January 2019 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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WHY ARE STOMACH WORMS DEADLY TO GOATS?

The more I tell people that stomach worms (Haemonchus contortus aka barberpole worm) consume blood, cause anemia, and kill goats, the less people seem to pay attention to the seriousness of this statement. Now I am going to try a different approach.

Stomach worms feed on the goat's blood, killing red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to body tissues to keep them functioning. When tissues in the brain, heart, lung, liver, kidneys, pancreas, bladder, and other organs are oxygen-deprived, the goat has difficulty breathing, its digestive system slows down and it quits eating, its muscles get weak and it cannot stand, and its brain can no longer properly function, making the goat "foggy" when it comes to performing essential activities like eating, drinking, walking, peeing, etc. Worms can also cause internal bleeding, resulting in death from hemorrhage.

When I tell people who contact me that their goats are wormy, they often say, "but I just de-wormed." De-worming does not mean that it worked. I have been raising goats since January 1990, and one of the first things I learned is that most de-wormers don't work because people have over-used them, resulting in "super" worms that are resistant to multiple classes of de-wormers.

When people tell me that the FAMACHA score is good, I tell them to get fecals done, because FAMACHA doesn't tell the entire story. There are always worms in the goat that haven't reached the point in their life cycle where they mature and begin consuming blood. FAMACHA only reveals the damage already being done by the current crop of blood suckers.

THE ONLY WAY YOU KNOW THE WORM LOAD IN YOUR GOATS IS TO DO FECALS.

If a goat is anemic, just de-worming isn't enough. You have to give daily injections of Vitamin B 12 (red-colored injectable liquid only available from a vet) and Red Cell oral iron supplement (horse product available from Jeffers 1-800-533-3377) for 30 consecutive days. It takes a long time to rebuild red blood cells. See my article on Anemia on the Articles page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com for details.

Worms are where 99% of all problems with goats start and end. The triad of NUTRITION, WORMS, and INFECTIOUS DISEASES becomes a deadly cycle. Proper nutrition and monitoring worm load by doing random fecals every month and de-worming as needed will head off almost all illness in goats.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 1-1-19


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BendingTree Ranch TexMaster Goats

Breeding age Myotonics, TMG’s, TexMasters™ as well as nice commercial crosses available year round. Contact us for your breeding stock needs.

Pat Cotten 501-679-4936
Bending Tree Ranch located near Greenbrier, Arkansas
www.bendingtreeranch.com
bendingtreeranch@gmail.com

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