My goat has lice.
When my Mom was over during our beautifully strange almost-70-degree weather on Monday, she asked why Nettie's goat was all scraggly looking. I told her that it looks like she's been biting at her coat to scratch. So I went up to Nettie for a closer inspection, brushing her hair back to smooth it out, then parting the hair around her top line, I finally spied a tiny black, elongated looking bug. I plucked it off her and took a good look at it. And it looked exactly like this:
|Not my picture, but found it on the web & it looks exactly like|
the bug I found on Nettie.
I went to get the bag of Hy-Yield Garden, Pet & Livestock Dust from the garage, made myself a homemade dusting applicator (i.e. plastic yogurt cup with crapload of holes poked in the lid) and dusted the crap out of her and the rest of her herd mates. I did the same thing the following day, and spent more time looking through everyone's coat while "trapped" in the milk stand or on their leads while eating breakfast. But I didn't find any more of the buggers, nor any of the supposed telltale signs of a lice infestation like bunches of white eggs attached to the hairs.
I highly doubt the bug I found was the only one, especially since Nettie was scratching in different areas on her back. But I was a bit upset that I couldn't find any more of them as I really wanted to take one into the house (dead, of course) and get it under the microscope to properly ID the bugger.
After doing a internet search on products to deal with lice, I also learned a few things about the little skin chewing and blood sucking bastards. If you're bored, or find your goats scratching a bit more than normal, here are some links to goat lice: Lice & More Lice.
Basically are two types of lice that frequent goats; biting lice and sucking lice (I'm pretty certain the one Nettie has is a sucking louse as it's head was in her flesh, kind'a like a tick). And apparently they are more of a concern in the fall and winter as the summer heat and sun kills the little buggers.
Since the dusting powder does not kill any eggs, I'll have to re-apply the dust again in two weeks. But I'll be checking her every day now while she's in the milk stand. If there seems to be no change, I may go ahead and drench her with some Ivermectin. I wouldn't consider going that far if she were milking, but since we won't have to worry about a milk withdrawal time because she's dried up now, that will probably be my next step.
And Mom, don't worry, goat lice do not live on people, so you can quit scratching!