Bellafire Farm

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                                 Veterinary Information for Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

The information on this page has been personally & painstakingly compiled by me based on our own expereinces here in NW Oregon and my own personal research, it is our personal "manual" and it is constantly being adjusted & tweaked.  I have posted it here for the sole purpose of helping other goat owners give their goats the best possible care. I trust that those using this information will know their own herd and land very well, so that they can make adjustments as needed for their specific situation. I am always updating this page, so if you see information that seems incorrect or out-dated please let me know.

* I am in no way a veterinarian or medical professional. If you have a serious situation PLEASE call your veterinarian immediately.  There is no cost in a simple phone call, and the advice you receive could save your animals life!!  The information below is here to help you work through a minor problem and/or work in coordination with your vet. I firmly believe that every animal owner should have a good working relationship with a knowledgeable livestock veterinarian BEFORE a problem arises!!

GREAT SOURCES OF GOAT INFOMerck Veterinary Manual, Fiasco FarmsTennesseeMeatGoats (Articles written by Suzanne Gasparotto of Onion Creek Ranch) , GoatWorld , & The Goat Spot  just to name a few.

Click here for a great list of goat problems directly related to nutritional deficiencies.




** NOTE: These are dosages WE use, check with your vet before giving medications!**


Symptoms of acute acidosis include bloat, staring off into space, decreased rumen movements, staggering, coma & possible death.

Symptoms of sub-acute acidosis are reduced appetite, diarrhea, panting, decreased cud chewing & other signs of stomach problems.

Provide goats with well-balanced diet that includes lots of forage (hay).  Make feed changes, especially regarding grains, VERY slowly.  Be sure that grain storage area's are locked up, be watchful of fresh spring grass intake.

Anaphylactic Shock  

Animal collapses shortly after an injection. Animals will exhibit significant signs of pain. Sometimes following an injection of a substance they've had before. Epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) must be administered immediately! 

Epinephrine 1cc/100lbs. I always have a loaded syringe ready in my pocket while giving vaccinations/medications.
AnemiaSymptoms: lethargy, "off-feed", listless, pale inner lower eyelid color. Anemia can be caused by improper nutrition (lack of copper or iron), liver flukes, barberpole worms, stomach worms, blood-sucking parasites, or significant internal and/or external bleeding.Administer vit. B12 injection (2cc per 50lbs) and/or Red Cell supplement (2cc per 50lbs), possibly for a number of days to ensure recovery. Note: Best to get a fecal test done by your vet to understand which parasites to treat.
Bio-Mycin 200


