Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Goat and Vet Oriented

Well I finally went to a vet today... Let's just say that I think there is a serious lack of caprine knowledge going around the vet world here and it is disappointing. He hadn't even heard of the breed of goat (Lamancha) or coccidiosis, and wouldn't even look at the meager fecal sample that I wiped off the back end of an ailing kid which I drove 30 miles to get checked out. He chided me for using the pellet wormer first of all, and then assured me that the scours that my goat had were caused by worms (He was adamant). This after he flat out said, "I don't really know that much about goats. I only see them when people like you come by looking for medicine for them."

So since he was sure that my goat had a bad case of worms, which he may actually have, he gave me a little $15 bottle of something that looked like thick mustard that is supposed to stop the scours. Then he gave me some of the SQ wormer Ivermectin to give all the goats. Though he specified that I should give it to the orally instead of in a shot. I read some where that doing so could kill them, so I conferred with Josh and we decided to actually give them their doses in shot form like the package said. We dosed half the herd this evening and will get the other half tomorrow. He also said that I should worm them every six weeks which seemed like a little too often to me but he assured me with a condescending look that it was necessary.

He did have a good suggestion about cutting the pasture down some so that the sun could kill worm larvae. After we had dosed everybody we could catch today we brought in the lawnmower and moved stuff around and cleaned up the pen some. Now they have two nicely stacked concrete block platforms and a new big wooden spool that Josh brought home from work. We also mucked out the shed and gave them a new water trough as well. At last light Midnight was still alive and kicking. Hopefully the shot of wormer and the anti-diarrhea meds will fix him up. Fingers crossed.

Sandra Belue told me about a farm animal vet that should be closer to me (Pulaski, TN) that I think I'll try next time I need some help. This guy was probably a good vet for the animals he knows about, but he doesn't know much about goats and his demeanor was a little too gruff and condescending for my tastes. He also won't do disbudding (said it can give them brain damage to use the iron...) or much of anything else on goats.

As far as pet vets go, Connolly Animal Clinic is my favorite, despite the fact that the vet assistants accidentally gave the wrong pug a shot on one visit which put him into shock. They are very nice and compassionate and will discuss the whys and whats with you if you wish to do so, and they don't even talk down to you either.

Now to the other goat issue: whether or not some of the girls are in heat. She has been wagging her tail and trying to mount the other goats off and on as well as doing a lot of head butting. She hasn't been overly vocal or messing with the buckling that much. I guess I don't really have to worry unless he is mounting her huh?

As far as putting clover in between my corn, my main goal is trying to keep weeds and grass down and put nitrogen back into the ground. I think I may try it if I can find the clover I want at the co-op as well as a seed spreader.

My immediate to-do list is as follows: trellis the beans, install the two new soaker hoses and hook everything up with the new fixtures, mulch the pecan tree(s), build compost tumbler, check on the clover, etc. I still have to work on a chicken coop or tractor and pen because I still want to get those chickens and guineas. So much to do, but that is what makes life in the country fun right? That and being able to yell (cuss) at your goats and dogs without the neighbors getting upset with you...

Daisy loves following me to the garden and walking all over everything by the way. Her favorite time to go to the garden is after I've done some heavy watering and in between the rows is muddy. She then takes off at a gallop up and down the aisles flopping through as much mud and water as she can get her paws on until she looks like I just found her in the back of a garbage truck. That dog gets into more that any dog I have ever seen; she is a mess for sure! She really is sweet though, just a big, lumbering sweet. She is also one of the smartest dogs I've ever had. After we thought we Daisy-proofed the lower half of the goat fence so that she'd have to stay with the herd we kept looking for her and couldn't find her. She'd been on our heels for an hour or so and then nowhere to be found. We gave up and headed to the house; she was laying on the back steps covered in red mud waiting on us to let her inside... |:-D


  1. That vet in Pulaski is great! (and... cheap, my favorite) We use him a lot for our large animals - it is usually a toss up between him and Dr. Berry in Ardmore (he is also great and cheap)... I think you will be pleased if you have to use him...

  2. That doesn't sound like a very good vet. It could be worms, but they don't usually cause diarrhea, I still think it is most likely coccidiosis. Why wouldn't he do the fecal? That is the only way to actually know if you have worms. I'd try to find a vet that does fecals and get fecals done every few months instead of just deworming on a schedule. That's how resistance builds up. And the pellet dewormer is just as likely to work as what he gave you. My understanding is neither works very well in most areas anymore. I use the herbal dewormer from Fiasco Farms.

  3. wow, sorry you had such a bad experience with that vet after traveling so far. I don't think I would use him again either!

    Some types of worms do cause scours, but the one that typically causes the biggest losses and problems in goat herds is the barberpole worm and you will see anemia as the red flag symptom of it. You can pull their lower eyelid down and see how red or white (white is bad) it is to check for anemia but I agree with Christy totally, the only way to know for sure what you are dealing with, worms or coccidia or both is a fecal. That is too bad and surprising that the vet wouldn't even try to take a look at the sample you brought.

    Most people raising goats is getting away from deworming on a schedule because of the problem of worms building resistance to the few wormers that are available. Instead they are worming ones that need it, culling goats that consistently need dewormed more than their herd mates and reducing the number of head per acre so goats are eating browse up high instead of close to the ground where they pick up the worms. There is a really good yahoo goat discussion group called The_Boer_Goat (it is open to anyone needing advice for any breed of goat). The archives of that group is full of great topics and advice about goats.

    We had strong winds and hail here and now half of our corn is bent over. It was just getting started so I don't know if it will recover but I hope so! Darn storms!

  4. We had the same kind of experience when my daughter took her tortoise to the vet. The vet was *so sure* about what was wrong, and then at the end, said 'Well.....I don't really know much about tortoises....the guy who does is in tomorrow if you want to come in tomorrow...' What? Yes, can we please pay another office fee?! omg....


Thanks for taking the time to comment! I really appreciate the input and will do my best to respond quickly if need be. Thanks again for reading!

Yours Truly,
The Crowsons