Articles about Goat Farming
Sarcoptic and Chorioptic Mange in Goats
Sarcoptic and Chorioptic mange are skin diseases, which are caused by tiny mites. Sarcoptic mange ("Scabies") affects mainly the head
and the neck of the goat, whereas Chorioptic mange affects mostly the lower limbs and the udder or the scrotum.
The first symptom
of Sarcoptic mange is a loss of hair on the neck and on the back part of the head. Then nodules start to form, and finally
the skin thickens and becomes dark, wrinkly, and necrotic. The infection is extremely itchy, and the goat will not
stop scratching the back of her head, until it is an open, bleeding wound (secondary infections of these wounds are the
main health hazard of scabies!). Fortunately, Sarcoptic mange is easy to treat with 1ccm of Ivermectin injection subcutaneously
for every 25 kg of bodyweight, to be repeated after 7 days. Zinc-rich sun cream (the white, sticky stuff surfers like) protects the
naked skin against sunburn, and helps the skin to heal.
Every winter, during the cold and wet weather, a few of our goats are
affected by Chorioptic mange. Most cases are fairly mild. The Picture (right) shows an unusually sever infection, normally
the goats are less severely affected (some crusts and ulcerations on the lower limbs). Because Chorioptic mites, different to Sarcoptic
mites, live on skin debris (not blood), injection of Ivermectin does not kill them all. Treatment with an organophosphorous insecticide,
which acts as anticholesterase compound (e.g. Inca Malaban Wash), is successful, but treats only the symptoms. The mites cannot
be eradicated, and re-infection will occur. Since Malaban Wash is dangereous for humans, we stopped treating the goats against
Chorioptic mites. Our current protocol is to keep the affected animals under close observation to avoid severe health
problems due to secondary infections, and to treat the affected limbs with zinc-rich sun cream from time to time to support the natural
defense and healing process of the skin (full article).
An unusually severe case of Chorioptic mange