Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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Has anyone ever had a problem with hair loss and dry, flaky skin in their goats?

I've posted 6 pictures that I took today of my goat, Bella.  She has very dry, flaky skin and hair loss around her eyes, muzzle, on her face, top of her ears and white, crusty skin uner her tail.  At first I thought it was mange, from the symptoms(she has not been seen by a vet). I treated her with the Ivomec pour-on for cattle, 3 times, 10 days apart, dosage was 2 and 1/2 ml down the back.  Later, I found out this was not the best thing to do.  I ordered the COWP and gave it to her yesterday, thinking a copper deficiency.  I also read zinc deficiency has very similar symptoms as mange, but I don't know what to give for zinc deficiency.  If anyone has ever had the same experience with their goats, or has any suggestions, I'd appreciate your input.  Some of you have already given advice from earlier discussions on the worming rotation forum. Thank you.

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Black Oil Sunflower seed should help with selenium and zinc. Also keep in mind that some pour on wormers can make flaking and hair loss HAPPEN, so you might not be seeing the original source of these symptoms at this point.

Well, that could be true with the hair loss and dry, flakes on her back.  The other on her face, ears, etc. was there before I used the pour-on. Were you able to see the pictures, I don't think I've got them where everyone can see them. I see them when I go to MY PAGE. Let me know, thanks. Also, as far as BOSS, how much should I feed per day?
 
Rachel Whetzel said:

Black Oil Sunflower seed should help with selenium and zinc. Also keep in mind that some pour on wormers can make flaking and hair loss HAPPEN, so you might not be seeing the original source of these symptoms at this point.

I think most people feed in tsp amounts, but if you're trying to correct deficiencies, you may need more to start. I mix mine into the goat chow I feed at night. Just a small amount. About 1 c. for three does, and maybe 1/3 of that cup is sunflower. I'll see if I can see your pics. I didn't look earlier.

The pictures of her back look a lot like my does did after pour on wormer. It was hard to see any hair loss there... it looked like cashmere shedding in a couple of photos... but I'm not sure. I hope someone with a little more experience can help with ideas.

Yea, she definitely has hair loss on her back, the photo didn't turn out as well as I would have liked.
 
Rachel Whetzel said:

The pictures of her back look a lot like my does did after pour on wormer. It was hard to see any hair loss there... it looked like cashmere shedding in a couple of photos... but I'm not sure. I hope someone with a little more experience can help with ideas.

I had a doeling that was like that last year.  Even her ears were rough and scaley to the touch. I determined that it was probably mites and gave her Ivomec pour-on spaced a few weeks apart. I also fed her flax seed oil in capsules (some that I bought for myself and never used). It took awhile to clear up. I even rubbed baby oil onto her ears and wiped it off to clear up the scales. I also like the sunflower seeds. From the photos she really doesnt look too bad though.

In addition to the sunflower seeds -- I think I figured out that if you gave them the equivalent of a cup a week, that would equal the amount of zinc a human needs (so about 2 tablespoons a day) -- you can put sunflower oil on their skin. The oil also has a decent amount of zinc and vitamin E, and it is very good for the skin. I use it in my soaps and body oils for us humans. I had a buck a couple years ago who had a terrible problem with zinc deficiency and bad skin, and I only needed to do the oil on him for about a week to clear it up, along with feeding him the sunflower seeds.

I personally would never put baby oil on any living thing. It's a petroleum product and is not actually good for your skin. Calling it mineral oil makes it sound like it's good for you, but it's not. It is not nourishing, but it was originally used by dermatologist eons ago because it creates a waterproof barrier on your skin. Same deal with petroleum jelly, which is at least actually labeled correctly, but most people just read right over the "petroleum" part.

Hi Sheila---

I've had a similar problem, discussed earlier last week. In fact, I took my doe to the Vet, who did a scraping and a hair sample...and he was totally at a loss. Although the symptoms looked like mange ***but there was little, if any itching---which he consequently ruled out*** there was nothing....no mites, no mange, no ringworm, or variation thereof. He had NO idea what it could be---but ruled out what it  wasn't. His solution? Shampoo her "spots" (same as your doe's on the face, but mine had it on the back of her front legs, and not on her back). Then to apply an Anti-Fungal cream (that's a Vaginal Cream...go figure)...give her Anti-Biotic for 5 days, and a pour-on wormer (Which I didn't give). While doing his suggestions...I also have been giving her Pro-bios with an herbal immune stimulant mixed in. There didn't seem to be any improvement  with the cream...but I have also been using BlueKote on her legs and they haven't gotten worse. So that's good....I do have BOSS, so I'll try that as well as go find the Sunflower Oil. Its all been a Everything but the Kitchen Sink approach...