Antibiotic similar to LA-200 except it has a "no sting" formula. Excellent against a variety of illness including pinkeye, mycoplasma, chlamydia, mastitis, uterine infection, respiratory issues, navel/joint ill.We use: 1cc/20lbs everyday for 5 days.
Bloat "Dry" bloat = overeating of grains, sudden diet changes. "Frothy" bloat = overeating of lush damp hays such as clover or alfalfa. Frothy bloat forms thick "froth" in the rumen. Frothy bloat is very serious! Bloat signs = obviously distended tight left side, mashing or grinding teeth, kicking at belly, not chewing cud, no rumen sounds.Offer free choice baking soda. If bloat is severe, mix 2 tsp baking soda w/ 1/4 cup water & give orally as a drench. Massage the belly, walk/exercise. Do not make sudden feed changes & do not let goats overeat on fresh spring pasture. Be watchful of certain weeds & mold which can cause Bloat.
BoSe BoSe (injectable) is by vet Rx only. Selenium/Vit. E Gel can be used instead & purchased at local feed stores, but may not be as effective. We use both, the injectable right before breeding & use the Gel for maintenance every season also.(5cc Gel = 3cc inj. BoSe)BoSe (Rx), used in selenium-deficient areas. Dosage = 1/2 cc @ birth & 2cc to adults bi-annually (best 1 month pre-kidding & breeding).  (Do not use MuSe!)
Bottle JawFirm or sometimes squishy bulge underneath the jaw due to swelling & a collection of fluids. Bottle jaw is often caused by liver fluke & worm issues. Article on "BottleJaw".Best cure is proper worming! Get a fecal done to see which worms are the problem & treat aggressively. Vitamin B injections may help recovery & Red Cell for anemia.
CAE Noticeable in young kids as weak hindlegs, knuckling over in the knees, paralysis, & eventually death. In older goats CAE is seen by joint infections, enlarged joints, lameness & arthritis. Milking doe's can get hardened distended mastitis type udders which don't produce milk. Deadly disease. Eventually older animals "waste away". CAE is spread thru the mothers milk & possibly other body fluids too.CAE is prevented by removing kids IMMEDIATELY after birth & using only pasturized non-CAE infected milk or milk replacer. It is important that the kid be removed immediately so the mom is NOT allowed to lick or nurse kid.   *We are a CAE free farm!*
CL Highly contagious bacterial infection w/ recurring abscesses on the lower jaw and lymph node areas. Abscess ruptures with a "cheesy" white/yellowish pasty pus. CL can live in the soil & on surfaces for months or even years. New reseach has shown that CL organism can be inhaled into the lungs, injected into the body & transmitted via breeding. Deadly disease, causes ill-thrift, pnuemonia, wasting away due to internal abscesses.Some farms are using a new CL vaccine made by Colorado Serum. Other options for control of CL include Formalin (10% formaldehyde) injections into the abscess or complete culling of infected animals. *We are a CL free farm!*
ChlamydiosisSymptoms in adults are abortion in otherwise healthy looking animals, retained placenta's are common, giving birth to weak kids. Apparently this bacteria is best treated with a Tetracycline antibiotic. I understand this can be transmitted to humans as well as other animals.
Cocci or Coccidia

Diarrhea in young kids is HIGHLY indicative of Coccidiosis, a very common disease in kids. Kids may eat normally but still appear sickly, unthrifty, poor coat condition, poor growth rate, standing "hunched up", look 'shrunken' in their front end/shoulder area. Clinical signs include diarrhea, dehydration, emaciation, weakness - esp. in front legs. Cocci must be treated immediately to prevent lifelong intestinal damage & stunted growth. Cocci can be deadly if left untreated. Some goats are actually constipated & die acutely w/out diarrhea. Prevent coccidia by keeping pens & bedding clean & dry, water fresh, & avoid over-crowding. Articles on Coccidia, here  & here.   WE DO NOT RECOMMEND CORID FOR GOATS!!

Kids 3 wks+ should be treated w/oral dosing for 5-7 days. Except with Baycox which is a 1 dose medication. Best to treat preventatively every 21 days until weaning.

Sulfadimethoxine Brand Names:
-Albon Suspension 5% yellow liquid (Works great & tastes like Custard - babies love this stuff!) We use 2.5cc per 5# day 1, then 2.5cc per 10# day 2-5.
-Di-Methox Solution 12.5% GIVEN ORALLY = 3cc per 5# on day 1, then 3cc per 10# on days 2-5.
-Di-Methox 40% injectable GIVE ORALLY = 1cc per 5# given orally on day 1, Give 1cc per 10# orally for days 2-5. You can also buy a powdered packet of Di-Methox & mix with 1 cup of water to get a homemade DiMethox 40%.
- Baycox - 1 dose @ 2.7cc per 15lbs every 2 weeks until weaning.

