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Discussion Starter #1
New to goat farming here! Regarding worms, after quite a bit of research, i decided to do my own fecal counts. I did the McMaster method for both my 10 week old LaMancha doelings. I expected to see a variety of worm eggs, but all I found was a single coccydia oocyst on the slide (for both of them).
Now, my question is, have i done something wrong and fudged the experiment? Or are they just healthy little goatlings that haven't built up a big worm load yet?
 

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I'll assume you have a microscope and are doing a few slides. All fecal exams help detect worm eggs that are being passed at that moment, in the intestine. A fecal will show nothing if the parasite isn't passing eggs at that moment. A fecal will not detect parasites in the liver or lungs.
I've heard some people that wait until the parasite load makes the goat anemic and use some sort of eyelid test. Others will use worthless herbs to rid goats of harmful internal parasites.
 

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Yes, i did mention that i used slides, which imply that a microscope was present. I am aware that a fecal count measures stomach and intestinal parasites. Perhaps my question was unclear. In my research, I was told to expect to see some strongylid eggs in any average goat fecal sample, so I was concerned that, perhaps, I did the test incorrectly.
And most modern medicines have been derived from the chemical properties of herbs, so quite possibly they are not "worthless". Maybe the right way to say it is, "the medicinal properties of herbs are not concentrated enough to be as effective as a chemical worming medicine".
 

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At ten weeks old, in Montana, in early May, it is unlikely they have picked up any measurable worms until it has been warmer outside for longer. Check them again in a month and you'll likely find some. The question then becomes at what count do you believe it is worthwhile to deworm them.
 

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Young kids often won't have heavy worm loads since they haven't been eating very long.
If they are on pastures that have never had goats it should be a while before they pick up enough to be a problem.
 

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Very interesting topic, as I love goats....but know nothing about them. What would you worm a goat with? Or can you worm a goat with?
 

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Yes, i did mention that i used slides, which imply that a microscope was present
You said "slide", I asked if you did a couple slides, indicating more than a single slide.
New to goat farming here!
From that I was assuming you were new to goat farming and perhaps new to doing fecals. I have no way of knowing what level to aim a helpful suggestion.
Maybe the right way to say it is, "the medicinal properties of herbs are not concentrated enough to be as effective as a chemical worming medicine".
Now you are simply splitting hairs. You can't paint a barn with a pint of paint and you can't rid a goat of parasites with a clove of garlic, spoon of cinnamon, plug of tobacco or pumpkin seeds.
And most modern medicines have been derived from the chemical properties of herbs
Some modern medications are derived from herbs. Some from trees and plants and some from fungi. But most modern medicines are not concentrations of chemicals found in herbs. But if you have strong beliefs otherwise, please carry on, I have no interest it debating your beliefs. My intent was intended to help someone that I thought was new to goat farming.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Young kids often won't have heavy worm loads since they haven't been eating very long.
If they are on pastures that have never had goats it should be a while before they pick up enough to be a problem.
Thank you, thats the sort of advice I was looking for :)
 

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There are slides called McMaster's slides that can help you quantify fecal counts until you get a feel for it. A reference book on clinical parasitology would be an immense help to you. Levels to begin treatment, and what treatment to use is going to be a matter of personal opinion that will vary between whichever vet or breeder you talk to.

At ten weeks, coccidia oocysts would probably be more likely than worm eggs.

I commend your responsible choice to get a microscope as a newbie. Even the greatest chemical anthelmintics on the market can be completely ineffective with certain parasites and in certain instances.
 
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There are slides called McMaster's slides that can help you quantify fecal counts until you get a feel for it. A reference book on clinical parasitology would be an immense help to you. Levels to begin treatment, and what treatment to use is going to be a matter of personal opinion that will vary between whichever vet or breeder you talk to.

At ten weeks, coccidia oocysts would probably be more likely than worm eggs.

I commend your responsible choice to get a microscope as a newbie. Even the greatest chemical anthelmintics on the market can be completely ineffective with certain parasites and in certain instances.
Thanks, I do have a McMaster slide, it was really helpful. My plan was to do my own fecals every month or so, and only worm if theres a dramatic rise in worm eggs. Id hate to spend money on wormer that the goats dont need.
 

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A McMaster slide is used for counting STRONGYLE type eggs only. Not tapes, whips, rounds - just the H-O-T trifecta of strongyles we see in the US (plus nemotodirus but thats less common). HOT stands for Haemonchus contortus, Ostertagia ostertagia (whose name has changed since I learned it), and Trichostrongylus. Egg counts may be less useful in goats than in sheep, but still EXTREMELY powerful. Kudos to you for doing them!

You MAY have done it wrong if you're new to the procedure, so it's never wrong to repeat if you feel necessary. More practice is better. Always do one ENTIRE slide per animal (not just half of a slide) and then average the two to get a count.

A quantity of coccidia oocysts is useless. Extremely high burdens can be seen in totally clinically normal stock, especially immunocompetent juveniles and adults. The presence of coccidia oocysts WITH clinical disease is what is important.

Counts are also meaningless without more information and a knowledge of parasite lifecycle to accurately interpret. Shed rates can vary and there is some random chance and sampling error involved. Immature parasites still can cause extreme damage without shedding eggs at all. This is why a multifaceted approach to evaluating a parasite burden is important. I consider body condition score, production (especially fluctuation or under-performance), fecal consistency, FAMANCHA, AND Egg counts when considering to deworm. :) Considering to deworm is just a part of another multi-faceted problem that is worm CONTROL - dewormers are only a small PART of a parasite control plan.
 
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