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Publication #AN294

Goat Parasite Control—General Guidelines1

Sarah Reuss2

General Guidelines

Gastrointestinal (GI) parasitism is the leading cause of death and decreased production in goats. At least 48% of farms in the southeast have parasites that are resistant to all classes of dewormers. While there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation for parasite control, the information in this fact sheet is provided for on-farm use. Contact your veterinarian for specific recommendations. Information was provided by Dr. Sarah Reuss of the UF Large Animal Medicine Service.

Targeting Deworming

  • Do not deworm all animals on a farm on a routine basis.

  • 20% of animals shed 80% of the eggs.

  • Leave “refugia” (worms not exposed to drugs, so they do not develop resistance).

  • FAMACHA Scoring

    • Use mucous membrane color as indication of anemia and therefore parasite load (Figure 1).

    • Need training to acquire card and use effectively (Figure 2).

  • Fecal Egg Counts

    • Generally reflect the animal’s worm burden with some limitations.

    • Use fecal egg count reduction to monitor efficacy of treatment.

Figure 1. 

Use mucous membrane colors as an indication of anemia.


Sarah Reuss

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Figure 2. 

FAMACHA Card reading


Sarah Reuss

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Anthelmintics (Dewormers)

  • Resistance is a huge problem.

  • Only use products for oral administration.

  • Do not use injectable products, and do not give injectable products orally.

  • DrenchRite assay can be performed on a farm basis to determine which dewormers are still effective.

  • Work with your veterinarian to plan a strategy for your particular farm.

Smart Dreching

  • Use proper dose.

  • Administer drug properly.

  • Pasture Management

    • Stocking density

    • If rotating pastures, rest at least six weeks in between use

    • Clip, till, and reseed

  • Mixed Species Grazing

    • Horses and cattle do not carry the same parasites as goats and will help to break them down.

  • Biosecurity

    • Isolate all new animals for at least 14 days.

Alternative Therapies

  • Sericea lespedeza, tannin-condensing forage shown to suppress egg counts

  • Nematode-trapping fungi

  • Copper-oxide wire particles

  • Herbal products (diatomaceous earth, ginger, garlic, tansy) have not been proven to be effective



This document is AN294, one of a series of the Animal Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at


Sarah Reuss, VMD, DACVIM, clinical assistant professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.