Copper Deficiency Deficient goats have dull rough coat, thin tail hairs, reddish tint and/or 'sun-bleached' coat color especially at the hip area (Click here , here & here for pic), low milk production. Kids w/deficiency experience weak unsteady legs, muscle tremors, etc. Severe copper deficiency will cause bent legs, arthiritic joints, swollen joints, and if not treated immediately will cause permenant disfiguring of the legs. Here are some great articles from Saanandoah & Onion Creek I have come across in my research on deficiencies.... , , bolus w/Copasure. Dosage is 1 gram of tiny rods per 22 lbs of goat. So 100 lb goat gets 4.5 grams of rods. We monitor our goats coat condition & tail hair, and dose when we see the need, usually 2-4 times per year.
Copper Toxicity Copper slowly accumulates in the goats liver, excessive copper is released from the body causing reddish brown, dark urine. Symptoms include depression, difficulty breathing, reduced appetite, brick red/blackish colored urine, anemia/white eyelids,Many goat breeders suggest copper requirements of 20-30 ppm in a goats grain ration. And 1,000-1,500 ppm in the goats free-choice minerals.
Cystic Ovaries When the female's follicles do not rupture, instead they just continue to produce estrogen. Heat cycles can become inconsistent or nonexistent. Doe's can act bucky, become aggressive, mount other doe's. Medicines can help restore the doe's system. Many times the feed program itself is at fault by being too high in calcium and/or too low in phosphorus. Veterinary diagnosis is best. Verifying that your doe's are not getting excessive calcium and/or deficient in phosphorus can solve it too. * True cystic ovaries are thought to be hereditary to some degree.
Quest Horse Gel, or Moxidectin
(we use Quest horse gel) - For adult animals only! NOT FOR PREGNANT ANIMALS! Controls: Lungworms, gastrointestinal roundworms, larvae, lice, mange mites & cattle grubs. Good for external parasites.We use: 1/4th cc per 20lbs, every 19 days, 3 total doses. Do not overdose this wormer!
Diarrhea (scours)Be watchful of coccidia in babies!!
(see above)
Can be "helped" by eliminating grains & fresh grass & encouraging fiber/hay intake. 6+cc's PeptoBismal orally can be used every few hrs until a change is evident, be careful to not overdue Pepto or they can become constipated
E. Coli,
or Collibacillosis
Generally affects kids under 1 month old but can occur in adults. Symptoms = fever or subnormal temperature, grayish white diarrhea, loss of appetite, dry hair/skin coat, dehydration. Milking doe's can have a brownish watery milk.We've had no issue, nor do we know of anyone having had an issue with E.Coli..but possible treatment may be Neomycin Gentamicin Sulfate,Biosol,Oxytetracycline.
Enterotoxemia Caused by Clostridium perfringens type C or type D bacteria. Usually starts by overeating of grains, lush grass, or excess milk in a kids rumen. Possible fever, abdominal pain, depression, bloat, diarrhea (may have bloody stool), lack of appetite. Kids may cry out in pain, lay w/head flopped back, act listless, have seizures or convulsions. VERY fast acting disease, usually ends in death within 6-24hrs. Articles on "Enterotoxemia" and "Enterotoxemia"Vaccination of adult doe 1 month pre-kidding passes to the kids in-utero. Kids are vaccinated w/CD/T  @ 4 wks, 8 wks, & 12 wks. If mom did not get vaccine, then kid w/entero should recieve 3cc's CD Antitoxin at 1st signs of Entertoxemia. Dose again in 10-12 hrs and can be dosed a 3rd time if necessary. Also give Penicillan & Probiotics for 3 days to prevent/treat secondary infections.

If the animal collapses shortly after an injection this could be Anaphylactic Shock. Most often following an injection of a substance they've had before. Epinephrine must be administered immediately. You literally have seconds to prevent death!

 1cc per 100 pounds IM
Floppy Kid Syndrome Affects young kids, birth - 4 weeks,bottle-raised or dam-raised. Symptoms include wobbly legs, especially rear legs, depression.. Bloat, sloshy belly due to rumen shutdown, acidosis. Possible fever, listlessness, lethargy, Great article by Ms. Rowe during the ADGA Convention 2005, clickhere.Early administration of a sodium bicarbonate drench (Baking Soda w/water) to fix the rumen upset is very important. Remove ALL milk products for 24-72hrs & administer baking soda drench (1 tsp BakingSoda w/1 cup water) every few hrs until kid appears better & is passing normal stool. Give electrolytes & water mixed, & probiotics & Vitamin B Complex until kid is normal again. 


