Diarrhea in Goats

diarrhea in goats

It’s not unusual to see someone asking for advice on social media, simply saying that their goat has diarrhea. Unfortunately, that’s not an easy question to answer because there are a couple dozen possible causes. In the fourth edition of Diseases of the Goat, author John Matthews has a 28-page chapter entitled “Diarrhea,” which should give you an idea that this is not exactly a simple problem.

Broadly speaking, it can be caused by viruses, bacteria, protozoa, worms, stress, toxic substances, and diet. The following list is nowhere close to being complete, but it includes the most common causes of diarrhea.

Sudden change of diet

Many people refer to grain as “goat crack,” meaning that it is so addictive goats will eat it until they kill themselves. In our early years of goat ownership, our goats busted into the chicken grain more times than I can remember. Luckily the worst thing that ever happened to any of them was diarrhea for about twelve hours, which cleared up on its own.

Then there was the time that we had a LaMancha that produced so much milk, I couldn’t get her milked out fast enough, and she wound up consuming so much grain that she got diarrhea. (That’s when I started mixing in alfalfa pellets!)

And I’ll never forget the time that we were at a goat show and decided to let our bottle kids have as much milk as they wanted. That’s a super embarrassing way to discover that too much milk causes diarrhea. (We had no way to keep the milk cold, so we were going to have to dump whatever we didn’t use, so it seemed a better idea to just let the kids have it. Right? Wrong!) Here is more information on bottle-feeding baby goats.

Stress

The only time I ever had a goat get diarrhea from stress was when we picked up three kids in Massachusetts and were about half an hour into our drive home to Illinois. Did I mention that the kids were in dog crates in the car? Yeah, that was stinky.

It’s usually pretty obvious what’s happening if a goat is stressed out. Most do not suffer quietly when stressed, so you’ll have a good idea that the diarrhea is caused by stress.

Coccidiosis

The most common cause of diarrhea in goat kids more than 3 weeks old is coccidiosis. It is treated with over-the-counter oral meds. Amprolium (Corid) or sulfa drugs, such as sulfamethazine, sulfadimethoxine (Albon) are most commonly used once a day for five days. If you start treatment for coccidiosis, and you don’t see any improvement within a couple of days, you need to get a fecal to get a definitive diagnosis.

Other possibilities are giardia, clostridum, salmonella, and yersinia, and you can’t tell by looking at the poop with the naked eye. Although many people think coccidiosis is unavoidable, it can usually be prevented with good management.

If a kid gets diarrhea at less than three weeks, then it’s probably caused by either too much milk or an infection. I never say never, but it’s highly unusual for a kid to get too much milk when dam raised. It’s only happened here twice in 700 kids.

Most adults have coccidia in their digestive system and don’t have a problem with it, so diarrhea in adults is rarely caused by coccidiosis. You don’t usually see a problem with coccidiosis in adults unless the goat is already sick with something else and the stress of that illness has lowered their immune system. The only adult goat here that has ever been treated for coccidiosis was one that almost bled to death after kidding and spent a week at the vet hospital, so her immune system as obviously under a lot of stress.

Worms

Diarrhea in adult goats is really unusual, but one of the more common causes is worms, which can also cause diarrhea in kids. Barber pole, which causes anemia in goats, does not usually cause diarrhea. However, a goat may have more than one type of worm at a time.

Basically, a goat with worms may have diarrhea or anemia or both. Swelling under the jaw (bottle jaw) may also be a symptom of worms, as well as a poor body condition score.

There are several over-the-counter oral drugs available to treat worms, but like antibiotics, you should only use them when absolutely necessary in order to avoid dewormer resistance.

I’ve heard far too many people assume their goat can’t have worms because they recently treated with a dewormer. However, if they use a dewormer frequently, the worms could be resistant to the dewormer. This topic is definitely opening up a proverbial can of worms because I’ve written several blog posts about worms, including this one about preventing parasites.

 

diarrhea in goats

 

Other causes

At the ADGA conference in 2017, I picked up a couple of interesting tidbits, such as heating colostrum above 135 degrees will cause diarrhea in kids, and some drugs can cause diarrhea. In addition to that, there are the 28 pages of diarrhea information in the book I mentioned earlier.

Because diarrhea can kill goats, especially kids, by dehydrating them, it’s important to figure out what is causing the diarrhea and begin treatment as soon as possible to treat the actual cause — not just the symptom.

Treatment

diarrhea in goatsI have never given my goats any type of anti-diarrhea medication because they don’t do anything to address the cause of the diarrhea. Just because the diarrhea stops does not mean that you’ve cured the goat. If a goat ate something that disagreed with it, the diarrhea will stop even if you do nothing.

If a goat has some type of infection or medical condition that needs to be treated, then the goat needs to be treated for that problem.

If a goat seems otherwise healthy and happy and is in great body condition, I will usually wait to see if the diarrhea has stopped by the next morning. If not, I look at other symptoms and treat for coccidiosis or worms. In my herd, that has always done the trick.

However, if I had a goat that did not improve with treatment, I would take a fecal sample to the vet to get a definitive diagnosis so the goat could be properly treated.

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144 thoughts on “Diarrhea in Goats”

  1. Thanks. I have an old goat and she seems to get dia quiet frequently. She seems happy and healthy, though. I will drench her and see what happens. I thought the cause could be the dewy grass.

    Reply
  2. Hi! So I have a Nigerian dwarf nanny goat that’s overcoming Listeriosis. Shes eating hay on her own, we’ve started her back on her minerals as well. Shes been getting baking soda even when I had to stick it in her mouth. I was giving her soaked alfalfa cubes when she got to where she could eat again. I’ve back off on that because her poop has gone from normal to playdough to pasty. Can you suggest anything?

    Reply
    • You should not be forcing baking soda on the goat. She will consume as much or as little as she needs. If she is not eating any grain, then she probably does not need any baking soda at all. Alfalfa will not cause a goat to have weird poop, regardless of whether it’s long-stem hay, cubes, or pellets. Having a bout with listeriosis obviously stressed her and could have caused her to get an overload of an internal parasite such as coccidia or worms. Healthy adults almost never have a problem with coccidia, so I’d normally just assume worms, but when they get stressed by an illness, coccidiosis is often a secondary problem. It would be best to take a fecal to the vet to see what you’re dealing with. Coccidiosis and a worm overload require different treatment.

      Reply
  3. I recently purchased two Does and a Buck. The Does are eating alfalfa and grain and won’t take a bottle. The buck is tiny and he has diarrhea. I spoke to the vet tech at my vets office and he said not to give electrolytes, just continue bottle feeding , even though she has diarrhea and is urinating she’s not dehydrated. Shouldn’t I go the electrolyte route and not bottle feed for a day to see if the diarrhea stops? Before I submit a stool sample? He is just a month old and recently weaned from his mom?!?

    Reply
    • A one-month-old goat should NOT be weaned, so I really hope the kids refusing a bottle are at least two months old. They need milk because there is nothing they can consume that has the protein and calcium that milk does, and dam’s milk also has antibodies in it to keep kids healthy. If a three-week-old (or older kid) has diarrhea, it is usually coccidiosis. The diarrhea will not stop if you feed electrolytes. A kid that age in such an unfortunate situation (being taken away from his mother too young) needs to be evaluated and/or treated right away. I’m concerned that a vet tech would not either advise you to bring in a stool sample OR to begin treatment for coccidiosis immediately, although I’m glad he told you to continue bottle-feeding. The stress of being taken away from his mom and started on a bottle can cause the coccidia to increase rapidly and cause diarrhea, so what you’re describing is far too common.

      Here is more information about preventing coccidiosis in the future: https://thriftyhomesteader.com/preventing-coccidiosis/

      Reply
  4. Hi we have a Doe who keeps getting bright green (looks like alfalfa or the grass they are eating) D. It clears up then it comes back. She is in great health, great body score, milk production is up. They get free range grass, alfalfa hay, and a dairy mix on the stand. She does not get too much grain per weight and milk output. I have had decals run… ugh. We will do another tomorrow. I have combed thru the pen getting rid of anything toxic . She also has loose mineral and baking soda free choice. Any thoughts?

    Reply
    • If she is otherwise in great condition, and if this is sporadic, it sounds like she is eating something that is causing it. I’d be trying to figure out a correlation between what she’s eating and when the diarrhea is happening.

      Reply
  5. Hi my goat is 2 years old. She lost some weight and now have diarrhea, she kind of hide but she is drinking water. I’m giving her colloidal silver and cbe drops. This just start today, any recommendations?? Thanks

    Reply
    • As I mentioned in the post, there are a couple dozen reasons a goat can have diarrhea, especially adults, so you probably need a vet to make a diagnosis based upon a fecal. The things you are giving her won’t help. If your goat was losing weight before she diarrhea, it could be parasite related.

