Goats skin flakes and gray streaks in fur

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by waddles99, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was thinking maybe spring shedding but I had to make sure-why do my two Nigerian goats have dried skin cells and gray streaks in their fur? The gray streaks turned out to be fur that was just detached from the body and could be combed out. But the skin cells are new, they look like little white specks. Do they have a disease or is it just spring shedding?
     
  2. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    It would help if you took a few pictures for us. A close up picture of the problem and then a picture that shows us the entire goat. Did you check closely for lice? You can see them.

    Copper and/or zinc deficiencies in goats (and other animals actually) manifest as skin and fur problems. Zinc deficiencies in early stages especially causes the dandruff-like problems and unusual shedding.Zinc deficiency in more severe stages cause poor wound healing and impaired immune function, among other problems. It can even cause stunting.

    Early signs of copper deficiency include depigmentation of hair (black goats turn rusty, very obvious) and coarse hair, with more severe symptoms setting in as it gets worse. Copper is nessasary for production of red blood cells (not just iron is needed), bone production, and myelination (a fatty covering on nerves that allow proper nervous conduction).

    What do they eat? What do you give them for mineral? A loose mineral? Is it made for goats specifically? Are you letting them have free choice access?

    This isn't a new problem, is it? Didn't you upload a picture of one of your goats who had dandruff issues before? If so, then you need to get on top of it sooner rather than later.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  3. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    This is a picture of the back of the worst out of the two. I took a brush and some warm water and tried to get some of it out. About the minerals, I have been feeding loose minerals but forgot to set them out the past week or so due to busy schedule. That could be it?
     
  4. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    WOW that is not a good looking goat! No, definitely mineral deficiency going on there, that is pretty obvious. Probably both copper and zinc, given the depigmentation of the fur and severity of the dandruff. And a week without minerals won't cause symptoms that bad, they haven't been getting enough for a while. Yes, put the minerals out promptly (and make sure they ALWAYS have access to it), but they're going to need some heavy duty support to get healthy again.

    First, get some copper boli (that is plural for bolus). It is basically a pill capsule that contains copper oxide particles. They swallow those particles, which lodge in the rumen, and slowly release copper. They'll need more of it initially to solve the problem, like it being given once a month until their fur is nice again, then it being given once every few months as needed. Copper oxide is very very difficult to overdose, as it is actually poorly absorbed. Which is why it is so great in that it acts as long term, slow release. Do not let them chew the capsules. Jam it behind their teeth so they swallow it. Chewing or crushing the copper oxide makes it not stick in the rumen, which means it won't do its job. You cannot get copper boli at a feed store, it is something that must be ordered.

    They'll also need zinc supplemented. You can either use human tablets bought at the pharmacy such as zinc sulfate tabs, or mineral pastes meant for livestock (Mineral Max or Replamin Plus) which would be much easier to give. You cannot get Mineral Max or Replamin plus at your average feed store, they must be ordered.
     
  5. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. The issue with the minerals is they spill it, so it have to keep refilling everyday. I will try and keep it elevated off the floor so they don't spill it or anything. I am going to give them 24/7 access to the minerals and try and see if I can get those pills you recommended.
     
  6. H Diamond

    H Diamond Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Stacykins gave you good info. The one thing I might add is the light fluffy white fur that you are seeing coming out is probably their winter coat shedding out. (although I do very much agree about the mineral deficiency part.) Most goats get a white fluffy fuzzy fur under their normal coat for winter warmth. It's that time of year for a lot of places for it to start coming out.
     
  7. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    They definitely do lose that downy, soft, lovely bit of insulation at this time of year in favor of a lighter coat. But yea, the guard hairs don't look that faded and rough with that much dandruff unless they're low on something.
     
  8. H Diamond

    H Diamond Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Totally agree.
     
  9. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good news,
    I took everyone's advice and they are already looking a bit better. Not as many flakes, they are itching less. I do still find a lot, but I guess it is going to be a journey. Everyday I sit down with them for 10 mins or so and brush out the winter fur while scratching them because they seem to enjoy it.
     
  10. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    It takes a lot longer than a couple of days for minerals to do their job. Think about how long it takes a human hair to grow, it doesn't happen overnight. It will also take a while for a healthy layer of skin to start to appear, since the older deficient layers of skin need to be shed.

    I did forget to add that giving them a little bit of black oil sunflower seed in their feed (not much, they're super fatty) might help. They have a lot of oil to help with the skin problems, plus a decent amount of copper and selenium. But it won't replace the fact that they'll need additional supplementation for those minerals especially, in addition to getting their normal loose minerals daily.
     

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