“A day in the country is worth a month in town”Christina Rossetti

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Small Ruminant Class - Hoof Trimming, Fecal Egg Counts and Parasites

Trimming hooves is one of those tasks that I was told by several goat owners I would only need to do twice a year. Well not with my Zola, and I am feeling quite guilty that I didn't come home and immediately give her a pedicure. A board was set up with frozen legs and the feet from the morning's lambs for us to practice on. We got to use several clippers and even large snips. I notice that Dr. Wolfgang got to handle all of the sharp objects during the class!At home, I use a pair of Fiskars garden pruners that have rounded tips. I was recommended to be cautious with sharp points for the animal, as well as myself. I'd say it is a good recommendation, as sometimes you are not working on level ground and the animals move, so there are many ways to draw blood. The nice thing about using the frozen feet is that you could trim too far to see what you were trying to avoid. The feet from the morning actually still bled a little if we went too far, so that was a good lesson.
Hoof trimming is one of those things that you need to be shown before you just pick up a goat leg and do it. This was a great place to make sure any questions were answered.

Understanding the anatomy of the hoof also helped make us want to be more diligent about keeping up with a back aggravating chore, at least in my case.My goat poop samples for the fecal egg count. Nematodirus slide that I was able to photograph through the scope.
Not from my goats though.
While the fecal egg counts were being calculated, Saturday morning’s session focused on herd management, and preventing parasite infestations. We began with a discussion of the life cycle and biology of parasites. Then we learned about the basic classes of dewormers and how resistance among parasites develops. With this background, Dr. Van Saun explained different ways to monitor and prevent parasites and worms. My results were not too bad, but I do have some remediation to figure out for the kids.

Dr. Van Saun relaying the absolutes in life.

Robert Van Saun, DVM, Penn State Extension Veterinarian and Professor of Veterinary Science, specializes in small ruminant pregnancy nutrition and its influence on health, production and reproduction; metabolic diseases and their prevention; and preventive medicine programs.

Trimming hooves article. There are many to find. There are even videos online.

On-line Manual for Conducting Fecal Egg Counts

Diagnosis of Internal Parasitism in Goats - Good reference from Langston University for identifying parasites and more about the procedure.



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