Controls: Lungworms, gastrointestinal roundworms, stomach worms, tapeworms, intestinal worms, bankrup worms & nodular worms, liver flukes (adult).This wormer is not very effective for us & we dont use it.
Foot & Mouth Disease   
Hoof Rot  
Hoof scald   
Inverted Eyelid   
Ivermectin WormerFor control of: Lungworms, gastrointestinal roundworms, larvae, lice, mange mites & cattle grubs. External parasites. Barberpole worms, Doesn't kill tapeworms.

Horse paste doseage: 3x the a 100lb goat would get a 300llb dose.

Ivomec & IvomecPlusIvomec Plus IS NOT FOR PREGNANT ANIMALS! Kills lungworms, liver flukes, great for lice & mites (IF given as an injection, Sub-Q)Doesn't kill tapeworms. 1cc per 40lbs injected SQ or given orally, then repeated in 2 weeks. Can be repeated a 3rd time if necessary. Have used 1cc per 25lbs injected SQ (or given orally) if I felt that the situation was more severe than a normal deworming.
Johne's Disease Highly contagious bacterial disease of the intestines caused by bacteria Mycobacterium paratuberculosis. 2 main signs of Johne's Disease: diarrhea & weight loss. Hence the nickname "Wasting Disease"Proper vitamin & mineral control with high copper levels can manage this wasting disease, but there is no cure. Testing should always be done on new goats in your herd! We are Johne's Free!
KetosisPost kidding illness. Usually related to improper feeding. Improper metabolism & break down of fat in the body.  Not getting enough quality nutrients to sustain conditioning & milk production. Sore feet, unable to stand, swelling in the lower legs/feet, off feed, depressed, sweet smelling breath.Increase forage, reduce grain, start Molasses/Karo Syrup drench every few hrs. and/or NutriDrench every few hrs. Vit. B Complex for immune system & increasing appetite. Calcium/CMPK should be given a few times a day as needed.
Lice Scratching, pawing, stomping, itching, patchy hair, dull hair coat, Permethrin 10% (Permectin II) mixed 50/50 w/Olive Oil to prevent burning the skin & hairloss. Apply by placing a few drops onto the skin at the shoulders/withers area and rump area. Usually 2-5cc's will treat an adult Nigerian goat. Also Co-Ral Dust, 5% Sevin Dust, Ultra Boss Liquid(Ultra Boss is great since it doesn't have to be mixed), and cattle pour-on's such as Eprinex (at 1cc per 20lbs) work great too. Shaving the animals in warm/sunny weather also helps kill lice, but watch for sunburn!! Use sunscreen.
Listeriosis/Goat PolioStar-gazing, staring off into space, reduced appetite, walking in circles, blindness, seizures, muscle tremors.  Caused by excess heat or stress, feeding too much grain and/or sweet feeds, too little roughage, moldy feed. Article on "Listeriosis"IMMEDIATE injections of Vitamin B-Complex (100 mg/ml of thiamine), 5cc/100lbs. Inject IM initially, then subQ or even orally afterwards. Continue Vit. B every 6 hrs until ALL symptoms are completely gone.
Mange / MitesSmall "bumps", sometimes cyst like & usually seen in groups over the body. Bald patches usually seen on the legs and feet first.1cc/40lbs of Ivomec injectable liquid, w/2nd dose 2-3 weeks later. Ivomec PLUS can be used too, but NOT on pregnant animals. We have used 1cc per 25lbs when we felt it was necessary.
Mastitis Udder becomes swollen, hard, hot, sensitive to touch, sometimes slight fever occurs.Testing can be done thru a labratory with just a small milk sample. Visit WADDL (Washington Animal Diagnostic Lab) for more info.
Navel Ill Joint Ill (aka Navel Ill) occurs when bacteria travels up a newborn kid's navel cord and migrates to its joints. Over a period of days or weeks, the kid begins to limp as joints swell. Antibiotic treatment is required, is usually long term (weeks rather than days), and the kid may have life-long residual effects from the infection. Arthritis may develop as the kid gets older.Avoid Joint Ill by dipping the kid's navel cord immediately after birth in 7% iodine solution. Plus maintaining a clean kidding area.
Nuflor & Nuflor Gold Broad-spectrum antibiotic for respiratory illnesses.  Thick, use 18 - 20 gauge needles. 3cc per 100lbs. We dose daily for 3-5 days & give probiotics & Vitamin B Complex during illness.

