By Regan Hennessy

Caused by microscopic parasites in your goat’s skin, mange can develop into serious skin problems if you leave it untreated in your goat herd. According to Dr. Justin Talley, an assistant professor in Oklahoma State University’s Entomology Department, goats suffer from four main types of mange, namely demodectic mange (caused by the Demodex caprae mite), sarcoptic mange (caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite), psoroptic mange (caused by the Psoroptes cuniculi mite) and chorioptic mange (caused by the Chorioptis bovis mite). A highly infectious condition, mange spreads quickly to other goats in your herd if you fail to identify and treat it promptly.

Decide what type of mange infection your goat has, since each mange mite species causes symptoms in different areas of your goats body. Look for signs of ear lesions and smelly ear discharge, as well as, excessive head shaking, in a goat that has psoroptic mange, also called ear mite mange. Check your goats legs and feet, especially around the dew claws on the front legs, for skin bumps and lesions indicating chorioptic mange. Look for hair loss around the ears, eyes and muzzle, as well as overall areas of thickened, scaly skin in a goat with sarcoptic mange, or scabies. Identify signs of demodectic mange in your goat, which include crusty skin bumps and papules located in your goats face, neck and udder region.

Separate mange-infected goats from the rest of your goat herd. Put the infected goat in an isolation pen that ideally does not share any fence lines or feeding bowls with the rest of your animals. Check the bodies of the rest of your goats daily for a least one week afterward to ensure that they don’t get infected. Pay close attention to young kids and pregnant or lactating dogs, whose weakened immune systems make them particularly vulnerable to mange.

Give your goat a topical spray or subcutaneous injection of an acaricide approved for use in goats. Talk to your veterinarian to determine which treatment options will work best for your goat, taking into consideration your goat’s age and health status. Opt for a topical spray that contains a synthetic chemical insecticide, such as permethrin, for more mild cases of mange. Try injectable ivermectin for more advance mange infections. Use a body spray containing a 2% lime-sulfur solution for your lactating dairy goats to keep from contaminating the milk.

Treat your goat with a second cycle of mange medication seven to 10 days following the first round of treatment to prevent re-infestation by newly hatched mite eggs.