Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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Finally we are starting to get springlike weather! Getting ready for some shows soon at the end of May.  I have a 10 month old doeling I would like to show but I notice that she is losing hair and has scaly skin at the base of the ears and around the eyes. Scaly skin on the neck but not losing hair. I treated her with Ivermectin pour-on about a month ago. No other goats are having this problem. I would have thought that mites would have been killed by the pour on if that was the problem . Also, how could I get the hair to grow back and get rid of the scales pronto before the show?   Thanks!

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I was just reading somewhere... that the horse Mane and Tail products work really well... I think they said they used the spray on LIKE THIS
It could be that she had a reaction to the Ivermectin.  I have a doe with flaky skin that I think might be from previous Ivermectin use where she was before.  I will be using an herbal wormer, so will be watching her to see if it clears up.  I would think mites would be killed too?  Did you put the ivermectin in the places where she is scaly?  On the base of her ears?  Maybe it is unrelated?
I put the ivermectin on the back. I am thinking that I saw some of this problem starting last fall actually. Now that I am grooming her I can really see the scales. The skin is also thick and rough at the base of the ear and the ear itself. There is also hair loss and scales on her hocks. The hair on the body itself  looks wonderful. Tonight I brushed her and on the rough spots I took a wet wipe and tried to remove the scales. Maybe some ointment? I would love to give her a bath but still too cold around here. I dont know if mites would be killed unless they actually sucked the blood.
From what I have read online, that sounds just like how they described a lice/mite problem.  I have been going through this with one of my does.  She had a coat like a bear - really thick and heavy undercoat.  I had dosed her with the pour on Ivermectin every few months and would dose again when she started scratching again.  The vet told me last week, you have to dose again in 2 weeks because the eggs arent killed - only the hatched critters.  I bought diatemacous earth and sprinkled that around in the barn, bathed her (now I know what "lion taming" is like) and dosed her again.  I shaved her as best as I could also.  (first for her and me)  Vet told me to get some Horse Guard Hoof/Hair and give her 1/4 of the dose indicated for a horse.  I am giving her 1/4 c. scant - but I have to mix it up with raisins or dried cranberries (something sticky) otherwise the majority of it sits in the bottom of the grain feeder.  Of course, everyone that I wasnt going to share it with thinks it taste awesome.

You may know, I didnt, that you have to dose double what it says on the Ivermectin box.  I had always dosed 1 ml for every 22 lbs.  Now I dose 1 ml for every 10 lbs.  Maybe that is why I never got rid of them?  I only saw a crusty spot on her leg just above the hoof area - but her hair (all of it) on either side of her topline, neck fell out and if you grasped it gently with your fingertips, just came off in your hand.  The tail head area was really laden with dry skin and she didnt even want me to touch it .  The vet thought it looked suspiciously like a lice infestation even though we didnt see any bugs moving around.



If the flaky skin were all over her body, I'd say zinc deficiency. Hair loss on the face is typical of copper deficiency, so that's something to be considered.


Put some oil on them -- olive and sunflower are especially good for dry skin. And as far as the hair loss and showing -- goat are completely clipped (shaved) when shown, so as long as her skin looks good, you'll be fine. I've only had one goat with flaky skin, and even though in retrospect I think it was a zinc deficiency, my oil concoction took care of it. I also added some citronella and eucalyptus to the oil because the flies were feasting on that dead skin.

After a quick google search of zinc and sunflower, I know why my does don't have trouble with zinc deficiency. Apparently, sunflowers are a good source of zinc, so perhaps the reason that my buck's skin improved was because I put sunflower oil on his body, which treated the dry skin, as well as the zinc deficiency.
Its a fuzzy show so no clipping. I am going to Ivermectin again today and put the oil on it. Hopefully in a few weeks I can get improvement. They do get minerals though. I am suspecting the mite problem because I had a few animals that were foot stomping like last spring. Just dont have any hair loss except for her.

You really should not use ivermectin (or any dewormer) unless you know exactly what the problem is, because you could be wasting your money, and you are definitely moving towards dewormer resistance the more you use a particular chemical on your goats. Even though you might be using it for lice or mites, it is acting on the any internal parasites, and those that survive are dewormer resistant and will reproduce more dewormer resistant offspring, so if you're using ivermectin monthly, it really won't take very long to wind up with internal parasites on your farm that are all resistant to ivermectin. If you suspect mites, you can have a skin scraping done at the vet to confirm the problem -- or not. Foot stomping means nothing. Lots of goats do it, especially bucks or the more dominant does. They also do it if flies are bothering them. And mites and lice are not normally on legs. They tend to be on the body, neck, and head. Ten years ago people thought that they could give dewormers to be "better safe than sorry," but now we realize that overuse of dewormers causes the same problem as overuse of antibiotics -- widespread resistance, and they don't work when you really need them to work.


The worst thing about throwing drugs at an unknown problem is that you haven't fixed the real problem, which can ultimately cause the death of one or more goats. I lost a lot of goats to copper deficiency before I finally got a diagnosis on it, and I lost one buck to zinc deficiency before getting a diagnosis on that one. So, as I was throwing chemical dewormers at my goats, thinking they had parasite problems -- because that's what the vets kept telling me -- I created a dewormer resistance problem.

Deborah thanks for the info on the sunflower seeds I also have been having problems with bucks lossing hair but could not understand why my does were not but I feed the does sunflower seeds. I do not feed them to the bucks but is there any reason I could not start?

I don't know of any reason not to give sunflower seeds to bucks. In fact, I'm going to start doing it myself. In addition to rubbing down that buck last year with sunflower oil, I also started feeding him sunflower seeds because I'd heard it was good for the skin (but didn't know exactly why), but that probably explains why his skin condition totally cleared up.

Here is a link to nutritional info on sunflower seeds:

It says that a cup of sunflower seeds with hulls has 2.3 mg of zinc.

1 cc of MultiMin 90 contains 60 mg zinc, and the vet recommended .5 cc, which is 30 mg zinc for my bucks,

So if a buck consumes a cup of sunflower seeds on a weekly basis (2-3 tablespoons a day), they'll ultimately wind up consuming the same amount of zinc as if I injected them four times a years, which was what the vet recommended, which kind of freaked me out, because it also contains selenium and copper, which could be toxic in high doses, and I know someone who just lost three does after injecting them with MultiMin, so it took me a couple weeks to even get up the nerve to inject my bucks with it.

If you look at the nutritional data for sunflower seeds, they also contain a lot of Vit. E, which is good for your skin. They contain lots of other vitamins and minerals too, including copper and selenium. Keep in mind that you need to look at the weights of the nutrients and not the %DV, which are for humans who consume a 2,000 calorie diet.

Just got back from a long weekend, and realized that they used the mane and tail conditioner.

Rachel Whetzel said:

I was just reading somewhere... that the horse Mane and Tail products work really well... I think they said they used the spray on LIKE THIS

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