      Reply
    • Hi, I have a young doe about 6 months old that has had diarrhea ever since we got her. We’ve run a fecal and treated her with a prescription dewormer but the vets are stumped. Her bloodwork came back very poor, she is so anemic that the vets were amazed she is still standing. But she still gets around and eats, is just lethargic and skinny and still has diarrhea. Shes been treated for coccidia, so at this point we are at a loss. Shes such a sweet goat, it’s sad not knowing what to do to help her. The other confusing thing is that her sister, who we picked up at the same time from the same place, and who has always been around and bedded with her, is very healthy.
      Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

      Reply
  6. A week ago, we brought home 4 Nigerian Dwarf doelings, now 10 and 12 weeks old. One baby’s feces is pasty, log-shaped, like dog feces and it is now a bit runny. Vet did a wellness exam days before I noticed the feces, she did not do a fecal test but suggested then we treat for coccidiosis. I am now not hearing back from her and not sure what to do. Questions: Is it ok to just treat without a sample test? #2 If so, can I just get the medicine over the counter, and how is it dosed? 3# Is coccidosis contagious?

    Reply
    • Coccidiosis would be my first bet, especially since the vet told you to treat for it. If the kids’ body condition was not ideal, she may have suspected that they had a low level brewing, which would grow quickly from the stress of moving to a new home. There are several drugs available for coccidiosis (liquid or powder that is mixed with water, which I personally hate because it is insanely dilute), and they all have different dosages. If the vet told you to treat for it, hopefully she gave you a recommendation for the meds and the dosage. Also, since you only have four, it might be better if you just got enough from her to treat the four kids. These drugs are sold is large quantities in farm supply stores.

      I prefer the liquid sulfa drugs because they treat bacterial causes of diarrhea in addition to coccidia, which is a protozoa. Corid works well, but it only treats coccidiosis.

      Yes, coccidiosis is very contagious, which is why some people recommend just treating all the kids in a particular group. That may be what you will need to do in this situation. However, that is NOT a good long-term strategy if you become a breeder. Here is more info on coccidiosis — https://thriftyhomesteader.com/preventing-coccidiosis/

      Reply
  7. I have a 5 month old fainter. I got her on October 7th. She’s had diarrhea now going on two weeks. It started with looking like dog pooh for about a week and now this past week its gotten more runny. I assumed it was stress caused because she was still adjusting to a new environment, her mother was sold the day before I picked her up, she’s on different food from what they fed her, the weather shifted significantly a week after we got her….etc. She still eats the same, drinks the same, interacts with us and the other animals the same and aside from her winter coat coming in, her fur is normal. Since it didn’t seem to improve I checked her famacha two days ago and it was at a 5! I immediately began red cell, vit b injections, electrolytes, two different types of wormers, and nutri drench. (I don’t know if it matters, but since I got her she’s been drinking water with acv and molasses as the former owner said she was one of his pickier goats that refused water unless it was mixed that way. ) What’s weird to me is that at a 5, she’s still acting the same. If she hadn’t had scours I would never have thought anything wrong with her. If it was coccidiosis, wouldn’t she be down by now? Are there any other causes of both anemia and scours? Also, I would take a fecal sample to a vet but my closest one that will have anything to do with farm animals is 3 hours away.

    Reply
    • As prey animals, goats do their very best to hide it when they don’t feel well, so it’s not that unusual for someone to walk outside one morning and find a dead goat. None of that stuff you are giving her is going to help her much if you don’t actually treat the cause of the diarrhea. Most worms don’t cause diarrhea. It is quite common for kids to have a big bloom of coccidia when they become stressed — such as after going to a new home. The life cycle of coccidia is 3 weeks, so the timing on this looks like coccidiosis. A sulfa drug is a good option for treatment, because it is also treats bacterial causes of diarrhea, in addition to coccidiosis. You can buy them online or at local farm supply stores.

      Reply
  8. Advise needed, I just got a 1 yo wether, from a “clean” herd. I have 3 Nigerians already that I know are clean. After them being together for 4 days 2 of my 3 have diarrhea. Still acting fine, eating, drinking etc. Could the new goat have brought something in and it acted that fast? Could it be stress from the newbie, these are the only 2 that seem to care? 2 days ago these 2 goats were eating chicken feed, but caught them within minutes, could it be that? Thank you for any advice given!

    Reply
    • It could be something bacterial or viral that the new goat brought in. Stress usually causes problems in the goat that was just moved — not the other goats. Coccidia has a 3-week lifecycle, so if that’s it, it was not brought in by the new guy — or maybe he does have it, but it would not affect your goats that fast. If goats get into the chicken feed, they will have diarrhea within a few hours at the most, and it will be gone within about 12 hours.

      Reply
      • Okay i just got a 13 week old Nigerian dwarf male sunday may 28th 2020. i noticed last night his stool was softening. This morning i noticed it was no longer solid. I don’t have the money to take him to the vet. He was given his CD&T and wormer when i picked him up. I can afford electrolytes but not much more than than what are some cheap ways to cure it.

        Reply
        • Coccidiosis is the most likely culprit in a kid this age. You can use Corid to treat it — the five days dosage listed on the bottle — which is available in most farm stores.

          Reply
          • No. In fact, you should NOT give B vitamins while giving Corid. If you do, the Corid will not work. Corid kills the coccidia by depleting their thiamine. The good news is that coccidia need a LOT more thiamine than goats, so it is possible to deplete the coccidia’s thiamine enough to kill them without hurting the goat. But that means you must follow directions carefully and not overdose. Also, ONLY use it for five days for treatment. Do NOT use it as a preventative for 21 days. If you really want to give thiamine AFTER the 5-day treatment is done, you can, but a healthy goat should not need it.

            If you need a preventative, it’s better to use a medicated feed, which interferes with the coccidia’s ability to reproduce — and that’s what causes the problem anyway — rapid reproduction of the coccidia when a kid gets stressed, such as during weaning. All goats have coccidia, and a healthy goat has no problem co-existing with them.

  9. Can pregnant does have baking soda? What other recommendations as far as supplements? We have two Nubians and are very brand new to goats. They are both pregnant.

    Reply
    • Hi, I just brought home two 8 week old babies. They were supposed to be weaned but were still with mom when I picked them up. I’m feeding them alfalfa , which they love and thought I’d try a bottle last night since I read that they should still be getting milk and that I could use whole cows milk. One took a bottle and the other didn’t, today the one that took the bottle has diarrhea. Could it be the milk? Or the alfalfa?

      Reply
      • Alfalfa doesn’t cause diarrhea. It is most likely the milk since they’ve never had cow milk. Usually if you are going to feed cow milk, you mix it with goat milk first and switch them gradually. Also, you didn’t say how much you gave him in the bottle, but too much milk at one time can also cause diarrhea, even if it’s goat milk. They should not consume more than 10% of their body weight in a single bottle at two months. If it was the milk, the diarrhea should clear up within a few hours. If it continues for more than 24 hours, it could be caused by something else, such as coccidiosis.

        Reply
  10. Hi. I have just a small problem going on here. I have 2 babes that were raised indoors and now after almost 2 months outside they have horrible poops. I have given them pepto bismol and hemostam n electrolytes. Its day 4 they are kinda getting better but not great. I would like some other advice on what to do for them

    Reply
    • Pepto Bismol cures nothing and can simply cover up a very important symptom. If they are in a pasture with other goats, they have probably picked up coccidia and now have coccidiosis, which is usually treated with sulfa drugs. If there have never been any sheep or goats in the pasture other than them, and they have never been in contact with other sheep or goats, then you will probably need to get a fecal to figure out what it is. However, in addition to treating coccidiosis, sulfa drugs also kill some bacterial infections, so it could work for that too.

      Reply
  11. Hi, thank you for this article! I have a bit of a problem and need some advice. I have a friend who’s goat gave birth but died shortly after. They started raising the baby and gave it goat formula (powder from mannapro). Along with that, they were feeding him 8oz of it(Goat is currently two weeks old). It started having bad diarrhea and ever since then, things have been going downhill. He was taken to the vet and was given shots, which I’m assuming were fluids, and they did not find any illness on him but prescribed cornstarch (I’m not sure what the cornstarch is for exactly). When my friend dropped the goat off at our house, it seemed lethargic and its whole backside was covered in diarrhea. I suspect it was the enormous amount of milk and the fact that it was powder. The color of the diarrhea is moss green and it’s almost…bubbly?! His nose is wet but it might be because he is drinking water from a flower pot (I didn’t put it there for him haha). I have been feeding him purely electrolyte water(4oz) every 4 hours to hopefully flush out the milk. It’s been two days and still diarrhea. The first day I did 4 oz of formula milk (buttermilk, whole milk, and evaporated) along with 4oz of the water in between but today I am purely doing the water in place of the milk. Today he is SO loud and sniffing around which is a better sign. I just need to know what to do. His breed seems like a Boer mix or something of that sort and when I weighed him last he was 6.25 lb. Thank you!

    Reply
    • I’m sorry I just saw this question. I’m sure things have changed dramatically by now, for better or worse. Do you have an update now?

