August 2015 Issue

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Subscribe FREE now! Monthly issues with new articles and other educational information on meat goat health, nutrition, and management written by Suzanne W. Gasparotto of Onion Creek Ranch and Pat Cotten of Bending Tree Ranch. In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Neither Suzanne Gasparotto nor Pat Cotten are veterinarians. None of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.

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TYPE D ANTI-TOXIN
Available to Substitute for Backordered C&D Anti-Toxin

Because of the current shortage of C&D anti-toxin, Colorado Serum has begun producing Type D anti-toxin. Jeffers (1-800-533-3377) carries this product. If you cannot find C&D anti-toxin, then stock up on Type D anti-toxin.

These anti-toxins are antibodies made using the blood of horses. Type C anti-toxin has several challenges in production that Type D doesn't have. Several of the companies that previously produced C&D anti-toxin have discontinued production because of (a) the space it takes to house and feed horses, and (b) the difficulty of getting and keeping high titers in the donors. The United States Government requires that every "serial" (batch) of vaccine and anti-toxin produced must be tested before it can be sold.

Type D anti-toxin covers the classic "overeating disease" syndrome. Type D clostridium perfringens is probably the cause of 90% of the cases in goats over three weeks of age. Most of the cases of Enterotoxemia in kids under three weeks of age are attributable to Type C, which occurs when kids ingest fecal material contaminated with the bacteria, as opposed to Type D, which is an overgrowth of normal flora from eating too much high energy feed (including overeating on milk -- Floppy Kid Syndrome). If it is truly overeating on milk, the Type D anti-toxin is appropriate to use. If the kid is under three weeks of age and you suspect toxicity, personally I'd use the Type D anti-toxin if I didn't have Types C&D anti-toxin on hand. Dr. Berrier of Colorado Serum says that although the textbooks say that Type D clostridium perfringens rarely occurs under two weeks of age, "animals don't always read the textbooks!"

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 8/13/15

DOING YOUR OWN FECALS IS EASY

Parasites are the biggest health management problem facing goat producers. Worms and coccidia kill more goats than all other illnesses combined. Every goat producer should schedule routine microscopic examinations of goat pills (feces) for worms and coccidia. Do not wait for a problem; prevent it.

Doing fecals is easy. All you need are a few supplies and some goat poop. An inexpensive and suitable microscope is the MSK-01 by C&A Scientific (10X-40X-400X) with a movable stage. The MSK-01 microscope, either corded or battery operated, is available on the Internet at sites such as Amazon.com for about $125.00. A movable stage is needed so that the slide can be moved side to side as you look through the eyepiece. You can buy a microscope with too high magnification that makes reading the slides more difficult, given all the debris in a fecal sample.

Additional supplies needed are test tubes (12 cc syringe covers will suffice), plain glass slides (McMaster green-gridded slides are not necessary unless you are trying to raise goats in an area of heavy rainfall), slide covers (optional), fecal floatation solution (sodium nitrate can be obtained from a vet), a stirrer (fecal loop or popsicle stick), a block of styrofoam (hollowed out to hold the test tubes upright), and a chart depicting worm eggs and coccidia oocysts. Here is a link to the parasite chart site: www.apacapacas.com/parasites/ McMasters slides are available from Chalex Corp. at www.vetslides.com.

Now for the fun part. Catch the goat whose pills you want to check and collect fresh feces, either by using a fecal loop to gather it from inside the goat, or stand around for a few minutes until the goat drops some pills. Given their fast metabolism, goats defecate often. Do not use dried-out goat pills when doing fecal examinations. Empty pill bottles are good for collection and labeling. For goats with diarrhea who require fecal testing, put on a pair of disposable gloves and obtain a fecal sample by inserting your gloved fingers into the goat. Turn the glove inside out, then cut the glove and place the fecal material on the slide.

Put three of four fresh goat pills into the test tube and pour just enough floatation solution into the tube to cover them completely. Mash them with the stirrer. Fill the tube with more floatation solution to the point that it is slightly overflowing. Place a glass slide over the top, letting a suction form with the solution against the slide, and place the slide in your styrofoam test-tube holder. Wait five minutes to allow the eggs to float to the top and adhere to the slide.

Carefully remove the slide from the top of the test tube and place the slide into the microscope's viewing holder (movable stage) . Dispose of the contents of the test tube. Using the chart of worm eggs and coccidia oocysts, slowly adjust the lens to suit your eyes and move the slide from side to side until you find worm eggs and/or coccidia oocysts. The main worm problem in goats in the USA is Haemonchus contortus; this worm sucks blood, causing anemia and death.. The funny-looking darkened zeroes with a small white pinhole center are water bubbles. Since the slide's contents have not be strained, there will be debris in the mixture, so ignore it and look only for the parasite eggs as the chart depicts them.

Almost every goat has a few worms and even some coccidia oocysts to help stimulate its immune system. But if you find more than a couple of eggs or oocysts in your fecal sample, take appropriate corrective measures by medicating the goat properly.

There are far more sophisticated methods for doing fecals, but the procedure outlined above will work well. It will tell you what you need to know in order to control the worm load in your goat herd.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 8/8/15

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WHEN MEAT MATTERS...

Contact Suzanne Gasparotto at
325-344-5775 for prices and availability.

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Yearling Tennessee Meat Goat™ buck for sale
SOLD but others like him are available!

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Yearling TexMaster™ buck for sale

Tennessee Meat Goats™ and TexMasters™ are the cream of the meat goat industry. Contact us for availability, ages and pricing by calling 325-344-5775 or emailing onioncreek@tennesseemeatgoats.com

 

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