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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22615
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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One of my pet pygmy goats has a dry hacking cough. Still

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One of my pet pygmy goats has a dry hacking cough. Still eating and playing and no other signs of illness.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has he had the cough?

Any breathing changes or nasal discharge?

Are his gums pink or pale/white?

When was he last wormed? What did you use?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Three days
No problems breathing and no discharge
Gums pink
5 months ago - Panacur oral

Thank you,

First, I am very glad to hear that we don't have any of those more worrying signs present. Though as I am sure you can appreciate, we can see coughing for a range of reasons. Most often it will be bacterial or viral upper airways infections but we can also see lungworm and tracheitis (traumatic or inflammatory) also cause these signs.

With all this in mind, since he is otherwise bright and well, we can try some supportive care. To start, you can try to soothe his throat by administering a few milliliters (5-10ml) of plain over the counter glycerin/honey cough syrup (with no drugs in it) or even plain honey or molasses. All can be very soothing to the irritated and tickly throat. Furthermore, you can even use Robitussin DM with him. I would just say to make sure to use this preparation and avoid any similar syrups that may contain other medications like Paracetamol, Acetaminophen, Pseudoephedrine, Phenylephrine or caffeine (since these can be toxic). If it also contains Guaifenesin that is okay. Dose-wise, we tend to give this as 1 teaspoon per 20lbs of his body weight every 8-12 hours. Again, this can reduce the irritation that is triggering his coughing. As well, it can also help to soak any hay he is on to reduce further throat irritation.

Further to this, we can also cover against bacterial respiratory agents using a broad spectrum antibiotics. Common options we'd use in these cases include Penicillin or Oxytetracycline. Both are often available via local farm supply shops or via your vet. The dose for either is 1ml per 20lbs (daily for Penicillin and every 2 days for Oxytetracycline). And this would help rule out +/- address those above bacterial concerns.

Finally, even though he has been wormed, there is a risk of lungworm if he is on pasture. Therefore, if you find he isn't settling, you may want to consider having a stool sample checked for this parasite. If present, he may require reworming with an alternative wormer +/- relocation onto a clean pasture.

Overall, we do have a few concerns for his signs. Therefore, we'd want to take a step by step approach here to soothe his throat, address any bacterial agents and then rule out those others if need be. That way we can ensure we are covering all bases and can get him back on track.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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