Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

I bought a new doe in milk back in July. She started coughing a few days after I got her and at fist I just thought it was because of the stress of joining a new herd. Unfortunately it kept up and got worse. Sometimes it is a dry cough and sometimes she coughs up mucus and has a runny nose. I normally use herbal wormer buy in this case I thought it might be lungworms so I dosed her with ivermec according to the instructions, every ten days for a total of 3 doses. The last dose was almost two weeks ago and she still hasn’t stopped coughing. My vet is no help because when I asked her about it she just asked me if I’d wormed her then shrugged it off. Should I be concerned? Is there something I can do? I feel so bad for her and can’t really find any helpful information online. Help!

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I'm curious how you know she's coughing up mucus rather than her cud. It's not that uncommon for kids to cough when they're learning that whole process of bringing up cud to rechew. It even happens to adults once in awhile. If she is chewing before or after coughing, this is probably what it is. 

As for stuff coming out of her nose, again I'm wondering if it's really mucus, or if that's just what you assume it is. Since you didn't have her as a kid, I'm wondering if she has a minor cleft palate. The reason I mention her being a kid is that she might have had milk coming out of her nose when she nursed, but depending upon the severity, might not have been too bad, and she learned to compensate for it.  You can check her palate but running your finger straight back in her mouth towards her throat. Stay away from her molars. :)

Here is more on the many causes of respiratory conditions:

https://thriftyhomesteader.com/respiratory-conditions/

I checked her palate and it felt normal. How much coughing would you consider normal for bringing up cud? She has fits of coughing that consist of 8-10 hard coughs and she throws her head down when she does it. Could it be environmental? I keep their pen clean but we have chickens nearby and I can only do so much about dust


Whenever I call the U of I vet clinic, it's usually inevitable that they'll say at some point in the conversation that they can't diagnose over the phone, so I need to bring in the goat. It's even more tough trying to figure out what is happening when it is described in writing. Environmental conditions can cause coughing. It is more likely caused by bringing up cud if you see that she is chewing as soon as the coughing fit ends. 

Ok well then I will just watch her for any other symptoms. So far thats all I’ve noticed and I’m around a lot so I feel like I’d catch it if she had any more. I read the article you linked and none of the things listed sounded like what I’ve observed. I’m pretty new to goats so I’m probably just overly concerned. My other goats just never cough as hard as she does so I thought something was wrong. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out

You're welcome! A vet professor told me many years ago that she had a hard time getting too excited about a goat if it was still eating, drinking, chewing its cud, and walking around. So, that's usually in the back of my mind when I see my goats acting weird or different. Sometimes different is bad, but sometimes it's just ... different. 

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