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    • Had y’all ever found out what was wrong with the baby goat. I’m having the same problems with my baby goat having diarrhea.

      Thanks

      Reply
      • There are dozens of possible causes of diarrhea. Can you be more specific about what’s happening with your kid? I hope you are not feeding electrolytes and avoiding milk. What type of milk are you feeding? Milk replacer? Cow milk? Goat milk? How much? Although too much milk can cause diarrhea, you do NOT need to stop giving all milk. You just need to give the correct amount. Diarrhea from too much milk one day won’t kill a kid, but starvation from lack of milk will.

        Reply
  12. Hello, I have a FF Alpine Nubian, she is Two. Had babies April 20, 13 days ago. Just today, milking her, I noticed her tail is very messy like she has diarrhea. She gets grain during milking and otherwise grazes. What is most likely wrong, and how long should I give it before I take action? I was leaning toward worming the herd (6 goats total) since we haven’t in a while. Any ideas?

    Reply
    • It does sound like she has a worm overload and could benefit from a dewormer. However, do NOT give a dewormer to the other goats. Current research says that you should ONLY use a dewormer when it is absolutely necessary. The more you use a dewormer, the closer you come to dewormer resistance. You wouldn’t just give all of your goats an antibiotic every few months because you know that it can lead to antibiotic resistance. It’s the same thing with the dewormers. There are only three classes of dewormers in this country, so it only takes a few years to wind up in a situation where none of them work in your herd. Here is more info on that — https://thriftyhomesteader.com/dewormer-resistance-in-goats/

      Reply
      • Thanks for responding so quickly! I gave her Ivomec, 2 ml. My husband says she’s about 140 lb. I am very confused by milk withdrawal charts that I have seen. How long would you recommend? Also, we have Red Cell. Should I give her some?

        Reply
        • Hopefully you gave her the ivomec orally. One reason you see different milk withdrawal times is because it depends on whether it was given orally or injected. If you injected it, the milk withdrawal is 40 days! If you gave it orally, it’s 9 days. This is one reason you should never inject dewormers in goats. The other reason is because it stays in their system for so long, but it gets weaker over the weeks, meaning that you will wind up with a lot of worms that become resistant to it because they are exposed to it at a low level that they can survive (and then they reproduce and have baby worms that are resistant to that dewormer).

          I have never worked with a vet that recommended Red Cell, not even at the university, and goats actually do recover very quickly if you use a dewormer that kills the worms. Plus the only worm that is a blood sucker is haemonchus contortus (barber pole), and diarrhea is usually caused by one of the other roundworms. Anemia is the prevailing symptom of barber pole, but even then, given an effective dewormer, the goats improve within 24-48 hours of treating them.

          Reply
  13. I have an almost two week old fullblood boer doeling whose being bottle fed due to her mother rejecting her shortly after birth. She has had diarrhea, but other than that she is extremely loud, happy, and playful. I’m currently bottle feeding Does Match every 4 or so hours, because it was recommended to me by an experienced breeder. This is my first time bottle feeding, so I’m sure her diarrhea is a mistake on my behalf. Any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated..!

    Reply
  14. Hi I have two 6 week old Nigerian dwarf bucklings. They are currently bottle fed. About a week and a half ago one started acting very lethargic and low energy and not wanting to take the bottle, he will only drink about 3 oz. His brother is eager for the bottle at every feeding. he also started having diarrhea 2 days ago. I spoke with my mentor and she recommended I get Red Cell and give 3cc orally 1x a day until he gets better along with vit B. I have also treated for Cocci with Baycox (he had all the signs and fecal tested positive). How long after I have treated for Cocci should I see a difference in him? I am worried and need to know if there is anything else I can do?

    Reply
    • If you’ve treated with the correct treatment, you should see improvement within 24 to 48 hours. The correct drug is the only thing that will save him. If you don’t see an improvement, there could be something else going on. That’s why I prefer a sulfa drug for coccidiosis — that also treats bacterial infections. Baycox will only help if it is just coccidiosis.

      Reply
  15. Hi,
    We have 4 kid goats that we weaned off milk, when they were a month old. They are eating grass from our pasture. We just noticed that 2 of the kid goats have diarrhea today. They also got bloated last week, so we gave them baking soda, and that helped. Do you think the kids have coccidiosis? And if the kids do have coccidiosis, is there any natural way to cure that?

    Reply
    • A month is far too early to wean kids from milk. They need it for a minimum of 2 months. Because I want my kids to be as healthy as possible, I give it to them for 4-6 months. The fact that they can eat food is not relevant. They start eating food when they are only a few days old, but they still need the protein and calcium that is in milk, because it is at a high level that you can’t get in any other food without giving them diarrhea. Raw goat milk is best because it has the natural antibodies in it that protect kids from things like coccidiosis. Grass only is NOT enough for the kids to thrive because it does not have enough protein or calcium. They need good green alfalfa hay and milk, as well as a good goat grain, such as Purina Goat Chow or Dumor Sweet Goat Feed. Whole cow milk or a goat-specific milk replacer will work equally well if you don’t have access to fresh raw goat milk. They only need the grain and alfalfa until they’re about six months old when their growth slows down.

      They may have coccidiosis because their nutritional level is so low that their immune system is weakened. I have never found a reliable way to treat coccidiosis without drugs. Five days of sulfa drugs or Corid given orally works well. Those drugs are available at your local farm store.

      Reply
    • That is most likely coccidiosis, although the only way to know for sure is to take a fecal sample to the vet. Sulfa drugs, which are available at local farm stores, are a common remedy, but if the diarrhea doesn’t go away within a couple days of using it, you should take a fecal to the vet for a definitive diagnosis.

      Reply
  16. Hello,
    I am hoping you can help me. I am bottle feeding a very small, possible runt pygmy goat. The breeder provided me with a large can of Nestle brand “Nido Fortificado” human baby formula. I was told to mix 6 tablespoons in 8 ounces of warm water and give it to my kid every 4 hours. I fed every 4 – 6 hours except at night, when I slept, he went about 8 hours until morning feeding. William has alfalfa to nibble on. At first, his stools were normal pellets, but two days ago they started to get like soft “turds” (sorry). I thought he may do better on actual goat milk, so I began mixing Meyenburg brand Goat milk powder into his Nido formula to ease him into the change. It transitioned him onto straight goat milk powder after a couple of days and he loved it. Yesterday, he browsed on some vegetation in the yard and then the diarrhea began. It is moss green, like Miriam’s goat. It doesn’t squirt out, but dribbles.
    Help! What have I done wrong?
    My question, is Goat milk from the grocery store better for kids than prepared human baby formula? Goat milk is fortified with folic acid and vitamin D. Is Folic acid safe for kids? Please help me! I am worried sick. Should I keep him on Goat milk powder and not give him anything else? Should I let him nibble on vegetation in the yard when he goes out to potty? He so small, I keep him in the house so birds of prey won’t get him. He is as small as my Chihuahuas. I am sure in my attempt to mother him, I have upset his digestive system. Will yogurt or probiotics help? I await your reply. Thanking you in advance.
    Pati

    Reply
    • Baby goats should definitely not be given human baby formula, which is made to be similar to human milk, which is nothing like goat milk. Goat milk is a better choice or whole cow milk. The most common cause of diarrhea is a very young bottle baby is too much milk, and it sounds like you are giving him too much. What does he weigh, and how much are you giving him total in 24 hours?

      Reply
      • Oh, thank you for your prompt reply. I will have to weigh him.
        So, the best thing to give him would be the store bought Meyenburg brand, Goat milk, fresh or powdered or evaporated, diluted to proper mix per directions? I had a hunch the directions were to much, too often. I will cut back and put him on goat milk, since I don’t have momma’s milk for him.
        I will respond with his weight asap. I am grateful for your input.
        Kind regards,
        Pati & William E. Goat.

        Reply
          • William weighs 8 lbs.
            I withheld his bedtime bottle last night, and this morning his stools were firming up quite a lot. He has alfalfa and water to nibble on all the time.
            Thank you for the link.
            Again, I am so grateful for your help and knowledge.
            Kind regards,
            Pati & William

          • Reducing the number of bottles is not usually the answer. They tend to get diarrhea if they are getting too much milk in each bottle, so you probably need to reduce the amount of milk he is getting in each bottle but continue giving him 3 to 4 bottles per day. You haven’t said how much he weighs, but he should not be getting more than 20% of his body weight in 24 hours. If he is the size of a chihuahua, it sounds like you are giving him a lot more than that. That is also quite small for a two month old, so he needs to continue getting a bottle until he weighs at least 20 pounds.

  17. I have an almost 2 month old pygmy that came down with diarrhea 4 days ago. He has had 3 doses of corid so far, should I have seen improvement by now or should I finish the last 2 doses and then take a fecal to the vet if there is still no improvement?

    Reply
    • You do normally see an improvement by now. If he seems weak, I’d take a fecal to the vet right away. If he seems okay other than the diarrhea, you could wait another day. One advantage of sulfa drugs over Corid is that they also fight bacterial infections.

