Goat Health Essentials: A Guide to Vaccinating and Deworming Goats
Maintaining the health and well-being of your goats is paramount to a successful and thriving herd. And vaccinating and deworming your goats can be a big part of your success!
Not everyone vaccinates their goats for CD/T, Pneumonia, or CL. Those are the vaccines you’d choose from if you’re considering and planning your vaccine schedule. The most common vaccine is the CD/T. You can find more specific information about this vaccine here: CD/T Vaccine for Goats.
Two components of goat health management are vaccination and deworming. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore these practices, the vaccines commonly used, deworming strategies, and the overall impact on the health and productivity of your goats.
My Goat Binder
My Goat Binder has everything you need for record keeping and one of the bonuses is a “Potential Vaccination Schedule and Injection Information Workbook”. Get this information in your hands, so you can get it printed out and always have it on hand in case of emergencies or power outages.
1. Understanding Vaccinations:
a. Disease Prevention:
Vaccination is a proactive measure to prevent the occurrence and spread of infectious diseases within your goat herd. Common diseases can have devastating effects if left unaddressed.
b. Herd Immunity:
Implementing a strategic vaccination program not only protects individual goats but also contributes to herd immunity. This is crucial for preventing disease outbreaks and minimizing the risk of transmission.
2. Common Goat Vaccines:
a. Clostridial And Tetanus Vaccine :
Enterotoxemia is caused by two strains of bacteria called Clostridium perfringens (type C + D). It’s also called overeating disease and can be very deadly to goats. Tetanus is also fatal to a goat.
Combination vaccines like CD/T protect against multiple clostridial strains and tetanus, providing comprehensive coverage.
b. Respiratory Vaccines:
For goats at risk of respiratory infections, vaccines like Pneumonia vaccines offer protection against prevalent pathogens.
Learn about Pneumonia here.
c. Other Vaccines:
CL is the term used for when the Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis bacteria enters into your goat through a lesion in the skin or through coming in contact with the pus from an abscess that has ruptured on another goat.
Learn more about CL here.
Before giving this vaccine, do as much research as possible to be sure it’s the right decision for you and your herd.
Depending on your region and specific herd needs, additional vaccines may be recommended. Consult with a veterinarian to tailor a vaccination plan that suits your goats’ unique requirements.
3. Key Considerations for Vaccination:
a. Age and Life Stage:
Vaccination protocols vary based on the age and life stage of goats. Kids, pregnant does, and adults have different vaccination requirements. Develop a schedule that addresses the specific needs of each group.
Please find the time of year that works in your schedule best, get them marked and added to My Goat Binder, and get them done. It doesn’t matter what time of year to give vaccines, it could be spring, summer, or fall. But do decide and then follow that regime along with the timing of the boosters each year. It will help you stay scheduled and prevent you from forgetting each year.
b. Timing and Boosters:
Adhere to recommended vaccination schedules, including booster shots. Proper timing ensures optimal immunity and reinforces protection against diseases over time.
4. The Significance of Deworming:
a. Internal Parasite Control:
Internal parasites, such as gastrointestinal worms, pose a significant threat to goat health. Deworming is essential to control parasite burdens and prevent conditions like anemia, weight loss, and poor overall health.
b. Resistance Management:
Frequent and indiscriminate use of dewormers can lead to the development of parasite resistance. Implement strategic deworming practices to manage resistance and preserve the efficacy of anthelmintic medications.
5. Choosing the Right Deworming Strategies:
Famacha is one way to monitor if your goats are struggling with a blood-sucking worm load. The barber pole worm can be the most devastating worm to any herd. By looking at the eyelids, you will be able to see if their eyelids are bright red. If they are a pale pink to white colored, you will want to immediately worm your goats and start an anemia protocol as laid out in My Goat Binder.
One drawback to this method is that it gives you an idea of how the goat is at that very moment. But it doesn’t take into account all of the worms that are hatching and will become a problem very shortly. A goat can look fine one day and take a drastic downturn the next because of this.
That’s why it’s very important to do a fecal egg count if the goat is not red to bright red.
b. Fecal Egg Count Monitoring:
Regularly monitor fecal egg counts to assess the level of internal parasite infestation. This helps in determining the necessity and timing of deworming treatments. You can buy your microscope and McMaster Slides to do these yourselves. Or you can ask your vet to do them for you.
You will find that some goats can handle a larger worm load than others and some will do very poorly even with a smaller worm load. This is where it will be very important to know your herd and each individual goat. Keep good records in My Goat Binder so you can look back and begin to see the trends that your goats display each year and react accordingly.
You will want to deworm your goats if the fecal egg count is anywhere above 250-500 fecal egg count. Again, it will depend on your goat. If unsure, asses the rest of your goat using the five-point check.
All of this information you can find in My Goat Binder.
c. Worm Correctly
If your goat’s fecal egg count is higher than it should be, it’s time to worm and worm correctly. By doing the fecal egg count, you now know what class of worm you’re dealing with, and can worm with the class of wormer that is effective against that worm.
Only after you have completed another fecal egg count ten days after worming will you know if the worming was effective. Never tell someone, “My goat can’t be sick from worms, because I just dewormed!” If you dewormed and then didn’t check to see if that deworming actually worked, then you’ve made a serious error.
You can find all of this information and more in My Parasite Control Plan Binder.
Also, note that coccidia is a protozoan and will not respond to dewormers.
d. Rotational Grazing:
Implement rotational grazing practices to reduce the risk of pasture contamination and limit the exposure of goats to parasite larvae.
6. Administering Vaccines and Dewormers:
a. Proper Administration:
Follow recommended administration guidelines for vaccines and dewormers. Correct dosages, administration routes, and proper handling ensure the effectiveness of these treatments.
Maintain accurate records of vaccinations and deworming treatments. This helps track individual goat health, ensures timely follow-ups, and aids in developing future health plans.
As mentioned getting My Goat Binder and My Parasite Control Plan in your hands is essential!
Conclusion of Vaccinating and Deworming Goats:
Vaccination and deworming are integral components of a comprehensive goat health management program. By prioritizing preventive measures, goat owners can safeguard the health and productivity of their herds. Collaborate with a veterinarian to design a customized vaccination and deworming plan that aligns with the specific needs of your goats, contributing to a robust and resilient herd. Regular monitoring, strategic planning, and attentive care will ultimately lead to a thriving and healthy goat enterprise.