September 2021 Issue



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Supplies needed:    3cc Luer-lock syringes, 25 gauge needles, disposable gloves, paper towels, protective eye wear, small plastic Wal-Mart type bags, 7% iodine or equivalent in a squeeze bottle with an applicator tip, #10 disposable scalpels,  container into which broken and bent needles can be placed, bleach, bottle of 10% buffered Formalin, small-animal portable electric clippers or hand-operated hair-cutting scissors, and a strong person to hold the goat.

Once you have testing data that  the pus is CL  and you decide to inject Formalin,  first feel  the knot. If you can move the skin over it, the abscess is NOT ready for Formalin injection (or lancing). If you can get your fingers and thumb  completely around the abscess and pull it away from the body, this means that the abscess is now adhered to the underside of the hide and almost always is soft enough to inject Formalin. (If the pus inside the abscess is still hard, Formalin cannot mix with it and kill the bacteria.) If you wait until the hair is completely off the abscess, the skin will be drawn too tight and too thin and injecting Formalin will probably cause it to rupture. Formalin injection is most successful when the knot is soft, still has some hair on it, and can be pulled away from the body by wrapping your fingers and thumb around it as described above.

Using a 3 cc Luer-lock syringe (to prevent the needle from blowing off the syringe) and a 25-gauge needle (to produce a small  hole  to prevent Formalin backflow), have one or two people hold the goat still.  You may find that using an adjustable sheep halter  and tying the goat  against  a fence panel is helpful.    Think of the abscess as a clock face and inject parallel to the body into the abscess at the 12 o'clock position (when the goat is standing upright) so that  Formalin is less likely to run out. Be positive that the needle is in the abscess and NOT in the goat's body. Be aware of major artery and vein locations in order to avoid them -- particularly the jugular vein in the goat's neck. While slowly pushing the syringe's plunger, move the needle inside the abscess in a windshield wiper motion to better distribute Formalin throughout the soft pus.  Do not  inject Formalin into an abscess on an udder.

Start with a 3 cc syringe filled with Formalin and fill the abscess until it is firm but not tight. Many times you do not have to use all 3 cc's. Huge abscesses the size of an orange or larger may require as much as 9 cc's of Formalin at first injection.  Overfilling the abscess can result in swelling around the abscess and down the shoulder or leg.    Feedback that I've received from people that have injected Formalin indicates that they often use too much Formalin, creating swelling and discomfort for the goat.

Hold a paper towel over the injection site when the needle is removed to prevent Formalin from flowing   out, much like a lab technician does when drawing blood. Some goats appear to feel the flow of Formalin, possibly  coldness or pressure.   Mostly the goat doesn't like being held. Confinement of the goat in your Isolation Pen is recommended until you are positive that you have the abscess sufficiently filled with Formalin.

Sometimes abscesses occur within abscesses. Check the goat's abscesses for several days after initial injection of Formalin, feeling for soft spots. It will always feel slightly soft around the perimeter of the abscess where it meets the goat's body.   Inject more Formalin into  other remaining soft spots. The goal is to achieve a hard (embalmed) knot. Formalin combines with and hardens the soft  pus quickly. Once the abscess feels hard all over, leave it alone. Over a period of weeks, it will shrink as a hard black/grayish thick scab develops. Eventually the scab will loosen around the perimeter's edges and either fall off or need to be gently pulled off. The hardened abscess that comes off will have dry pus inside that has been disinfected by the Formalin; dispose of it properly. Fresh pink skin will appear. Flush with 7% iodine or equivalent and let it heal.  If done correctly, no visible evidence of a CL scar  will exist.

Chest abscesses seem to be the hardest to control with Formalin, since the chest wall allows space for huge knots to develop. You may have to use several cc's of Formalin over a period of multiple days to make sure that the abscess is fully filled with Formalin. Sometimes these large abscesses clear up faster and better if they are lanced.   When injecting Formalin into any CL abscess, if  the knot bursts because the skin is already too thin, cleanly cross-hatch lance it with a #10 disposable scalpel, squeeze out all the pus, and flush with 7% iodine or equivalent. Isolation of the animal after any lancing procedure is essential. CL pus is usually but not always whitish/grayish in color and thick (the consistency of toothpaste). It has no odor.

If you get Formalin on your skin or in your eyes or mucous membranes,  do not panic and flush thoroughly with clean tap water. While applying Formalin to the hoof of a goat with hoof rot, I have gotten Formalin in my eye (under my contact lens) and it didn't sting or affect my eyesight. Formalin is odorless, colorless, and the consistency of water.

The plus side of using Formalin to manage CL abscesses is no exposure of the bacteria to either the environment or other goats, no long-term isolation of the treated animals, and less stress on you.   The negatives include concern about off-label usage, possible objection of some authorities to this application, and as I've learned, the fact that many goat raisers do not use  Formalin properly. Not all abscesses are CL abscesses.

There are articles on my website's Articles page at on CL and other types of abscesses, as well as a diagram of lymph gland sites in the goat's body.

You must do your own due diligence and decide which course of action to follow when dealing with Caseous Lymphadenitis. It is my opinion that unless goat breeders want to continue destroying good animals and incurring the financial losses that such decisions bring, then we all had better learn how to manage and control Caseous Lymphadenitis when it appears in our herds.

Precautions:   (1)  Most goats sold at commercial auction houses are there because they have problems; don't buy breeding stock there.  (2) Buy a plastic cat litter pan and a bottle of bleach into which you pour a small amount of  bleach for visitors to place the soles of their shoes before they enter your pens.  (3)  If you are not comfortable using 10% Formalin, don't use it and instead use the lance/clean/flush with iodine method.  (4)  Crowding goats leads to illness; don't crowd them.