      Reply
  18. His stool seems harder today and he’s acting more like himself so I might see how the next 2 days go. Thanks for your response!

    Reply
  19. Hi! I had a doe give birth to triplets yesterday. They all got up and I made sure each nursed almost immediately. Now, less than 24 hours later, 2 of the 3 have horrible watery, runny yellow poo. They seem weak and lethargic. I immediately started an electrolyte mix of water, corn syrup, salt & baking soda. Any idea what could be the cause so I can treat it? I worked mom 2 weeks ago, and wormed her again today.

    Reply
    • Please, no corn syrup for baby goats or electrolytes or any of the other stuff. That could be why they are not looking good now. You may have actually thrown off their sodium. Hopefully you didn’t get much of that into them. If they were sleeping a lot before you gave it to them, it’s just what baby goats do the first couple of days — eat and sleep.

      The poop sounds pretty normal. Baby goat poop normally looks like yellow scrambled eggs. If it looks like someone squirted mustard all over their back end, they are just getting too much milk, so you need to milk out the doe. Some does will freshen with so much milk that the kids can’t really consume it all, but they will certainly try, especially if the mama is really patient. Usually milking her out completely will do the trick. There is nothing wrong with them. Please no more sodium or corn syrup. That’s very hard on the system of a newborn.

      Reply
      • This by no means normal poop. This is pure water with a little yellow tinge. They were almost dead when I got home to check on them. They are unable to stand and nurse on their own. The first thing I did was milk mom and try to get even a touch of milk in them. They were very obviously severely dehydrated which is why I gave them electrolytes. The electrolytes had nothing to do with the initial issue. My question is, can newborns contract worms through milk? And if so, and I dewormed mom, will they also absorb the dewormer?

        Reply
        • Newborns do not have worms. They cannot get worms through milk. Based upon the life cycle of worms, they would not get diarrhea from worms until they are at least a few weeks old. And if they get it then, they would not get a therapeutic dose of dewormer through the mom’s milk. There is dewormer in the doe’s milk, but it is not a therapeutic dose.

          If this is not caused by too much milk, it would be some type of infection, which would be anybody’s guess, depending upon the conditions surrounding the birth. It is highly unusual for a kid to get some type of infection at birth, but it’s not impossible. You might check their temperature to see if it’s above 102.

          Reply
  20. I have 3Nubian goats 8 weeks old. They were in dry pens fed some alfalfa and grass hay. They. Live in our side. Grass some pyracantha bushes. All are thriving, but this morning diareaha and again after about 8 hrs. Later but only 1 goats with messy behind. Could it be change diet and surroundings.

    Reply
    • If they get diarrhea just once like that, it’s usually because they ate something that upset their digestive system. If one goat is having it off and on, could be that she’s not figuring it out. Goats are usually pretty smart about that sort of things — except with grain. They never learn that too much grain makes them sick.

      Reply
  21. Thank you for this article. I have a 14 month old Nubian who had some diarrhea this morning at 9 and when I checked in her at 6pm had a lot more all over her back area. She seems otherwise healthy, pink eyelids, though has always been slightly thin. I have two other goats with her who are not having diarrhea. I moved them from a primarily grass pasture to a more shrub and brush pasture yesterday, but they were on that a week earlier too, so not much different diet. It has also been pretty hot lately. Any advice for when I check in her in the morning? I’ll try to get a fecal sample but not sure I can drop it off at the vets tomorrow.

    Reply
    • If you got a fecal sample today, you need to keep it refrigerated or the eggs will hatch before you get it to the vet, and it will show nothing. This is why I always remind people that a fecal can confirm worms but it can’t rule them out. If you do anything wrong with a fecal sample, you will get a negative result that doesn’t mean anything. Fecal samples must be fresh. Whenever someone says their vet saw nothing on the fecal, I am suspicious because there should be SOME eggs in there if it’s done correctly.

      Moving them back to a pasture they were on a week ago is a bad idea because worm eggs are hatching, so that grass is covered in worm larvae now. You should wait at least six weeks before moving goats back onto pasture — longer if it’s raining a lot like it is right now in so many areas. Larvae can live on pasture a really long time if it’s wet.

      Reply
  22. I have four 8 week old Nubians. I got home from running errands tonight and 2 of them had green diarrhea. They seem ok otherwise, I think. They are dam raised, but we recently opened a new area for them to browse. The 2 that have diarrhea are siblings. Their mom doesn’t have any symptoms. I don’t want to immediately jump to coccidiosis; that scares me. Could it be something they might have eaten or too much rich browse? How long should I watch them to see if it clears up? What do you suggest I do? We have an organic homestead, so I would like to avoid drugs, if possible. That being said, I’m not going to let them die if that’s what they need.

    Reply
    • If they seem otherwise okay, I usually wait 24 hours. If it was just something they ate, it clears up by then.

      Coccidia really is not scary. It’s in the gut of most adults, and it doesn’t bother them because they’re mostly immune to it, so I would not expect the dam to have a problem, even if the kids do. The only time coccidia turns into coccidiosis in adults is if they’re already sick with something else. Here is more on that — https://thriftyhomesteader.com/preventing-coccidiosis/

      Reply
  23. I have a 2 month old pygmy bottle baby. She started running a fever of 105.7 about a week ago. We took her to the vet and they gave her antibiotics incase it was pneumonia and fever reducer, she seemed better that night. The next couple days she didn’t really want her bottle and started with fever again so we took her back to the vet. They checked her pooped because it was pasty and runny and he said no coccidious. He gave another shot antibiotics and fever reducer and b12. She seemed better for a day and now she’s running a fever again and not taking much of her bottle. Her poop is kinda runny and pasty. She hasn’t been down but not her usual playful self. Any idea what this could be? Maybe coccidious and it just didn’t show up?

    Reply
  24. Hi, My africa dwarf goat gave birth to healthy babe 2 day days ago( 2 day old babe) but I noticed that its
    fece has changed to yellowish watery . what can I do? Thanks

    Reply
    • Newborn poop should look like scrambled eggs. If it looks like someone squirted mustard all over their back end within the first day or two, that usually means they just got too much milk. If it is a single kid (no twin to help drink the milk) this is especially likely. If you milk out the doe, that usually does the trick. Some does are born with an abundance of milk, but once you get them milked out, they produce more in line with the kid’s demand. However if this is a single kid, you should continue milking out the doe at least once a day. Otherwise you wind up with a very fat kid and a low milk supply. It’s all about supply and demand, and the kid will demand as much as it can, but a single just can’t eat that much.

      Reply
  25. my friends male, about a year old, has extremely horrible smelling brown diarrhea for about the last 5 hours. hoping that it stops by morn. checked his pen thoroughly, nothing out of the ordinary. but he was left alone for a little bit, and there are some pesky neighbors. got worried because of the smell, its completely rancid . what could it be??? there is a kid in the same pin…..should she be moved??

    Reply
    • If it’s something he ate, it should be cleared up by today. If his back end is covered with poop, you can use a paper towel to wipe it and figure out if it’s fresh or just dried poop from yesterday. Diarrhea never smells like roses, but if this is unusually bad, it could be that he ate something that completely threw off his microbiome.

      A year is a little old for coccidiosis, but if it hasn’t cleared up, you could try treating him for that before taking a fecal to the vet.

      I don’t like to ever leave a goat alone, especially if they’re not feeling well to begin with, because they get stressed out when alone, so if the kid is the only companion he has, I probably wouldn’t remove her. (I do hope he’s a wether if he’s with a doeling.) If it’s something contagious, and she winds up with it, you’ll know what it is and be able to treat it as soon as it happens. But unless there is poop everywhere, it probably won’t represent any huge threat to her. Goats have coccidia in their gut. It’s only a problem if it grows out of control. So, if it looks like she can’t eat grass without consuming poop, that would be bad. If it’s a dry lot, might not be as much of a risk, assuming she is only eating hay from a feeder. It’s all about risk of exposure, which varies from one pen to another.

      Reply
      • Thank you very much. Your info and expertise is very appreciated. Yes he is a wither. They are very loved. My mother {their owner} is out of town, and I would hate for anything to happen. so, its now afternoon, and his poo is slightly more chunky. This morn it was like brown water, and still that horrid smell. that smell is definitely abnormal, smells like a dead animal. I’m thinking someone tossed something in the pin and he ate it. but then again in that scenario I would think doeling would also be under the weather. we have checked his pin thoroughly to no prevail of anything out of the ordinary. hopefully he is on the other side of this. if it persists I will be getting a sample and taking it to vet immediately. thank you again.

        Reply
        • It’s possible that whatever was thrown into his pen was small enough that only he ate it. The other possibility is that the doe was smart enough to not eat it. Goats are usually fairly smart about staying away from things that will make them sick. I’m glad the poop is firming up. If it doesn’t continue to firm up, it would be a good idea to take a fecal to the vet.