 Let me know how your doe is doing. I'll do the same. Surely we'll figure this out!!!! I'll be praying for us both :)

What about the thought that it might be a copper deficiency?  I gave my goats the COWP and have been feeding the sunflower seeds, which I already had.  I'm also giving Bella and another one of my goats the Immune ST from Molly's Herbals to try to get rid of a cough and upper respiratory symptoms in my wether, Spur.  I started the IST this past Sat.  

Time will tell, I guess.
 
J Maple said:

Hi Sheila---

I've had a similar problem, discussed earlier last week. In fact, I took my doe to the Vet, who did a scraping and a hair sample...and he was totally at a loss. Although the symptoms looked like mange ***but there was little, if any itching---which he consequently ruled out*** there was nothing....no mites, no mange, no ringworm, or variation thereof. He had NO idea what it could be---but ruled out what it  wasn't. His solution? Shampoo her "spots" (same as your doe's on the face, but mine had it on the back of her front legs, and not on her back). Then to apply an Anti-Fungal cream (that's a Vaginal Cream...go figure)...give her Anti-Biotic for 5 days, and a pour-on wormer (Which I didn't give). While doing his suggestions...I also have been giving her Pro-bios with an herbal immune stimulant mixed in. There didn't seem to be any improvement  with the cream...but I have also been using BlueKote on her legs and they haven't gotten worse. So that's good....I do have BOSS, so I'll try that as well as go find the Sunflower Oil. Its all been a Everything but the Kitchen Sink approach...

 Let me know how your doe is doing. I'll do the same. Surely we'll figure this out!!!! I'll be praying for us both :)

  • I agree with what Deborah has suggested.  I have seen this in a black and white ND/Nubian doe cross that I took care of for a year while the owner was out of town- extreme hair loss around the eyes, muzzles, ears and perineum, moderate hair loss down the back.   And browning of black hairs.  No diagnosis was ever made- no mites or lice- so I figured with that doe it had to be a nutritional issue as she was otherwise totally healthy.  For sure copper was on the top of my list, she got 2 grams of COWP.  Also, zinc def although I have never seen a confirmed case so not sure I know what it really looks like.  Feeding sunflower seeds as Deborah recommended will help with both zinc and selenium.  I give my own does some vit E capsules as needed (if I know copper is fine but if they are looking a little dry).  I give it a few times a week for a couple weeks on a triscuit.  Also some omega fatty acids- coconut oil is great!  Or camalina oil or meal.  Flax is good as well if fresh.  I also started offering free choice dicalcium phosphate (dicalphos) to my herd and I do think this has helped their dryness issues.  I do not force feed it, I offer it next to the other minerals.  I think it is particularly helpful for my herd since I don't feed alfalfa and their grass hay is lower in calcium.  They don't eat much of it, perhaps more seasonally in the summer when in milk.

FYI- as soon as the pasture grass came on that skin issue doe slicked out and was as glossy as any goat could be.  She has done much better with the above regimen over this past winter (owner back in town)- not nearly as dry, dull, flaky- but still had minor issues.  So, I wonder what it is in the fresh pasture grass that makes such a huge difference- maybe vitamin A?  More vit E?  More readily absorbed minerals due to fresh nutrients in the forage that act as cofactors?  Don't really know.  But I am convinced this issue is nutrition related and any potential parasitic, bacterial, or fungal issue is incidental (or perhaps promoted by the nutrient deficiency).  Just my two cents and, again, a general disclaimer that my ideas on this list pertain only to how I go about treating my herd and is not general medical advice!