Pneumonia is the common term for a range of respiratory infections that kills goats quickly -especially kids. Common symptoms include quick on-set fever, labored breathing, runny nose,  cough,  listlessness, & "off feed" behavior. -- A new vaccine made specifically for goats is Colorado Serum's pasteurella vaccine. Great articles on Goat Pneumonia: "Pneumonia in Goats" and "Pneumonia"

Hydration, reducing fever, & immediately begining antibiotics are KEY to the goats survival. Administer Banamine or baby aspirin to reduce fever. Nuflor (vet Rx) is best, oxytetracycline 200 mg/mL (LA200 or Bio-Mycin), or Tylosin 200 (Tylan 200) are 2nd choices but will work in a pinch. Administer for 5-7 full days.
Pink Eye Terramycin - Over-the-counter product. Opthalmic ointment used to treat Pinkeye, particularly in ulcerated eyes.
Pregnancy Toxemia Pre-kidding illness usually related to inproper feeding of the pregnant animal. Improper metabolism.Carefully/slightly increase feed intake in late pregnancy to meet the needs of growing fetus

Here is a great list of poisonous plants:

Cornell University list:

Rhodedenron & Azalea Poisoning info:
More info:

More info:

Sore mouth Contagious ecthyma -highly contagious viral disease of goats & sheep (can also cross species into many other animals & people too!) Also called Pustular Dermatitis. Produces painful scabby sores on the lips & gums, sometimes on other hairless area's such as the udder or underside of the tail. Runs its course in 1-6 wks but may be extended when secondary infections occur. Article on "Soremouth"There is a newer live virus "vaccination" for SoreMouth that requires introducing the disease into the herd purposely as a "controlled outbreak" ,which then leaves the recovered animals with an immunity to that strain of SoreMouth. *There are multiple strains out there though*
Urinary CalculiMostly seen w/male goats. Frequent urination or straining to urinate, hunched body especially when seeming to urinate, exceptionally full bladder and/or belly area. Bloody urine. Restlessness or anxiety.Ammonium Chloride can be added to the feed (1 tsp per 150 lbs) to reduce calculi buildup. Proper calcium to phosphorus ratio (atleast 2:1) in feed, hay, & minerals is critical. As is providing fresh, clean water at all times.
White Muscle Disease Selenium Deficiency (White Muscle Disease) can cause weak legs & weak sucking reflex in newborns/kids. Weak pasterns & bent legs can also be a sign of selenium deficiency in adult goats.Prescription BoSe should be used in selenium-deficient areas at a dosage rate of 1/2 cc to newborns & 2cc's to adults atleast bi-annually (1 month pre-kidding & pre-breeding). 
Valbazen WormerGood for all ages -NOT FOR PREGNANT ANIMALS! Controls: Lungworms, gastrointestinal roundworms, stomach worms, tapeworms, intestinal worms & liver flukes (adult).Valbazen is a liquid suspension dewormer given orally at the rate of 1cc/10lbs, every 19 days, 3 total doses.  We use this w/ our babies until they are put onto the adult worming program.