          Reply
  26. My friends male, about a year old, has extremely horrible smelling brown diarrhea for about the last 5 hours. hoping that it stops by morn. checked his pen thoroughly, nothing out of the ordinary. but he was left alone for a little bit, and there are some pesky neighbors. got worried because of the smell, its completely rancid . what could it be??? there is a kid in the same pin…..should she be moved?? update……still spewing all over this morn….

    Reply
  27. I have two almost 5 month old Nigerian dwarfs. They have slowly progressed from solid berries, to soft berries, to kind of mushy clumps of berries, finally today to what looks like a log of dog poo. I don’t think it could coccidiosis because they haven’t been in a herd with other goats since March. Is it something they are eating? I give them free choice orchard grass and a little bit of alfalfa, but they usually seem to want to eat weeds from their pen instead. Could there be a toxic weed they are eating?

    Reply
    • “Dog poop” is typical of worms. Check their eyelids by pulling down the lower eyelid. It should be bright pink to red. If it’s light pink to white, they’re anemic, so it’s probably barber pole worm. If the eyelids are bright pink but their body condition could be meatier, then it’s probably a different roundworm. In any case, any of the dewormers will kill roundworms.

      All goats have worms in their digestive tracts, and they are pooping them out on the pasture, so if you are not rotating pastures for them, they are basically eating from their toilet and ingesting worm larvae. At this point, they need to be treated, but to avoid problems in the future, check out this info about preventing worms — https://thriftyhomesteader.com/internal-parasite-in-goats-preventing/

      Reply
  28. I have a 7 week old goat who is on his 3rd day having diarrhea. He acts like he feels fine though and is following his normal eating and drinking habits. There’s been no changes whatsoever for him to cause stress. He did spend a while longer out of the pen grazing two days ago and has had diarrhea ever since. We’ve battled coccidiosis before w other goats, and this seems different than what they had. Any suggestions on what I should do or what else it could be?

    Reply
  29. Hello,
    Recently purchased two fainting goats born early May ‘19. Both acted fine once at our home. The next day the female had died. The buck has had really bad diarrhea for the last week. Not sure what to do. Any ideas? The breeder had a total of 18 babies and said they were all ready to go. I’m worried she sold us sick goats

    Reply
    • He probably has coccidiosis, and that’s probably what killed the other one, especially if she had diarrhea. It’s the most common cause of diarrhea in kids, and it can kill them. Although you can buy the medication for it at the farm supply store, I’d suggest taking the kid to the vet. The amount you can buy at the store is huge because it’s meant for breeders. The vet could give you just what the one kid needs. Plus, considering the circumstances, I think it would be good to get a vet’s opinion of what’s going on. Have you contacted the breeder? A reputable breeder would be happy to help you through this and give you the medication you need.

      Reply
  30. We have a Male nubian goat. He was doing fine until today when my husband went to check on him. He was out of the pen. When he gathered him back in, he noticed that he had D. He’s never had that before. Also he’d be waking and then just lays down as if he’s tired. The pen is also shared with some chickens in a coop. Any advice? This is our first time owning goats.

    Reply
    • If he got into the chicken grain, it could cause a serious rumen upset. Definitely often him some baking soda to help neutralize his stomach acid. Diarrhea should go away within 12-24 hours if he just ate something that upset his rumen. If he gets really lethargic, he could have bloat. If you press on the left side of his stomach, it should feel like you are pressing into cookie dough. If it feels tight as a drum, and you can’t make an indentation in the rumen contents, that’s what bloat feels like. Here is more info on bloat —
      https://thriftyhomesteader.com/goat-bloat/

      Reply
  31. I have a buck about two years old. I wormed him around two and a half weeks ago. He is on pasture with a goat block and gets goat grain every night. I noticed a few days ago he had diarrhea. I bought another wormer and wormed him again Sunday because I was told to try a different one. He is with three does and a calf. He has lost weight. He is eating the grass fine, but he only eats the grain a couple minutes. He is still peeing fine. Everyone else is nice and fat with no diarrhea. I’ve been rotating their pasture in a movable pen. Should I try the sulfa drug or something else? I have penicillin that I used for the calf when she was a baby. Thanks.

    Reply
    • A buck should not have grain because of the risk of urinary calculi, and if he has diarrhea, you definitely need to stop the grain as it is hard on their digestive system. It would be unusual for a 2-year-old goat to have diarrhea due to coccidiosis or an infection. Worms is the #1 cause in adults. What was the dewormer you used and at what dosage?

      Reply
  32. Hi, I have a young doe about 6 months old that has had diarrhea ever since we got her. We’ve run a fecal and treated her with a prescription dewormer but the vets are stumped. Her bloodwork came back very poor, she is so anemic that the vets were amazed she is still standing. But she still gets around and eats, is just lethargic and skinny and still has diarrhea. Shes been treated for coccidia, so at this point we are at a loss. Shes such a sweet goat, it’s sad not knowing what to do to help her. The other confusing thing is that her sister, who we picked up at the same time from the same place, and who has always been around and bedded with her, is very healthy.
    Any insight would be greatly appreciated

    Reply
    • Additional info to previous post:
      My goats are allowed free range on really good variety of forage, and are provided with their minerals and other supplements as they wish, so dietary causes are unlikely as far as I know.

      Reply
    • Copper deficiency can cause anemia, and sadly all minerals are not created equal. Which one are you using?

      Has she been tested for Johnes? That is a wasting disease that can also cause diarrhea, and animals do not sero-convert at the same speed. Some show symptoms sooner than others.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the prompt response. I haven’t heard of Johnes disease. Thanks for that, I’ll ask my vet about it.
        They have had access to a mineral block for goats and then I started giving them free access to loose goat minerals, manna pro is the brand. Wouldn’t think it was a deficiency since her sister has had access to all the same stuff. We thought maybe that parasites had caused the anemia and then she was so anemic that the parasites actually mostly died off pr stopped reproducing. That’s atleast what the vet guessed. After that we gave her the heavy duty dewormer to hopefully eliminate any remaining worms. It been over a week since then and she still has diarrhea.

        Reply
        • Parasites do not die if a goat becomes anemic. As long as a goat has blood, the barber pole worm stays alive and keeps sucking their blood — until the goat is so anemic it dies. The barber pole worm basically causes a goat to bleed to death, although they’re consuming the blood like a vampire. Barber pole doesn’t usually cause diarrhea, but other roundworms can, such as bankrupt worm or brown stomach worm. It is possible she has more than one kind of worm. If the vet thinks worms die when a goat becomes anemic, then he or she may not have the latest info on worms, so may have not given the correct dosage of dewormer, which is why it didn’t work. Goats need 2x the dosage of cattle. Weirdly the labels on dewormers are incorrect because university research has shown that they need a higher dosage, but the companies got FDA approval for the label at the older dosage, which we now know is incorrect, and they don’t want to seek approval for new labeling. It can be challenging to find a vet that is well versed in the latest goat research because they are “minor species” so they are not at the top of the list when vets get their continuing ed credits.

          It is possible for one goat in a herd to have a bigger problem with a mineral deficiency than others, or to have a bigger problem with parasites than others. It is also possible for one goat in a herd to start to show symptoms of Johnes before the others. She definitely needs to be tested for Johnes. If she has it, the others do too, and they will probably all waste away and die. Here is more info on Johnes:
          https://thriftyhomesteader.com/johnesdisease/

          Manna Pro is not the best mineral. It’s okay for wethers, but doesn’t really have enough selenium and some other minerals for breeding animals.

          What exactly is she eating and how much?

          Reply
          • Thanks for all the info. I dont know all the plants that we have around, but there are many vines and brambles, small trees (oak, elm, and yaupon are some of their favorites). Then they also have plenty of grass to forage. They also get a small amount of grain feed every day.
            What mineral do you reccomend?
            And sorry for my vet I misquoted them. They said the worms had stopped reproducing, not that they had all died off. That’s my bad!

          • Worms do not stop reproducing when goats get anemic. Barber pole worm will just keep sucking their blood and reproducing until the goat dies. Other worms will just continue to consume the contents of the goat’s digestive tract until the goat essentially starves to death. What was the dosage of the dewormer you used?

            When you say “grain feed,” do you mean a goat feed? If yes, what brand and name? They are all different, and the quality varies from worthless to excellent.

            Sweetlix Meat Maker and Purina goat minerals are both excellent choices for free choice minerals.

  33. Hi! I have a 6 month old buck. He has recently looked a little rough, and has D. I have wormed him a couple weeks ago, but no changes. He is getting nutritious vitamins in his grain, and eating pasture grass. What do you think is wrong?

    Reply
    • Bucks don’t need grain, and too much grain can cause diarrhea. Bucks really should just have pasture, browse, and grass hay. What do you mean when you say he gets vitamins in his grain? That could also be problematic.

      It also depends on exactly what you gave him for worms — exactly what med and what dosage. Most should be given at 2x the cattle dosage on the label.

