External parasites



Be sure to see WARNINGS at the bottom of the page!

External Parasites
Name Symptoms Treatment
Lice (Pediculosis) [4511] On surface, eggs easy to see on pieces of hair (low-power microscope); itching, irritation, rubbing, biting, rough coat, skin may be scaly, hair loss, lowered milk production, mostly in winter Malathion or methoxychlor on non-milking animals, 2 treatments 2 weeks apart; if stronger (Ivermectin, fenthion) remedies, watch for host-parasite reaction; spray or dust in late fall to prevent
Mange [4531] Mites burrow in skin, chorioptic type most common in goats (hind legs, scrotum, toes, brisket) Lime sulphur six times at 7 - 10 da intervals or Ivermectin pour-on.
Ticks [4601] Fairly easily identified, can get in ears of goats, may cause small sores that later contain secondary bacteria, transmit diseases to animals and man, rubbing, scratching, itching, biting Change patures, if in ears remove with wire loop; try methoxychlor, most remedies outlawed.
Flies [4615] Not usually a serious problem with goats Non-toxic fly strips are safest bet around milking goats; some powders are labeled safe for milking animals
Maggots, screwworms [4621] Rapidly spreading, wiggling, mass of fly larvae usually in moist areas or wounds or where soiled by diarrhea. Loss of condition. Screwworms: now rare in US, overlap like shingles. Always use insect repellents on serious injuries during fly season. If maggots are present, scrub area, use ronnel or lindane¹ as directed, but be sure NOT to keep milk.
Fleas [4761] Those little jumping things you see on your dog and cat. In theory, should not appear on goats since they are supposed to be host specific to dogs, cats, etc. More likely, you are seeing a form of goat lice. Irregardless, we did have them on goats once. Use Sevin®.
Mosquitoes Rarely bother goats, but if so can be very annoying. Clean up breeding sources. Use Mosquito Dunks® to kill larvae. Apply Bounce® fabric softener or Neet®
1 Do not use Lindane on young animals.


These are rough guidlines only, always read labels carefully and consult your vet if in doubt.

Never use any insecticide on any animal less than three months of age. The only exception to this is malathion which can be used very sparingly on those that are at least one month old.

Carbaryl (Sevin®): not more often than every 4 days.

Lindane: not recommended for lactating dairy animals. Do not use over 0.03% strength on any young animals.

Ronnel: not less than 2 weeks apart.

Malathion: never use on animals less than one month old.

Lime sulphur: if local irritation appears, bathe thoroughly with water but do NOT scrub with a brush

Final comment: Except for lice, goats are fairly free of external parasites in comparison with other animals. Since all insecticides are toxic to some degree, be sure that the remedy which you choose, either one of those listed above or some other product advocated by someone else, is not going to be of a greater risk to the animal than the parasite which you are supposedly fighting. Some of the newer preparations are extremely effective and also extremely toxic and can have very dangerous side effects.

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