Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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Pemphigus foliaceus or mites? Skin problems on young doe

Hi everyone,

I'm hoping some of you can help me figure out what's wrong with my young doe.  I have two mini lamanchas (75% nigerian) and one has been battling skin problems since last winter.  It started off with hair loss around her nose which I originally thought may be just from rubbing on the hay feeder.  By the time I realized just how bad it had gotten, her ears were affected and her neck as well and she had hair loss and a very unhealthy coat.  I don't have access to vets who specialize in caprine care, specifically, nearby (as far as I know) but I took her to the vet with the thought that it was sarcoptic mange.  The vet seemed to agree and I treated her subcutaneously with ivermectin, as well as her sister, who showed no symptoms.  My doe got marginally better but did still have issues with the quality of her coat throughout the winter and spring.  I have been bolusing her with copper, gave her zinc supplements regularly, she gets the locally available goat ration with BOSS, hay, a good quality loose mineral, and I bought replamin plus online and have been giving that to her weekly.  I got more ivermectin in early summer when it seemed that her coat was still yucky and her skin flaky and it was during this time that I really upped the supplementation. I've also been adding diatomaceous earth to her bedding in case there is anything living in there, but I have read that sarcoptic mange mites can't live very long off a host.

Despite having grown back a lovely coat, her skin has still been dandruffy and dry--but she looked a LOT better.  Last night while trimming her hooves, I noticed scabby lesions on her lower legs which she has obviously been rubbing and they are pretty raw.  Everything online says it sounds like mites, but can it still be mites when I keep treating her as prescribed? We moved out to a cottage for the summer as well so she changed location during her last treatment which I hoped would also break whatever cycle she has been in.  I also just saw tonight online some information about Pemphigus foliaceus, which seems to be an autoimmune skin disorder that (from the pictures) looks a lot like what she has been dealing with.  Does anyone have any information about this and how it can be treated?  Her sister looks gorgeous.  Beautiful coat, beautiful skin, no sign of any irritation or problem and they are clearly together constantly, sleeping against one another, sharing bedding, hay rack, etc.  I plan to treat the affected doe with SQ ivermectin AGAIN, and to coat her legs in bag balm until I see an improvement but I feel at a loss regarding her health and proper care.  I'm not sure what the best course of action is.  I haven't bred these does yet, but would like to in the coming year and I'm worried about her condition as well as just a poor immune system that could be passed on to the kids.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Unfortunately the answer is not always more supplementation. You can inadvertently throw off the balance of minerals, so I need some specifics.

On the copper supplementation -- how many grams have you given her and how often, and what does she weigh?

What is the mineral? Is it free choice 24/7?

What is the goat feed? If it's local, how much copper is in it? how much zinc?

Alfalfa or grass hay? How many hours per day on pasture? Any browse or mostly grass and weeds?

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