      Reply
  34. I treated my goat with corid last night he has had diarrhea for a few days we treated like we were told with red cell vitamin b complex shot sub q and safe gaurd for goats that didn’t really work he is anemic was wondering if I should give the red cell with the corid treatment the diarrhea has seemed to have stopped but he is still anemic

    Reply
    • Corid is a five day treatment. Safeguard should be given to goats at twice the dosage on the label for goats or cows, so you may have under-dosed if you followed the directions on the label. If you did give the correct amount of Safeguard, it is possible that the worms are resistant to that dewormer so you need to use something stronger, such as ivermectin.

      Reply
  35. Hi, we have a kid abandoned by its mum, about 2 weeks old. We’ve been bottle feeding her but it turns out we’ve been putting too much formula in the mix. She has diahorrea and I’m making sure she drinks more water to replenish the loss. Now we’re adding the correct amount will she be ok naturally or do we need to see a vet?

    Reply
    • Hopefully you are not giving her a bottle with just plain water. If so, she may start to pee blood. Just mix up the milk replacer at the correct ratio and feed her that. If you are absolutely sure this is the reason for the diarrhea, there is nothing a vet could do. If you are not really sure, however, a vet could examine a fecal sample to be sure it’s not caused by a bacterial infection or something else.

      Reply
  36. Thank you, your post is so educative. I have pregnant goat and she’s ok, but yesterday i was given another kid goat from a distant village with diarhea, i did a mistake of mixing them together instead of separating the kid. How long does diarrhea caused by STRESS last?

    Reply
    • Stress diarrhea is usually very short lived. I’d still remove the new kid, especially if you have other kids in there. Adults don’t usually have a problem with coccidia, but other kids will pick it up quickly if there is exposed diarrhea in their pen. If the kid’s body condition it not excellent, I’d treat for coccidiosis right away since that’s the most common. If that’s the problem, the diarrhea should go away within a couple days of starting treatment.

      Reply
  37. A goat wandered into our chicken yard. She has obviously been in the bush for a long time. She is skinny, coat it dull and she has diararea. Our vet just said worms and gave me a wormer to give her. She also has fly maggots around her udder where it seems she has a cut. Vet just said clean it and apply an antiseptic. Her milk leaks out( it’s watery) and her udder is hard. Vet wasn’t interested in seeing her- said common problems. She eats and drinks. Are we doing enough? Even though she wandered in I want her to be healthy and happy.

    Reply
    • Oh, no! How sad! If her udder is hard and milk is leaking out, it sounds like she is in milk and was either separated from her kids or was being milked by someone, or maybe she gave birth in the woods and the kids didn’t make it. Not knowing her history makes it challenging to know what to do. If you do nothing, she should dry up within 5-7 days. If you want goat milk, you could start milking her. An udder that is hot and hard is a sign of mastitis, but since you’re new to goats, that’s hard to figure out. It’s hard to find a vet who knows anything about goats, so that may be why he doesn’t want to see her.

      I’ve had a couple of animals get maggots in their skin, and it’s not good. If the maggots all hatch and turn into flies, you could be done. But if flies are still attracted to the area, they are laying more eggs, which means more maggots. She could wind up with a nasty infection.

      Here is more basic info on goats —
      https://thriftyhomesteader.com/a-beginners-guide-to-goats/
      And feel free to post more questions as they arise! Good luck with her! I’m glad she found someone so caring!

      Reply
  38. Thank you for all your valuable information in the posts above.

    I have a 3 month old bottle doe (milk given to her is goat’s milk from our lactating doe) with greenish watery diarrhea. She came to us a week ago with the diarrhea.
    She has almost white membranes – so severely anemic. We have given her the recommended (on bottle) dose of 5 day 9.6% Corid treatment which called to dilute with water, and Cydectin (we gave her twice the dose that was reccomeded for sheep on the bottle), and the recommended amount (as per bottle instructions) of Safeguard “for goats”.
    She had her last dose of Corid today, and it has been 3 days since giving her Cydectin. She still has diarrhea, but seems to be nibbling at grass, drinking her bottles of milk (about 40 ounces divided 3x per day) and does not seem listless.

    She had a fecal done, and it does not look like she has worms or cocci.

    My questions: should I give her Sufa drug this soon after Corid for bacteria issues that Corid does not treat, or no because she has already had Corid treatment?

    Did i give her the correct amount of Corid and Safeguard (I have heard conflicting info on Corid dosing for goats since it’s meant for cattle and the cattle dose on back of bottle)? (The fecal taken to the vet may not have been good enough, so they will try and get it from her tomorrow during our appointment.)

    In addition to the above meds, i have given her electrolytes, probiotics and just gave her some Red Cell today.

    Thank you for any info or advice you might have.

    Reply
    • I have not heard of using a different dose of Corid for goats, but considering how complicated they make the instructions on the bottle, I know lots of people have gotten it wrong.

      The directions for goats on a bottle of Safeguard for goats is actually the cattle dosage. Sadly the company got approval 20+ years ago at that dosage, and even though university research has shown that goats need 2x that amount, the company would have to go to the FDA for approval to change the label, which would cost way more than they’re willing to spend on a goat drug that’s already on the market.

      If you are doing another fecal, they should test it for bacteria, etc. If it was coccidiosis, Corid should have taken care of it, and Cydectin should have killed worms, even if you used a small dose of Safeguard, unless you are dealing with serious dewormer resistance.

      Corid is not a sulfa drug, so I don’t see any reason why you would not be able to use a sulfa drug, if needed.

      If I am understand correctly, someone sold you a sick goat. Without any real knowledge of her background, she could have anything. I hope she’s quarantined.

      Reply
  39. Dear Thrifty Homesteader,
    The information you share is very helpful; especially as a first time goat owner. Our 8-week-old Nigerian Dwarf kid tested positive for Coccidiosis 3 days after we acquired him. He has had 3 days of Corid oral medication and he still has diarrhea. He is eating hay and green grass pasture, small amount of grain feed daily and has free choice fresh water, minerals and baking soda. I am troubled And concerned because most of what l have read indicates the Corid should be working by now. l would really appreciate your input. Thank you.

    Reply
  40. I have 2 around 12 week old bucks, they have been together In The same pen for about a week, they are mounting eachother like normal but now one of the bucks has diarea and white coming out of his butt, can they get those symptoms from mounting eachother?

    Reply
    • No, this has nothing to do with them mounting each other. If they have been recently weaned, or you recently bought them, the diarrhea is probably caused by coccidiosis. It tends to be a problem for kids during times of stress like weaning or going to a new home. It has to be treated with a sulfa drug or Corid.

      If you see something white, it’s probably a tapeworm segment. They look like rice or noodles, and they are the only worm that is visible to the naked eye. You can use either Safeguard or Valbazen for tapeworms. They are the only dewormers that work for tapeworms. You would give 2x the dosage on the bottle, and the Safeguard needs to be give for 3 days for tapeworms, but only one day for Valbazen. And the ONLY time you need to give Safeguard more than one day is for tapeworms. It works on other worms at 2x the dosage on the bottle given one time.

      Reply
  41. Hi! Thank you for your blog and your video. We are new to owning goats, 2 years now. And we are still learning a lot. We have a 5 yr old doe who started having diarrhea a week or so ago. It would start to go away when we would lock her up and keep her off the grass. So we would let her back out and it would come back. We called the vet in since she continued to have it and noticed she was losing a fair amount of weight. After a fecal was done, results came back as worms. We had treated her with safe guard in April and I didn’t realize we needed to do twice the dose. We gave her Bimectin this round. How long should it take to see the diarrhea clear up? Also yesterday we noticed our buck had diarrhea so we treated him too. Our other 5 goats seem to be doing fine. Any recommendations on a microscope to use to do home fecal tests? And how often do you deworm and switch treatments?

    Thank you for the help!

    Reply
    • Sounds like you have been reading some old information about using dewormers. Current research says that you should not rotate dewormers, as doing so simply causes resistance to all dewormers faster. You should continue to use the Bimectin until it no longer works, then move on to a different one. Hopefully you did NOT use the pour-on, which doesn’t work well in goats for worms. It is really only useful for lice or mites in goats.

      You should NEVER give a dewormer to a goat if they don’t need it. Deworming on a schedule is one of the things that causes dewormer resistance. Plus research has shown that usually 80% of the worms in any herd are in only 20% of the goats, so you are wasting your money when giving a dewormer to most of your goats on a schedule.

      You really don’t need to do fecals to manage parasites. I learned to do them about 15 years ago and probably have not done one in at least five years because I never got any news from one. I’d see symptoms of parasites in a goat, then do a fecal and yep, she had parasites, so I felt like it was a waste of time to do the fecals. Symptoms can include diarrhea or poop like a dog (not berries), bottle jaw, poor condition, rough hair coat, and/or anemia, which you can check by pulling down the lower eyelids. They should be bright pink or red, rather than light pink or white. If they’re white, you have a goat with one hoof in the grave already. If you have a milk goat whose supply plummets from one day to the next, that is often due to worms.

