats got their CDT shots and along with the llamas and alpacas got rabies shots.  Steele, our one remaining Welsh pony got all of his annual shots and had blood drawn for the annual Coggins test. I was pleased with the test results because none of the animals needs to be treated for parasites.

The bad side of having an animal that you can't get parasite-free is that they keep re-introducing parasites to the entire herd.  I think that's what was happening with Pax.  Before we put him down we had to treat some members of the herd every time we had fecal samples run.  Since he's been gone we have not had to treat even one member of the herd.  For that reason, I'm happy that he's gone.  But that's the only reason.  He was such a sweetheart and I miss him.  He was bold and was always the first one out the gate.  I really wish we could have managed his parasite load somehow.  It's not the right ending even if things are better now.