Anyone who has raised goats knows that parasite control is a constant issue. They are way more susceptible to roundworms than many other animals. Five years ago, I brought three young does onto the farm. I wormed them before I got them off the truck and isolated them from the rest of the herd. Everything seemed fine, so I introduced them into the herd. Well, shortly afterwards, I ended up worming my entire herd for the first time. I had to really keep up with it, and eventually, I just couldn’t. Some goats seemed fine, but others were run down. Millie and her boy, Bam Bam, were deathly ill.
The vet did a fecal exam and his response was very dire. It might be too late to help them. As I worked to save them, I started the herd on Hoegger’s Herbal Wormer. Bam Bam was so sick I thought I’d better wait to start him. I followed the vet’s recommendations, and I was worming him every two weeks~that’s the reproduction cycle. New eggs hatch and mature and they’re full of worms again. It was taking less and less time for him to relapse. Millie, on the other hand, was growing stronger. I finally decided to start Bam Bam on the herbal wormer, figuring it would help him or kill him. He grew up to be a mighty fine looking buck. Since then I’ve used the herbal wormer weekly. It’s been wonderful.
If one of the goats is ill, however, I’d give them a dose of Ivomec, since the Panacur did not seem to do anything. I also would give all the kids a dose of the chemical wormer between 7 and 9 weeks old. That’s the age they are starting to eat out in pasture with the herd and pick up worms, but they aren’t quite getting enough herbal wormer eating with the herd. Also, their rumens are not fully functional on some of them at this age. By the time they would need another dose of the wormer, they would be solidly on the herbal wormer. This system worked well. This spring, the rules all changed on me.
When Pam and Stormy became ill this spring, it was determined that they were full of roundworms. I had been worming them with the Ivomec because I knew they weren’t feeling well or eating properly.
This was a second chemical wormer that was no longer effective. There is only one class of chemical wormer left~Cydectin. In general, I rely on the herbal wormer. If a goat is sick, it’s probably not a big deal to give a dose of the Cydectin. Of course, to use it as little as possible, I need to have a fecal exam done to make sure that they really need the wormer.
Blaze and Pam
As the kids got older and the pasture got overeaten as I waited for my fence to be put in, I started taking a lot of samples to the vets~$11.00 for one fecal. I have sixty-one goats on the farm. You can do the math (if not that’s $671 for each goat to have one test). It started with Blaze.
Then what to give them~the vet had me start with a white wormer,Valbazen, which is similar to Panacur. After a few of these, I quite doing the fecal. I just treated. Cinnamon was treated. After about a week, she started feeling ill again and rapidly losing weight. I got the fecal and she was full of roundworms. I used the Cydectin, and now she’s doing great!
Scarlet was treated. Let’s face it raising triplets on overeaten pasture with 115* heat indexes was very hard on her. For the first time in four years, she was given a chemical wormer, and she immediately recovered.
Scarlet and daughter Cookie
Scarlet’s triplets were not doing great either because of her health. I tried giving them supplemental bottles. They refused. I penned them so they could eat all the hay and goat feed they wanted. Well, Cookie is eating with mom above because she would not stay in the pen. She was doing the best of the three, so I didn’t chase her around to catch her every day. She still doesn’t have the energy she should have.
Then there’s Oreo and Casey. Oreo was pot-bellied. I wormed her after putting her in the pen.
Casey was near death. Totally white eyes, skinny and I wormed him.
It wasn’t helping him, so I switched wormer. He would slightly improve and then go back down hill. Really, I should have done a fecal or two with him. He was at that same point as Bam Bam. He was not going to make it if I couldn’t do something to get rid of the worms at all stages. I became creative in how to administer it, and I started him on the herbal wormer. It might not look good, but the very slight pink to his back side is a huge improvement, even though he is still horribly anemic.
The latest to fall to the effects of parasites~Jelly. She’s been treated, and she does seem to be doing better. She’s not going through the horrible cycle that Casey and Oreo were experiencing.
I’m working really hard to come up with a new game plan now that all the rules have been changed on me. The advice of one vet was to do a mass worming of the herd. The other vet in the same clinic was suggesting I use a chart to look at eye color as a guide to worming just the goats that needed it to help prevent the drug resistance. With conflicting information on how to handle parasites, it’s very confusing and difficult to come up with the best plan. This includes doing lots of fecals (I’m doing them myself) and checking eyelids and hoping things go well. I’ll certainly be sharing how I’m doing some of these things. I must say, it’s more and more likely that there will be increasing issues with drug resistant parasites.
This is certainly a Wordful Wednesday post. Linking to Project Alicia.