      Once you treat a goat with a dewormer, the goat should be pooping pebbles again within 24 hours, if the dewormer worked.

      Here is more info about dewormer resistance and the old-fashioned practices that cause it:
      https://thriftyhomesteader.com/dewormer-resistance-in-goats/

      And here is an excerpt from my book, Raising Goats Naturally, about how to use dewormers effectively:
      https://thriftyhomesteader.com/deworming-goats/

      Reply
  42. I have an older doe that has got extremely skinny and has had diarrhea for close to two months, she goes around and eats, not much hay, no pellets, grazes, I treated her with valbazen, ivermectin, cydectin, electrolytes, great personality but skinny and diarrhea

    Reply
    • What dosages of dewormers have you used? Did you use them individually? Or did you treat her with more than one in a single day?

      Reply
  43. I have an eight week old weather. He is being dam raised and has had diarrhea for three days. His eye color is good. He is lively and running all over the place and eating and drinking normally. He did get separated from his mother by a Hotwire fence for a couple of hours the day before the diarrhea started. He was castrated at 4 weeks and I can’t think of any reason he might be stressed other than the short separation. He eatS milk obviously, good wheat hay, and is on pasture that is rotated once a week. Any ideas on what I’m dealing with?

    Reply
    • The most common reason for diarrhea in a kid that age is coccidiosis. If you treat for coccidiosis, and it doesn’t help within 2-3 days, then you should take a fecal to the vet to get a definitive diagnosis.

      Reply
  44. We have a year old wether, went to let him out today and noticed he had very watery dark diarrhea, he’s not as active, and more quiet than usual. He has been drinking fine if not more than usual. Haven’t seen him eat but did seem like some of his hay was eaten. Last night before we put him up we noticed that the duck pellets were broken into- my guess he got into it maybe… also noticed he had drank out of the ducks nasty pool water.

    Reply
    • Oh, yeah! If he got into the duck pellets, that would definitely cause diarrhea. It could cause a lot of other problems, such as enterotoxemia, goat polio, etc, so hopefully it’s just a little diarrhea. He should be better within 24 hours, if that’s it. If he was drinking poopy duck water, then that opens up a whole big mess of potential problems with a variety of bacteria. If the diarrhea is not gone in 24 hours, you might want to take a sample to the vet to be sure he didn’t make himself sick with the poopy duck water.

      Reply
  45. Hi,
    I have two rescue goats, a buck and a wether, that I’ve had for almost two years. I don’t know their age, but they could be 6. Both have been robustly healthy since I’ve had them, they are fed hay and they have browse in their field in the form of thistles, grass, burdock, thimbleberry, fireweed etc. I have not wormed them since I’ve had them. I wanted to get fecals done but was quoted $200 per goat so chose to just keep a close eye in them instead. When I went in to let them out this morning the buck has had mild scours overnight. It looked like dog poop, in logs and then some softer piles, (they sleep in separate stalls overnight so it was definitely the buck). He seems OK and is chewing his cud. We trimmed hooves yesterday and I give them oats when we do this to keep them occupied – I gave them a bit more than normal. I am happy to keep an eye on him for 24 hours but I’m very aware that it’s Saturday today and my chance of getting anything I might need for him tomorrow is slim. I’m also in Canada, an hour to town and we can’t get a lot of things that are available in the US. What would your advice be? Watch and wait? If still the same tomorrow what would my next step be? Oh and it’s also been unseasonably wet and cool with the odd hot day thrown in. The wether is fine with normal poops. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • The extra oats would be my first guess as to the cause of the diarrhea. Since they are mature adults, it’s highly unlikely that he has coccidiosis. If you’ve been keeping them in a small pen where they’ve eaten the grass down to an inch or two, their wormload could be growing out of control, but it’s a pretty weird coincidence that it would just show up right after you gave the one extra oats. Also, if it looks like it started as more liquid and is already moving back to dog poop, he’s moving in the right direction and recovering from diarrhea caused by too much grain. With an adult that seems otherwise healthy, you have nothing to really worry about if you wait a couple of days to treat him.

      Reply
      • They have a fairly large pen and we have to go in and cut it back every so often as they don’t eat it fast enough and the thistles and weeds get as tall as them lol. He didn’t have watery at all, more like pudding I guess. He is fine now thankfully and back to normal poops – phew! I kept a close eye, he was eating and drinking and acting normal. They both had extra oats, but only the buck had the issue. I will go back to the normal amount in future! We only give it them to keep them still whilst trimming hooves. Thanks so much for responding. We are pretty much on our own with them as the local farm vet will never return calls. It’s been a steep learning curve as I knew nothing at all about goats! They needed a home though after being mauled by a dog and we had space and an area fenced already with a shed for them.

        Reply
        • Bucks and wethers really shouldn’t have grain at all except once in awhile for things like hoof trimming. There is a risk of urinary stones causing a blockage when male goats eat grain, and oats are not that nutritious. You can use grass hay pellets (like timothy or orchard grass) while you’re trimming hooves.

          Reply
          • The only time they get grain of any kind is for hoof trimming. I’m not sure they would even eat grass pellets and everything like that is so expensive here in northern Canada. I don’t want to buy a bag and then they won’t eat it. I figure the oats just for hoof trimming is OK.

  46. I have a new born.Was born yesterday . She has Diarrhea. i cleaned her up and started working her and mom just in case. What else should I do for her she was just born yesterday

    Reply
    • The most common reason for a newborn to have diarrhea is because they are getting too much milk. I’m assuming that you’re saying that her back end looks like someone squirted mustard on it? Normal newborn poop looks like scrambled eggs. I’d suggest milking out her mom completely. Some does have so much milk when they give birth that the kids make little piggies of themselves and get diarrhea. If the kid is otherwise acting normally, I wouldn’t worry about it. What do you mean you started “working” her and her mom? If that’s a typo for worming, that’s totally not needed for a newborn. They are NOT born with worms, and if mom has worms, it has zero effect on the kid.

      Reply
  47. Hey there! We recently moved to a place where our neighbor was keeping his three goats on a piece of our land that he used as over-grazed grass pasture, and he’d been keeping them there before we moved in. It was a whole mess where he basically told any new tenants that was the arrangement and they usually complied with him. They weren’t providing adequate feed, all three had worms, one had lice, and they had one of them chained to a heavy tire (they claimed he was an escape risk, but we’ve had them for months now and he is the sweetest tempered and most obedient goat I can imagine). He’d kept them after his kid moved away to college and just didn’t know what he was doing. We bought them, dewormed, and have them pastured with plenty of blackberries, saplings, nettles, and we free feed good hay and both loose and block mineral. We can’t afford a vet right now. The whether that was tired down has had scours off and on during our ownership, and we are trying to stabilize his condition and get some weight on him. Would it harm him to give the treatment for coccidiosis if that isn’t the issue? It does seem to come in cycles like I’ve read coccidiosis does.

    Reply
    • I’m not sure what you mean about coccidiosis coming in cycles. It does not usually affect healthy adults at all, even though all adults have it in their gut. You usually only see it in young kid at weaning when they get stressed out. But sounds like he may have had a rather stressful existence. If he was tied up in a very small area, he was probably ingesting a lot of coccidia whenever he’d nibble on grass in his area, which would probably be very short, so it would be in contact with poop on the ground. It wouldn’t hurt him to treat for coccidiosis.

      You should also eliminate the mineral block. Goats need a good loose mineral made ONLY for goats (not sheep and goats). Here is more info on minerals:
      https://thriftyhomesteader.com/goat-minerals/
      Based on what you said about their previous home, they may be mineral deficient also.

      Reply
  48. Hi, I have 4 goats, and a few weeks ago 2 of them had diarrhea. I took them to the vet who said they had worms and a small amount of coccidia. The vet gave me meds for the whole herd, and they all cleared up. The buckling however, went back to diarrhea a few days later. He is losing weight and I’m very worried. Some research I’ve done makes me think he could be copper deficient so I’ll be getting him some lose minerals (probably the purina goat since it seems the best). I also wonder if feeding him cracked corn could be contributing to the problem as I feed it to all of them daily.

    The whole herd is on a medicated feed for coccidia (they’re all younger goats) and they’ve had access to a mineral block (hence why I’m getting loose minerals). The buckling and 2 of the does are from clean herds. The other came from a guy my Dad knows, but we’ve had her for awhile and haven’t seen anything for concern.

    I intend to take the buck back to vet Monday, but any advice you can give would be great.

    Reply
    • I am rather concerned that the vet had you treat the entire herd. Current research says that should NOT be done. You should ONLY treat goats that have a problem with worms. Otherwise, you will be facing dewormer resistance at some point in the future, if you overuse dewormers.

      In fact, if you bought the goats from someone who overused dewormers, you may be dealing with dewormer resistance already, which could be why the one has diarrhea again so soon. If you get a fecal that still shows worms, then the dewormer that you used did NOT work. You may need to use two or three dewormers from different classes of dewormers. Based on what your vet suggested before, it sounds like he or she may not have up-to-date information, so may not know this. He or she may also not know the dosage needed for goats, which is 2x the dosage used in cattle or sheep. If you underdose, the dewormers don’t work very well.

