Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, Texas
Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, TX
Lohn, Texas
Onion Creek Ranch "Chevon, cabrito, goat... No matter what you call it, it is the HEALTHY red meat™
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IT'S USUALLY THE SIMPLEST THING

You discover a goat that is sick. You don't know what is wrong with it. You imagine all sorts of exotic illnesses and problems.

You are probably wrong.

When a goat gets sick, the cause is most often the simplest and one that you either didn't think of or thought of and dismissed as not likely.

Start with the basics. Examine the goat for worms, using FAMACHA field testing, and follow up by doing fecal counts with a microscope. Worms are a major cause of sickness and subsequent death in most goats. Wet climates and goats don't go together, but huge numbers of people are raising goats under wet conditions that make successful goat production almost impossible. Remember that WET = WORMS.

Take the goat's rectal temperature with a digital thermometer to confirm or rule out high body temp that could be caused by pneumonia, mastitis, or a host of other issues. If goats don't die from blood-sucking worms that cause anemia, the next most common cause is pneumonia. Read my article on Interstitial Pneumonia on the Articles page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com and learn the symptoms of pneumonia in goats.

If the sick goat is a kid, check its tummy for fullness and its dam for adequate milk. It is likely starving, either because (a) its siblings aren't letting it eat, (b) its dam isn't producing enough milk, (c) its dam has mastitis or congested udder and cannot or is not producing adequate milk, (d) it got chilled or overheated and could not control its body temperature, so it is dehydrated and starving, or (e) it got separated from its dam and is starving. These are all nutrition and management issues that you must observe and prevent. If the kid isn't starving, it may have developed pneumonia. Way too often the kid is starving and the producer doesn't recognize the symptoms. If the kid is a bottle baby, it is likely that you are overfeeding it on milk and are headed for Floppy Kid Syndrome.

My point is that a sick goat is seldom sick because of some exotic problem. For some reason, people tend to look for odd causes and overlook the obvious. Perhaps there are gaps in their management program which result in their not recognizing symptoms critical to good health. Learning to think like a goat goes a long way towards closing this management gap.

Most of the time the cause of the illness is the simplest thing you could have thought of . . . and didn't. THINK LIKE A GOAT™.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto Onion Creek Ranch 8/9/14

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Important! Please Read This Notice!

All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers.

In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Suzanne Gasparotto is not a veterinarian.Neither tennesseemeatgoats.com nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.

The author, Suzanne Gasparotto, hereby grants to local goat publications and club newsletters, permission to reprint articles published on the Onion Creek Ranch website under these conditions: THE ARTICLE MUST BE REPRODUCED IN ITS ENTIRETY AND THE AUTHOR'S NAME, ADDRESS, AND CONTACT INFORMATION MUST BE INCLUDED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE REPRINT. We would appreciate notification from any clubs or publications when the articles are used. (A copy of the newsletter or publication would also be a welcome addition to our growing library of goat related information!)

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