Does Your Goat Have Worms?

Probably about 85% of all goat health problems are rooted in worms. Goats are extremely susceptible to worms and will actually die if a successful worming program is not in place.  Symptoms include sluggishness, loss of appetite, scours (diarrhea),  drop in milk production, and can easily lead to death.  In fact, anytime a goat seems off, the first thing we check for is worms.  Right now you should be proactively watching for worms.  Heading it off at the pass is much better that nursing a goat back to health (or burying it).

Worms and other species of parasites, such as coccidian protozoa, invade the body, consume the vital oxygen-carrying red blood cells, wound tissue and excrete cancer-causing waste.  Sick goats are often misdiagnosed and incorrectly treated for other diseases when a worm infestation has played the key causative role.  A worm infestation can seriously impact the overall health of your goats.  Although normally thought of in terms of the stomach and intestines as being the primary sites for these uninvited guests, parasites can also be found in the liver, muscles, joints, esophagus, brain, spinal column, blood, skin and even in the eyes.

Quick Check:

Nothing is as good as sending a stool sample to the vet but the best quick check is to pull out the lower eyelid and check its color.  Worms cause anemia (low red blood cell count).  You want to see a nice, rich salmon color or bright pink.  If it is pale pink, or even worse, white, your goat most likely has worms.



1. Worm your goat.  If you use a chemical wormer, make sure that do a second dosing 11 days after to kill the larva and eggs (now adult worms) that were missed during the first dose.


2. Provide a course of probiotics to restore the natural balance to their digestive tract.  We strongly recommend the Fast Track Jump-Start Gel. Give 5 ml every day for 3 days.


3. Start an iron supplement to rebuild the red blood cell count.  Without the iron supplement it takes a very long time for the goat to rebuild its red blood count.


4. If you have Bovi-Sera or Goat Serum, go ahead and give a 10cc sub-q injection.  This will help strengthen the goat’s compromised immune system and possibly head off any additional ailment that is waiting to piggyback on the opportunity and weakness created by the worms.


Please remember, if you use chemical wormers, rotate what you use so that the worms don’t build up immunity.  The three most commonly used chemicals are those in the generic families of ivermectin, albendazole, and morentel tartrate.  These three generics are sold under many different brand names but close inspection of labels will disclose that each of these “different” brands is one of these three basic chemical families.


Speaking from our own experience of 76 years of goat keeping and that of our customers, the Hoegger Worm Compound has been used with great success.  When used as directed, this alternative to chemical drugs has proven to:

  • Maintain a safe, effective level of natural paraside to which parasites never become resistant
  • Can be safely administered to pregnant does use no harmful effects to unborn kids or young ones.
  • No wasted milk dump for dairy goats or market delay for meat goats.
  • Both the Hoegger Worm Compound and Toner are easy to administer and very economical to use. (1 lb will treat a single goat for 3 years)

An independent report that was featured in a leading goat publication some years ago showed these natural products to be more effective than the commonly used ivermec  drug.

The Hoegger Herbal Wormer works by creating an unpleasant environment for internal parasites, constantly maintaining low levels of worms. Should you be using Hoegger Herbal Wormer and still have a build-up of worms, simply repeat the initial dosage of 1.5 teaspoons, twice a day for 3 days to flush the system. We’ll typically do this with our goats around June regardless of whether we see issues or not.

Don’t take chances with this critical aspect of sound goat keeping practice.  Using  Hoegger wormer and toner  is a safe, effective, economical alternative to chemical products, but whatever you do, stay on top of worms!

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    • Comment made on: January 23 2012

      Parasites are the number one worry with goats, however, you should be just fine using the herbal wormer by itself. When you start them on it you’ll do an initial 3 day / twice-a-day dosage. Whenever I get worried about parasites, typically during the warmer months, I’ll just redo the initial dosing. I do this probably 2 or 3 times a year. This herbal wormer works by making the internal environment of the goat inhospitable to parasites so that they quickly pass through without setting up home. You can also keep the ivomec around and hit them with that if you think there may be a problem that the herbal wormer is struggling to contain, but this should be an exception, not part of the normal schedule.

      • Comment made on: March 7 2012

        My goats have been treated with your herbal dewormer once a week for several months (along with your herbal tonic 2x a week). When I see them beginning to scour should I increase their dewormer to 2x a day for 3 days? How often can this procedure safely be used? I have treated them with di-methox for 7 days in case I am fighting coccidosis due to the terribly wet winter we have had. I also understand that di-methox can be used for treating hoof rot which is another problem with the wet weather. How often can this be safely used? Also, can you use di-methox when the does are just being bred?

        Your suggestion about using Geritol Iron Tonic for anemia is spot on, by the way. My girls fight over who gets their dose first. You’ve gotta love these goats!

        • Comment made on: March 7 2012

          It is never a bad idea to do the initial dosing (2x per day 3 days) of the herbal wormer when you suspect that there may be a parasite issue. The herbal wormer won’t hurt them. Do you know for sure you are dealing with worms? Are they anemic? Whenever you are faced with scours, always do the following:
          1. Stop it with whatever anti-scour medication you have. If you have to go to the store and pick some up that is meant for humans you can. Just stop it asap.
          2. Check for worms. You see the eyelid check above, but you can also have a vet do a stool sample.
          3. Run a course of probiotics to get their digestive system back on track.

          I’m going to move the rest of these questions over to the forum.

  1. Comment made on: January 28 2014

    We found our goat this morning on her side and she was unable to stand up , but she was full of energy and eating. Anyway after an hour or so we got her up and she then had strength to stand and walk a little , with this improved during the day eating smiling walking , but then tonight she collapsed onto the floor , so we moved her into the shed and she gone down hill again , and she can’t stand or walk . _do you know what it could be ? Our goat is twelve years old


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  1. […] enough, Bonnie had Coccydia.  Enter the sinister villain music because when it comes to goat raisin’ in Florida worms […]

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