      I do NOT recommend mineral blocks as most of them have little to no actual useful minerals in them, and a lot of goats have been become deficient when a block was available because it is hard for goats to get enough since they have small, soft tongues. Blocks are really for cows and horses, which have huge, sandpaper tongues. I suggest Sweetlix Meat Maker or Purina Goat Mineral — specifically those two only — NOT anything that says “sheep and goat,” which would be very deficient in copper for goats.

      Copper deficiency, however, does NOT cause diarrhea.

      Goats should NOT be on medicated feed long term. Basically you buy a bag to get them through a stressful situation, such as going to a new home, and once that bag is empty, you do NOT buy another one.

      If you give me info on what dewormer you used and exactly how much, I can let you know if it was enough.

      Reply
      • I was using Ivomec, but the vet switched me to a white wormer. She did inform me about dewormer resistance which I was not up-to-date on. I think the reason she had me dose the whole herd was because it started with one, then another got it, and there was a good possibility the other two had it.

        All my goats were purchased earlier this year. From what I can recall, the buckling had never been wormed, neither had 2 of the does. I am not sure about the oldest doe, but I haven’t had any problems with her.

        I’m aware that coppper doesn’t directy cause diarrhea, but most of what I’ve seen has said that deficient copper can make it harder for goats to deal with worms, bateria, etc. I am switching to loose minerals. I wanted the purina goat mineral but local stores didn’t have any so for now I got ManaPro goat mineral. I’ve already made it available for them.

        I only have used one bag of medicated feed. My dad had picked it up my mistake when I asked if he could pick up feed for the goats. I researched it and began giving it to my younger goats in small amounts, and I wasn’t planning on buying anymore when this one runs out.

        The white wormer the vet gave me is Panacur per cc (200mg/ml) at .5cc orally for 5 days.

        Reply
        • I don’t think you said how much the goats weigh, but if the amount of dewormer you gave them would only be enough if they weighed 20 pounds or less. Panacur is fenbendazole, which is one that worms are often resistant to. It is NOT the goat that becomes resistant, but the worms, so it doesn’t matter if your goats were never dewormed by their previous owner. What matters is how many time they dewormed their other goats with a specific dewormer. Every worm that survived that deworming is resistant to that dewormer, and they have baby worms that are resistant to the dewormer. The only reason that any dewormer works more than once is because there will be worms and larvae on the pasture that were not exposed to the dewormer, and they mate with the resistant worms, so that slows it down a little, but if you keep using a dewormer, then the number of resistant worms keeps growing until a dewormer no longer works.

          When we say that a dewormer no longer works, that means that is killing less than 90% of the worms. When a goat is having a problem (such as weight loss or diarrhea or anemia), they may not be helped by a dewormer that only kills 70% or 50% of the worms. Sounds like it was “good enough” for one goat but not the other.

          Based on what you’ve said, I’m not surprised that the Pancur didn’t work for one of the goats. ALL goats have worms, but you should only give a dewormer to a goat that is being negatively affected by them — such as the goat who has diarrhea. There is NO research to back up prophylactic deworming that your vet recommended. It is also not recommended to do any dewormer for five days for intestinal worms.

          I’d suggest checking the goat’s eyelids. If they are pale pink or white, he needs another dewormer ASAP. Once the eyelids are white, all bets are off as far as whether or not a goat will survive. Barber pole worm sucks a goat’s blood and makes them anemic, and it kills goats really fast compared to other intestinal worms. Ivermectin is stronger than Panacur, but if your goat got diarrhea and you had used it, the vet may have assumed that the worms are already resistant to that. But under-dosing would also cause it to not work well. Current research has shown that goats need 2x the cattle dosage of the 1% ivermectin, which is sold as an injectable, but you should give it to the goats orally. If you under-dosed him, and you have more of it, you might try it again at the correct goat dosage. If you used 2x the cattle dosage or you have no more, you might buy a tube of Quest for horses, which is 1.87% moxidectin (same as Cydectin) and can be dosed at close to the horse dosage since goats would need 2% when being dosed at that level. Just round up their weight (because the horse dewormers are sold in tubes that have the animal’s weight on them).

          Reply
  49. Okay, I do have more ivermectin so I can give him another dose of that. He weighs about 40-50lbs.

    When the vet ran a fecal, they told me what types of worms they found, and barber pole was not one of them (one might’ve been brown stomach worm but I don’t remember for sure).

    If he still doesn’t clear up after a dose of ivermectin, should I dose him again with the panacur? And is there anything else I can give him to help him out? I know diarrhea can dehydrate a goat, and I’m also concerned about nutrition in his system. I’ve got a vitamin supplement I could give him if I’d help.

    Reply
    • Brown stomach worm is a roundworm, and so is barber pole, as well as bankrupt worm and a few others. You cannot tell what species a roundworm is from a basic fecal flotation. Some vets might also say nematodes, which is a different way of saying the same thing, just using a different scientific classification (like saying poodle rather than dog — both are right). The fecal would have to go to a university lab to grow out the worms to know that it was brown stomach worm or barber pole, so please check the eyelids. As I said, a goat can die very quickly if it’s anemic. Here is a podcast where I interviewed a college professor and parasite researcher about roundworms in June, so it is very current information.
      https://thriftyhomesteader.com/roundworms-and-goats/

      As I suspected, you underdosed the Panacur by about half. When dealing with dewormer resistance, many researchers suggest using two dewormers from two different classes at one time, meaning you give one, then immediately give the other one. Research has shown that this will kill more worms because one dewormer will kill some of the worms missed by the other one and vice versa. Panacur is from one class, and ivermectin is from another. You still need to give at a higher dose for them to work best, so you give the Panacur and the Ivermectin at 2x the label dosage. If you have already given the ivermectin again, you really shouldn’t do it again the next day, so check the eyelids first so that we have a better idea of how bad the situation really is.

      Reply
  50. Okay, thanks. I’ll listen to it as soon as I get the chance.

    I did give him the proper dose of Ivomec Sunday morning and behavior-wise he seemed to somewhat improve. However, when I checked his eyelids, they were pretty pale.

    I plan on taking a fecal sample to the vet Monday morning to see if he does still have worms. Based on the information you’ve given, I believe he probably still does.

    Reply
    • Okay, so the vet examined the stool sample, and said they saw worms and coccidia again. She believes that since he got better then went back to diarrhea, that something else might be going on and worms are just secondary. She also thinks that one of the medications he received last time for coccidia may have cleared out some of the good in his immune system.

      She told me to do the Panacur a 1cc once a day for 5 days.

      SDM solution at 1.5cc once a day for 20 days.

      Probiotics at 2cc once a day (till I run out I assume).

      And vitamin B injections to be given every 3 days.

      She said if he doesn’t cleared up in a couple of days, we need to reevaluate.

      Reply
  51. We had a newly purchased 3 month male from a local 4-H animal owner who was fine initially but then developed a bad case of diarrhea. After a initial vet visit saying he was healthy we found out he was helping himself to all the minerals in the pens when the other (older) goats were out grazing. After we limited his access to the minerals his stool went back to normal and he is now limiting himself to how much he consumes. Just my 2 cents I have only been a goat owner for 1.5 years so all the information on here is very useful to me and I have read a lot of the articles on here thank you!

    Reply
  52. I have two Pygmy goats. Both have been castraded. One of my goats I thought had bloat so I treated him for that. Then I saw he was what looked like peeing blood and that quit and now he has diarrhea he will not eat or drink and he doesn’t cry of pain. I don’t know what to do. The vets down here will not see a goat. I have given him minerals and he won’t eat that either. I gave him parasite medication before he got diarrhea or bleeding. I’m so worried as I am new to taking care of goats.

    Reply
    • If he is peeing blood, he could have urinary stones, especially if you feed them grain. Feeding grain to males can cause stones, and their urethra is so tiny, that even something the size of a grain of sand can cause a blockage. That does not cause diarrhea though, so you could have two things going on. If he is not eating or drinking, he won’t live very long without veterinary attention, and there is just way too much going on here to attempt to figure it out in this format.

      If you are near a vet school, they all have emergency clinics and will see all species 24/7, so I’d suggest calling them. If your local vets won’t see goats, they should at least give you the contact info for one who does.

      Reply
  53. Hello, our one year old Nigerian Dwarf male has had runny poop for a while now (we’re talking weeks). It will get better and then get worse. Today was a bad day and he had diarrhea everywhere. He did have some out-of-the-ordinary snacks (crab apple leaves and a bite of banana). But most days he has loose poop. He has lost weight as well. He has always been a very sickly goat (respiratory issues, runt, un-descended teste, etc.). Technically they are my mother in law’s goats so I will have to try to get her to take him to the vet, but am wondering if there is anything I can do at home? Or if their is any over-the-counter meds I can start him on? Thank you so much, Sam

    Reply

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