balding goatgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
HELP!!! My shedding goat is now getting bald patches. She has scaley skin but no signs of lice, mite scabs, or infections. She is 4 years old and milking half gallon a day. She is not bred. I've got kids due in 2 weeks so it makes me nervous that something is not right in the barn. Her milk production has not dropped at all and she has no other signs of illness. She was a little thin but has put on some weight and I was told she looked normal when I had her looked at. Her appetite has really increased lately but that happens from time to time. I did some net research and learned that zinc and selenium deficiency can cause this. I have not been using Bo-Se. I have selenium tablets and I offer them to the goats occasionally, most of the time they are completely uninterested in them and occasionally they will eat one. I figured they will eat one if they need it. I offer free choice sheep/goat minerals as well. I talked with an old timer who has raised goats for years that Hoeggars refered me to. He says that this type of hair loss and balding will happen from time to time and it is nothing to worry about. He said her hair will grow back in about a month or so. I'd like to stop worrying as a result of this conversation but I can't. He says he is getting alot of questions about early shedding this year and it seems to be happening alot though he does not know why.
Still something does not seem right to me. None of my other goats are shedding much yet. The only real symptom she has is the scaly skin and balding. I have checked the skin of the other goats. Nothing!
One of my other does, Lila, gets this same scaly skin every spring. She also seems to get a few quarter size bald spots on her skin. I alwasy treated with an antifungal. I just guessed it might be fungal. I never had a skin sample tested. I can't say that the antifungal made a difference. The hair always grows back in a few months. THis seems to happen every spring with Lila. But I have never seen huge balding spots in any of my does before.
Any clues folks?
-- Tiffani Cappello (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 08, 2001
I would suggest that the 'old-timer' is correct. However, there is no harm in using an anti-fungal if you need 'just to do something.' It won't hurt her, and if it helps so much the better!
My dogs and rabbits are shedding early this year, too. The cat.... can't tell for all the fights he gets into LOL!! The rest of the babies are normal.... if one can consider anything in this house to be 'normal!"
-- Sue Diederich (email@example.com), March 08, 2001.
By the way, forgot to ask would mites be causing her to itch? She doesn't seem to be itching at all. Would mites be causing such rapid hair loss. Tiff
-- Tiffani Cappello (CAPPELLO@ALLTEL.NET), March 08, 2001.
I recommend taking in some skin scraping to your vet for them to look at. If they find a problem, they can provide a treatment.
-- Ken S. in WC TN (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 08, 2001.
I've never had a goat with bald patches before, but I have seen scaly patches. I'm not sure where you live, but around here we are deficient in selenium, iodine, and cobalt. I would try giving her a bo-se shot, and providing loose selenium salt free choice, and feeding kelp ( get this at the feed store not the health food store), and provide a coblat salt block. The cobalt blocks are a deep bue color. After I started with the cobalt block, my goats had noticeably nicer coats, healthier and glossier loking.
Some more ideas- is she wormy? I have one doe that had scaly, raised patches here and there. The spots were not big, maybe the size of a pinto bean. I applied tea tree oil to the spots twice a day and scrubbed the spots gently with the oil at each apllication. Within days the spots disappeared. It might also be that they just need a good brushing! Usually I've noticed that scaly flaky skin and lice go hand in hand, so check again to see if there are lice, parting the hair along the spine.
-- Rebekah (email@example.com), March 08, 2001.
I swear this sounds just like ringworm. Lack of vitamin A, found in green forage, can make animals more susceptible to it. This is common at this time of year because it's been a while since they had fresh forage. Micatin or another antifungal ointment will kill it. You can dilute them with water to a creamy consistency so they will actually get through what hair there is to the skin. Be sure to treat the skin around the patches that still has hair on it.
-- Laura Jensen (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 08, 2001.
OK folks - for an update - MOntana is dropping hair FAST! I suspect she will be completely bald by the time for my vet appointment next week. Somehow I have a feeling that mites nor fungus could cause her to lose hair so fast. If I have that bad of a nutrient deficiency in the barn, I would think that my other goats would show some signs. I am going to supplement her diet with kelp, selenium/vit E, and zinc. But I have to ask myself what is going on with this goat to cause such drastic nutrient deficiency if none of the other goats are exhibiting symptoms. It would seem that some malabsorbtion is going on here. She is on the thin side but is a heavy milker and not a big eater. THe vet I had out 2 weeks ago said she was looking fine and was actually an ideal weight. HMMM! I still think she is underweight although she is not a skeleton. Anyone know if internal absesses can cause this? Funny thing is that their is no reduction in milk supply - she has actually increased in production slightly.
I have a bad feeling I am going to have to cull this one and it is making me a little sad. She was my first goat and is my best milker. She is also the most gentle and friendly and my personal favorite. Gee - maybe I still have alot of city girl left in me?
-- Tiffani Cappello (email@example.com), March 09, 2001.
Hi, for what it is worth, did you worm her with something, that will also kill external parasites? Every spring we seem to get cases of the mange around here. It effects the cows, as well as the goats. It is a mite, but I never actually seen anything other then the bald spots. My milkcow, and some of my goats have it right now, and I will be giving everybody a shot of Ivomec soon. Not all the animals will have signs of this, some get it some don't. The hair will fall out fast, once it starts, leaving bigger and bigger patches bald. It does not seem to do anything to their milk-production or appetite. The Ivomec always worked for us, and the hair will gradually grow back. I would say it is worth the shot. If that doesn't help, then maybe you should cull her out. Karin
-- karin morey (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 2001.
I had already spoken privately with Tiffani, but here is something else. In Goat Medicine (Alopecia) Spontaneous hair loss.
"Nutritional deficiencies or imbalances (such as high calcium with low zinc) have also been incriminated. Partial alopecia is a nonspecific secondary lesion."
Under selenuim toxcicty you will also see alopecia, in fact in the whole chapter about Skin, you either loose hair or grow long hair, dependant upon the toxcicty or defficency. Perhaps a blood test and a skin scraping would be in order. If she is pulling all the calcium from her body through the milking, perhaps the zinc would work. Vicki
-- Vicki McGaugh TX (email@example.com), March 09, 2001.
UPDATE ON GOAT - Yikes it's mites!!! Gonna use Ivomec injectable. The vet gave me a couple shots so I don't have to spend $50 on a herd sized bottle for just a few goats. Thanks folks!
-- Tiffani cappello (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 12, 2001.