Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, Texas
Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, TX
Lohn, Texas
Onion Creek Ranch "Chevon, cabrito, goat... No matter what you call it, it is the HEALTHY red meat™
Onion Creek Ranch

Visit us on FaceBook
for current news


Staphylococcal dermatitis is a common skin condition in goats. Staph infections usually occur in areas of heavy rain and high humidity. No vaccine or other medication specifically targeted to control Staph in goats currently exists. Staph is very hard to eliminate since it is a highly adaptive and opportunistic bacteria.

Staph normally first appears on the underside of the goat in areas often in contact with the ground -- udder, teats, scrotum, insides of legs, stomach -- but it can spread to the entire surface of the goat's body. Staph infects the hair follicles, causing the hair to fall out, resulting in a hairless goat with sores over its body. Oozing raised pustules or thick "fish scale" scabs occur.

This article describes an updated treatment for Staph currently being used at Onion Creek Ranch in West Texas. Onion Creek Ranch experienced a Staph outbreak in two buck pastures in dry West Texas resulting from unusually heavy rainfall in 2007. None of the hundreds of does on the Ranch contracted Staph infections. Interestingly, only three bucks in each pasture were affected, causing this writer to conclude that this Staph does not necessarily pass from animal to animal but instead was most likely contracted through direct contact with the bacteria in its moist environment.

Using disposable gloves, paper towels, and plastic bags, the producer must squeeze the pus from the pustules and pull the scabs off before topical treatment can be effective. Purchase a bottle of Lime Sulfur Dip by Vet Solutions (97.8% lime sulfur concentrate sold only through vets) or similar prescription product. Mix as indicated on the bottle. Place in a trigger-squeeze spray bottle and apply generously to the affected skin after the scabs and pustules have been removed. Apply this spray daily until all evidence of the staph infection has disappeared. This product tends to crystallize when mixed and clog up the spray mechanism, so it may be necessary to change spray pumps every few days. At least two weeks of daily treatment is needed in most cases. Staph is difficult to cure, so the producer must stay vigilant and medicate until all evidence of infection is gone.

Along with this daily treatment, start the affected goats on an every-third-day into-the-muscle (IM) injection of a powerful broad-spectrum prescription antibiotic such as Nuflor, Excenel RTU, or Baytril 100; check with your vet on availability and legality of using of Baytril 100 in your area. Administer a minimum of three of these injections over the timeframe indicated above. Dosage is 6 cc's per 100 lbs bodyweight for each of the above-cited prescription antibiotics given every third for the purposes of this treatment only. Do not abort the antibiotic treatment; antibiotics need to be given for the full course to be effective.

Whenever a goat is ill, the use of an immune system booster is recommended. PolySerum or BoviSera are good injectable over-the-counter immune system boosters. BoSe (injectable selenium with Vitamin E) is also used by some producers for this purpose.

There are several types of Staph, some of which are resistant to certain classes of antibiotics. If one of these doesn't work, try another. The only way to be sure Staph is the problem is to have a vet examine the goat, take a skin plug of the infected tissue, and culture it. If there is a chance that the sick goat is having an immune-system reaction, a skin plug diagnosis is essential, because treatment for immune-system disorders can actually make Staph conditions worse.

The ideal treatment plan includes moving the Staph-infected goats into a dry, clean area. If this option isn't available, thoroughly bleach feed dishes and remove soiled bedding and hay so that sources of Staph bacteria are less available for further infection.

Do not confuse staph with Soremouth (contagious ecthyma aka Orf) or with leg mites, which cause crusty looking skin mostly near the fetlocks and up the legs. This writer has an article on Soremouth.

Meat Goat Mania

Important! Please Read This Notice!

All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers.

In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Suzanne Gasparotto is not a veterinarian.Neither tennesseemeatgoats.com nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.

The author, Suzanne Gasparotto, hereby grants to local goat publications and club newsletters, permission to reprint articles published on the Onion Creek Ranch website under these conditions: THE ARTICLE MUST BE REPRODUCED IN ITS ENTIRETY AND THE AUTHOR'S NAME, ADDRESS, AND CONTACT INFORMATION MUST BE INCLUDED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE REPRINT. We would appreciate notification from any clubs or publications when the articles are used. (A copy of the newsletter or publication would also be a welcome addition to our growing library of goat related information!)

[GoatCamp™] [Tennessee Meat Goats™] [Myotonic Goats] [TexMaster™ Goats] [Which Breed is Right for You?]
[Ranch History] [The Present & Future] [Meat Goat Mania]
[Registry of Myotonics, Tennessee Meat Goats™ and TexMasters™]
[News & Events] [Health and Management Articles] [Links] [ChevonTalk Discussion List] [E-Mail] [Home]

Shop for the Best Discounted Pet, Equine, & Livestock Supplies!

All information and photos copyright © Onion Creek Ranch and may not be used without express written permission of Onion Creek Ranch. TENNESSEE MEAT GOAT ™ and TEXMASTER™ are Trademarks of Onion Creek Ranch . All artwork and graphics © DTP, Ink and Onion Creek Ranch.

Site Hosted by Khimaira Web Hosting

Home PageEmail UsSALE BARNPresent and FutureGoatCamp™Myotonic Goats
Tennessee Meat Goats™TexMaster™ GoatsWhich breed is right for you?Health & Management Articles
ChevonTalk Discussion GroupLinksRegistrationMeat Goat Mania