Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Goat coughing?  (Read 1088 times)


  • Joined Jun 2019
Goat coughing?
« on: July 16, 2019, 05:35:08 pm »
Hi all. Ever since I got this goat, about two months ago, he has been coughing. He does it usually after running or playing, but sometimes just when he is standing around. Itís a dry cough.
He has been wormed twice. Once before I got him and again with ivomec, I believe. He has also had antibiotics.
Quite thin compared to the other goats I got him with, though I feed them separately so he doesnít get bossed.

Does anyone know what could be wrong? I donít know if I should call the vet again, since I donít know what else he can do?

I have been giving garlic and honey as instructed by him as well.

Thanks in advance for any help.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 05:36:50 pm by cici »


  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Goat coughing?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2019, 11:16:46 pm »
Have you done FECs before and after worming to see if there's a problem that needed treating and whether or not the wormer has worked (including testing for lungworm)? 

What are you feeding - could it be dust from the hay perhaps?

I assume that the coughing is more than the normal cough that sits alongside them cudding?

What age and breed is he by comparison to the others?  Did they all come from the same place or different places?  What health checks were done before you purchased him and is there any history there that may help?

What's his vaccination status?
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.


  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Goat coughing?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2019, 07:22:50 am »
Any chance he has lungworm?


  • Joined Jun 2019
Re: Goat coughing?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2019, 07:49:33 pm »
The vet didn't mention a test, but I'll need to ask about the possibility of doing it.

I'm giving them good hay that smells fine to me, but my dad is keeping a huge pile of old, bad quality, dusty hay that he planned to feed to the sheep, right next to the goat pen. I can't smell it from far away, but maybe that is doing some harm? It's going to be burned soon, but moving it will be difficult, and and he is waiting for a day when the wind is strong and isn't going towards the fields.

They are all the same age and breed, bought from the same place and raised together. I believe all the tests have been done as its a reputable farm, and they had him on a regular worming schedule.

He has a good coat and has been wormed regularly, but are lungworms still a strong possibility?

The coughing always happens after a long run or when he's been playing with the other two. It's like a dry coughing fit, sometimes he coughs once or twice, but other times he coughs quite a few times.

The vet has been here twice, but maybe I'll call soon?
« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 07:51:14 pm by cici »


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Goat coughing?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2019, 08:30:02 pm »
Is this an adult or a kid we are talking about? Wether ot entire? I am just asking as if wether and/or kid you could take him to the vets rather than calling out maybe - much cheaper.

Lungworm is quite difficult to get rid off, it needs repeat dosing, also goats usually need double the sheep dose (or 1.5 x sheep dose for yellow wormers).
He may also had a bout of pneumonia as a youngster - this often leads to scarring in the lungs and he will always be coughing. But most likely lungworm, possibly worse if dusty hay nearby.


  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Goat coughing?
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2019, 07:40:48 am »
The lungworm test is more expensive and takes longer than a standard FEC because it requires culturing.  Definitely worth doing though.

Hay doesn't need to smell bad to be dusty - good quality meadow hay can sometimes be dusty because it's late cut and therefore contains pollen and or seed which can become dust like during the curing process.  It's fine to feed dusty hay (but not mouldy hay which is usually what smells/looks bad). 

No point keeping bad hay for sheep; they won't eat it... they're just as fussy as goats and horses.  Cattle may eat bad hay if they're desperate but given the health implications it's generally not good value for money to risk needing the vet for the sake of a few hay bales.

Believing the test have been done isn't the same as knowing the results.  There are a lot of reputable places that don't test and rely on their own knowledge and experience.  Unless the animals came from accredited stock, you have no idea what underlying health issues they have unless you test them yourself.  Have a look at the information on this page for good oversight of some of the common diseases.  You don't necessarily have to join the scheme but it's worth reading up on the conditions.

A "regular worming schedule" is the worst possible management option.  Current advice is only to worm after an FEC indicates it's required.  Regular worming, particularly if carried out unnecessarily or at an incorrect dosage results in resistant worms which will not be susceptible to wormer in future when required. 

You also need to find out his vaccination status in order to keep on top of regular vaccinations - current advice is to use Lambivac at least twice but preferably 3 times a year.

Vets don't normally charge for advice over the phone, but a lot of vet practices also don't see many goats these days so it's worth asking if they have a "goat vet" at the practice or finding a practice where there is a goat vet.  Also worth joining your local goat keeping club as you may find experienced keepers will be willing to help/take a look and give you their thoughts and advice.

Depending on his size, as Anke says, you could take him to the vet rather than having the callout charges.  I have "small to medium sized goats" and have put one of them in a dog cage (with or without their kids) in the back of the car to go to the vet if it needs to be treated in an emergency.  If several need blood testing etc the vet comes out to me.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.


Coughing Goat

Started by Seven Acres (12.11)

Replies: 6
Views: 2160
Last post March 15, 2017, 09:47:40 pm
by Scarlet.Dragon
coughing wether goat

Started by lizzypeg (11.98)

Replies: 5
Views: 2013
Last post March 03, 2014, 11:04:59 am
by lizzypeg

Started by Festus (7.62)

Replies: 5
Views: 974
Last post December 12, 2020, 08:26:05 am
by Anke
coughing kid. 10 month's old

Started by tattycat (7.54)

Replies: 2
Views: 1334
Last post February 28, 2015, 08:33:16 pm
by tattycat
Coughing goats

Started by angie (7.54)

Replies: 8
Views: 1472
Last post October 25, 2018, 12:13:27 pm
by angie

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2021. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS