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goat keeping, health information

Colds, Coughs, Sneezing, Respiratory Infections & Pneumonia


Symptoms: Runny nose: snot is clear to white, cough, no temperature (normal goat temp is 103 but it can vary a degree either way depending on the weather).

I worry that people start giving their goats antibiotics every time they come down with a cold. Yes, you should watch the cold and make sure it doesn't turn into something worse, but remember, we (humans) all get colds once in awhile, and we all know that there is no cure in modern Western Medicine for the common cold. (In my experience, colds are much better treated and respond better to Natural treatments). Using Antibiotics when they are not going to help the situation (such as for a common cold or flu) will not cure the problem and only build resistance to the antibiotic, making it useless when it is really needed. They also cause great stress to the Immune System and negatively effect the digestive system. Please use antibiotics responsibly.

How I treat a common cold:

I start the goat on Immune Support Tincture one or twice a day.  Many times, this is enough to help the goat through their cold. I may also try aromatherapy with the following essential oils: Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lavender, and Thyme. Make sure that the goat's housing is dry, well ventilated and draft free. Give probiotics.

Goats are very susceptible to Pneumonia, so you need to watch them. When people come to me feeling they must give their goats something for their cold (runny nose and cough but no other symptoms) I recommend giving Immune Support Tincture, since this aids in preventing Pneumonia and does not mess up their systems like antibiotics do. (Antibiotics reek havoc on the digestive system, especially in goats, causing more stress to their systems).

I am not a big fan of Western medicines that mask symptoms; these are not "cures". I do use Western Medicine when necessary. Under some circumstances (but not all) they are more useful than herbal treatments. In some circumstances, holistic and herbal treatments can be more advantageous than Western treatments. I will use whatever the best treatment is for a particular situation at the time; my most important goal is the health of my animals, not allegiance to a particular practice of health care. But, I will also add, that since treating my herd in a Natural & Holistic manner, they have never been healthier and happier. Also, please think about what you are administering and why (whether it be Western Medicine or Natural Medicine), do your research and use ALL medications responsibly.


When it's more than a common cold:

Goats can be very prone to Pneumonia.

Symptoms: Runny nose: snot is green (Make certain it is the snot that is green and not just cud. Some goats will have cud that comes out their nose and this is green but nothing to be worried about), "raspy" lungs, temperature (normal goat temp is 103 but it can vary a degree either way depending on the weather).

How I treat when it is more than just a cold:

I start the goat on Immune Support Tincture 3, 4 or even 5 times a day depending on how bad it is. Many times, this is enough.

I would also try aromatherapy or a vaporizer with the following essential oils: Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lavender, and Thyme. (or even Vick's Vapo Rub)

Make sure that the goat's housing is dry, well ventilated and draft free.

Depending on the severity, you may choose to also administer Oxytetracycline (if the goat if not pregnant, if the goat is pregnant I would give Penicillin Procaine/Penicillin Benzathine). Many people may use Naxel in this situation, but it is a prescription drug and not everyone can get this. If you decided to administer antibiotics, I would also give Probios to help with stress and keep the rumen going.


Many times a goat's cough is a sign of Lungworm and not an illness.

If a goat is coughing a lot, especially after running or playing, and has no other symptoms, I would worm them with the chemical wormer Ivomec. I am not sure that herbal wormers can be relied on to treat lungworms already infesting the lungs, though, my Herbal Worm Formula will keep the goat from becoming reinfested once they are clean. Click here for more info on wormers.



Goats may sneeze if they are allergic to something. Yes, goats can be allergic to things just like humans.

Goats may also sneeze if their hay is dusty or moldy, the way to treat this is not to give them moldy or dusty hay.

Sneezing that is nothing to worry about:

Did you know that goats use the sneeze sound as an alarm? They use a sneeze to warn each other of danger (be it actually real or imagined).

Young goats sneeze as part of their play. If you watch your goats you will begin to notice their use of the sneeze sound.

Goats sneeze sometimes when you give them alfalfa hay. Who knows why? It's just their way of saying "I like alfalfa!"


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