While Formalin has its use in controlling CL outbreaks in goat herds,  many people are using it incorrectly: (1) Some folks are  injecting Formalin at the wrong point in the abscess cycle; (2) Some goat raisers are using too much Formalin and causing swelling around the abscess; and (3) Most seriously, too many goat producers are assuming that every abscess is a CL abscess (NOT TRUE). Formalin should be used only on CL abscesses. Non-CL abscesses should be cross-hatch lanced, cleaned out, and flushed with iodine. The only reason for using Formalin is to contain a contagious bacterium of which too many people are irrationally frightened.  CL  is not anything like CAE or Johnes, both of which should be terminal diseases (culling the goat).  CL is a readily manageable nuisance disease.

Bob Glass of Pan American Vet Lab in Texas  has developed and is marketing  a cost-effective test of the exudate (pus) of *any* abscess to aid producers in diagnosis. Mr. Glass can be reached at and his  phone number is 512 964 3927. You should avail yourselves of this valuable inexpensive test.


Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas     9.11.21

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.


Goat Camp™ 2021

Taking reservations for
20th annual Goat Camp™
Oct 25-28, 2021
Click Here for more info...






Taking reservations for  GoatCamp™ 2021

Oct 25-28, 2021

  • FAMACHA training.  Doing microscopic fecal counts. Reading fecals.
  • Learn how to diagnose and treat illnesses and diseases
  • Nutrition: learn how to feed properly
  • Tubing, injections, tattooing, eartagging, handling and restraints
  • Hoof trimming, hoof care
  • Necropsy demonstration
  • Diseases affecting goats
  • Drawing blood, disease testing
  • Selecting goats for breeding, market sales, etc
  • Marketing your animals
  • Humane slaughter demonstration
  • Breeding, Kidding, Kid care
  • Importance of private property rights to goat owners.
  • and much more, all on a working goat ranch.

The GOATCAMP™ Instructors


  •   MARK SWENING, DVM - VETERINARIAN, Coleman, Texas Vet Clinic

Classroom Instruction as well as  Hands-on Work with Onion Creek Ranch goats on a working goat ranch


$500.00 IF RECEIVED ON OR AFTER 10-1-21

Registration Form on the GoatCamp™page at

Additional Information or questions:   Suzanne Gasparotto - 512-265-2090 (Texas) or email her at



Hi Suzanne,
I  wanted to say thank you.  I attended your goat camp last year.  While I  was there, I purchased a McMaster slide, microscope and test kit.  I have been using it to run fecals.  It is an easy process and has been really informative.  By repeating the fecal seven days after deworming, I  can tell if the dewormer is effective. I learned that Cydectin was not working on one of my does.  I would not have known this for sure if I wasn’t doing fecals and follow ups.  By calculating the EPG and comparing the difference, I now know that I need to use another class and potentially combine more than one.  Knowledge is power and I am so excited to have learned all of this.  We all know parasite management is  the key to healthy goats.  Thanks for your willingness to share your knowledge.  It has empowered me and I very grateful.
Jennifer Isbell-Schrader


My name is Christy Dalros. I attended Goat Camp™ in October 2016.    A few weeks ago, I noticed one of my does was not acting like her normal self. She had recently given birth to triplets and had been fine up until then. I check eyes at least weekly and she had good pink membranes prior. When I checked her eyes that day she was at a 4 on the FAMACHA scale. I immediately took a fecal sample and her count was extremely high. I began deworming her but she went down to a 5 on the FAMACHA scale soon after and developed bottle jaw. I have been so worried but I have run fecal samples on her weekly and continued deworming. I started her on daily iron and B-12. I also started giving her all the alfalfa she wanted for the added protein. I am happy to say that today she had no signs of bottle jaw and her eyes were at a 3 on the FAMACHA scale.

I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to attend Goat Camp™ last year. Without your class, I would not have known what to do. I lost more than 10 goats last year by this time and because of the training GoatCamp™ gave me, I am happy to say that ALL of my goats are thriving. I run my own fecal tests, something I would never have known how to do without Goat Camp™, and I refer to your articles and the notes from GoatCamp™ regularly. Thank you so much for the knowledge you shared. You have helped me more than you know.


I want to send you a huge thanks you for doing what you do and offering me the opportunity to attend Goat Camp and learn from the best!! There was a ton of new information for me to absorb but equally valuable was to confirm whether or not I have been doing things correctly or not. It was amazing to see how you setup your operation and all the things you had to consider . Since I got home, I set up monthly random fecal testing to monitor wormload. I also have a Jeffers shopping list and a few books to add to my collection. After the necropsy, all the things that I have read and pictured finally made sense. I found that demonstration fascinating and really well explained. The 4 days for information was more than worth the time and travel and you have provided me with more confidence in looking after my little herd. I wish you all the best with your business and hope you continue to educate others, as your experience and knowledge is priceless.                                     Shelley Helmer Canada


We had the most amazing experience at Goat camp in 2018. The information I found there was very impressive. That is one of the best decisions I have made going into this venture. My second best decision is I will be back next year. My brain hurt trying to retain all the info. I will continue to review everything you supplied but I will be lucky if I have retained 50%. My 82 year old Mother was so excited when I explained all that went on she wants to come with us.  Brian returned for  the 2019 GoatCamp(tm) and was amazed at how much he has missed the first time around!    Thank you, best money we ever spent.               Brian & Lori, Rockport, Texas

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Bending Tree Ranch located near Greenbrier, Arkansas

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