Diseases of the Skin



For anyone who works with animals, some of the most difficult matters to deal with are the various problems that can affect the skin. This is as true for the experienced veterinarian as for the beginning goat raiser. The following list of diseases of the skin is far from exhaustive. We will merely try to cover some of the more common ones.

One can read and read various descriptions of what a specific ailment is supposed to look like and yet fail to identify it when it occurs in "real life." Even the best pictures never seem to look like that strange spot on Suzy Q’s side. Being aware of these limitations, we will try to use everyday terms that may be more helpful to the average goat raiser. Wherever possible, we will also try to emphasize other symptoms to look for that may make it easier to identify some of the diseases.

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It is also important to point out that in a large number of cases the specific causative organism is never identified. You may find that the term "dermatitis" is just a fancy word for some mysterious skin crud that you have just spent a lot of money to get diagnosed. There are literally thousands of causes of dermatitis. Many viral skin diseases just run their course irregardless of the heroic treatment efforts that are administered. Although it is important to try to recognize as many of the basic ailments as possible, you can, with a little practice, begin to get a sense for what remedies are apt to work when certain symptoms are presented or at least to be able to reduce the severity of the symptoms in order to make the animal more comfortable.

Some of the disorders described in this section are also covered in the section on Udder Care , because they are primarily diseases of the skin of the teats and udder.

Terms [3002]

General observations [3002]

Skin remedies [3003]



This fancy word simply means any skin disease; it should not be confused with dermatitis which means inflammation of the skin.

The following are some of the non-infectious causes of skin disorders. Very often a symptom appearing on the skin is only an indication of an underlying condition, which has to be discovered and treated before the skin symptoms will disappear. A little detective work will be needed to figure out exactly what you are dealing with. Fortunately, most of these are not life threatening. . .at least for a while. In addition, most of them will be accompanied by loss of hair (alopecia).

Nutritional deficiencies: vitamins, proteins, fats, minerals. Trace element deficiencies, such as zinc, can cause skin problems in goats
Disorders of internal organs: kidneys, liver, uterine infections
Poisoning: hyperkeratosis, rat poison, ergotism, mercury, iodine
Hormones: thyroid (hair loss, dry scaly, folded skin); pituitary (loss of hair in armpits [axilla], rib cage and abdomen); adrenal (skin changes); hypoinsulinism (diabetic itching). Fortunately, hormone problems, especially of the sex hormones, as not nearly as common in ruminants (like goats) as in dogs and cats

Acne (Pyoderma) [3091]

Allergies [3131]

Alopecia [3141]

Cancers [3003]

Dandruff [3191]

Dermatitis, general [3151]

Dermatitis, mycotic [3061]

Dermatitis, rhabditic [3121]

Photosensitization [3011]

Pox [3051]

Ringworm [3071]

Soremouth [3021]

Urticaria (Hives) [3171]

Warts [3081]

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