Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, Texas
Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, TX
Lohn, Texas
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Some much needed rain arrived in 2014. We've been in extreme drought conditions in Texas since 2009. But weather changes bring new and different problems. The drought brought skin mites which I had never seen since I began raising goats in 1990. This year's increased rainfall and high humidity brought about conditions that I've dubbed "Soremouth V.2014."

The last doe to kid this year gave birth in early July. Her doeling developed a sore on the corner of her lower lip at two days of age. Over a period of five days, the sore became more pronounced, but never to the point that she had trouble nursing. Because the dam was one of my oldest does and because her brother was a far more aggressive nurser, I decided to supplement the doeling with a bottle. When the doeling was a week of age, her brother developed a similar mouth sore, but continued to nurse his dam.

The dam never developed sores on her teats or any other mucous membrane and never hesitated to feed her kids. My helper and I continued to handle the kids without gloves; I was convinced that this could not be Soremouth because it was not spreading to the other dams and kids in the same pen. A close friend and fellow goat raiser said it must be Soremouth. This diagnosis made no sense to me. I called my vet. He said he was seeing a similar situation with a few of his goat kids and that his recommendation was to treat it as if it were Soremouth. So out came the gloves, Gentian Violet was applied to the sores, and in a couple of weeks, the mouth sores were gone.

Meanwhile, in the pen/pasture from which this doe came, a few other kids developed similar sores on their mouths. Not a single dam developed sores. Only a few of the kids developed the blisters and they never oozed like typical Soremouth. I cannot attribute lack of the dams' developing problems to retained immunity from previous exposure because I've not seen Soremouth on my ranch in at least 10 years. Immunity is usually lost about every seven years and a new round of the disease crops up.

I attribute this outbreak to our changed weather pattern in 2014. Under favorable conditions, some diseases are suppressed and some make a comeback. If this was Soremouth -- and it must have been -- then we were very lucky in its limited scope of infection.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 10-5-14

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