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

In addition to the sunflower seeds -- I think I figured out that if you gave them the equivalent of a cup a week, that would equal the amount of zinc a human needs (so about 2 tablespoons a day) -- you can put sunflower oil on their skin. The oil also has a decent amount of zinc and vitamin E, and it is very good for the skin. I use it in my soaps and body oils for us humans. I had a buck a couple years ago who had a terrible problem with zinc deficiency and bad skin, and I only needed to do the oil on him for about a week to clear it up, along with feeding him the sunflower seeds.

I personally would never put baby oil on any living thing. It's a petroleum product and is not actually good for your skin. Calling it mineral oil makes it sound like it's good for you, but it's not. It is not nourishing, but it was originally used by dermatologist eons ago because it creates a waterproof barrier on your skin. Same deal with petroleum jelly, which is at least actually labeled correctly, but most people just read right over the "petroleum" part.

I love that we can all compare notes....I have given my girls COWP every 6 mos. Then Deborah had told me that it can be given more frequently. So, in this case, I re-bolused her last week...and the one before that was December. I've used the Immune herbs from Hoeggers...and am using another Immune enhancer from FirMeadows. So, we're on the same track. 

I have ADM Minerals out---free-choice, as well as Kelp (which they love). We also use CHaff-Haye (thanks to a recommendation from Jordana at Nigerian Meadows. They love it!!! )In addition, at night, they have Alfalfa to munch on...so I'm thinking their Calcium is probably OK. As far as the Pasture  reference, I'm wondering if its Nitrogen that is in the Spring grass??? And how does that apply?

I use BOSS for my milkers...so I can surely give some to this doe (she's a FF that may be in the 1st part of her pregnancy, which is why I was hesitant to do any further "chemical" treatment.

I have Bo-se---which I use on my does, and I could give her a shot of that????  Other than BOSS, how would I be able to supplement her diet w/ Zinc? 

I have the Coconut Oil, I could def do that...and the E...but am not familiar w/ Camalina Oil.

Thanks for the input...its nice to be able to know there are other people out there with the same problem...and how's the best way to go about it...the thought of Mange, or some lice/mite/parasite was awful...and it just didn't seem to "fit" the symptoms.

Blessings to you guys...thanks again, Jill

I was very interested to come across this forum and this thread in particular. My one year old Nigerian Dwarf wether (black with white spots) has had this very same problem (flaky, dry skin around the nose, eyes, ears and under the tail) for about the last 6 months (half of his life! poor thing...) a few months ago I took Edward to the vet, seeking some diagnosis... a skin scraping showed no evidence of mites. They concluded that he had Orf (although to me Edward's flaky dry skin looked nothing like the sores pictured online illustrating this condition.) They gave him an antibiotic shot and sent me home to watch him. His condition has been fairly stable over the last few months but in the last few weeks I've noticed a lot more thinning of the hair on his nose, down his back, and a bit on his front legs. I also noticed   dandruff down his back and on his legs in addition to the flaky skin on his nose, around his ears and by his tail. I saw no actual lice but some other goat folks I talked to thought it could be lice. I called the vet again and they said go ahead and treat for lice... but I've been hesitant to and unsure if that really is the problem.  Because I always prefer a natural approach, I've tried tea tree and peppermint oil rubbed on his spine and around his ears (it's almost impossible to get anything on his nose or butt!) I've also been feeding black oil sunflower seeds and nuts, thinking the oil might help hydrate the skin. His hair has a good texture overall, and he doesn't really seem to be that itchy. He does shake his head sometimes, so I thought maybe ear mites...? I'm just concerned that his condition doesn't seem to really improve, and now I fear it might be getting worse. Otherwise, his appetite and energy are good. I would just really like to see this skin condition improve. I've been hesitant to treat for lice because while Edward has some of the tell-tale symptoms, his pen-mate Harvey (2 year old, black NGD wether) has absolutely NO flaky skin. Isn't it unlikely that one goat would be afflicted with lice and not the other? I may go ahead and treat for lice, etc. with Ivermectin pour-on - although, I am concerned that this may lead to further hair-loss... I'm also considering the whole copper deficiency possibility. I have had the same experience as others here - vets seem very dismissive of any suggestion of vitamin/mineral deficiency.

Thanks for reading - I appreciate any thoughts or advice any of you may have. 

Here's a picture of Edward that shows a little of the thinning hair on his nose - I'll try to upload others soon.

Thanks!

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