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DIAGNOSING AND TREATING PINKEYE

By: "GoatWorld Message Forum Users"

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    Rated 3.7 by 205 responses.

    I'm new to goats and need some advice. We got two little does this weekend. Cute as can be. This morning I noticed they both had a white milky discharge in their eyes. Is this pinkeye? I cleaned the eyes with a damp paper towel but don't know if I should be doing anything else.

    Could be (pinkeye) starting from stress. How old are the does? You will want to worm them, and if they are young you will also want to put them on coccidiosis prevention. Do both of these things now and don't wait. Using a sulfa drug for the coccidiosis prevention will also help with this little bit of shipping fever they are having, which is not only going to give them weepy eyes but also a little lung congestion and a runny nose. If it also has a fever going along with it, call one of us on the Goat 911 site and you will need some medications. Honestly I would order some Tylan 50 if they are young and Tylan 200 if they are older; some needles and syringes just to have on hand anyway. There is lots of worming and coccidiosis information on previous Message Forum threads. Feed stores and the GoatWorld Store.com sell terramyacin - a very mild opthomolic medication for the eye, which will help clear this up if it is the starting of pinkeye, more than like chlamydia.

    August - We have a doe that is matting both eyes. Can I assume it is pinkeye? What is is treated with? I have every medication except something for pink eye. I understand you should treat the whole herd?

    I use Neopredef powder, twice daily in the eyes. It has antibiotics and painkillers. Even on the worst case it will be cleared up and gone in 7 days. I have been using it for years and always get fast results.

    This is exactly the same time of year we came down with a horrible case of pinkeye, kept me and a gal in Seguin from going to the show next month! I am not wanting a repeat of this, and because of that I am not bringing in any hay until after the show. Last year we came down with it right after bringing in our hay for the year - my vet says I am crazy (she says that alot :). Anyway, we just fill a small spary bottle with vinegar and water and spray the affected eyes daily. If anyone gets really clouded over they are moved into a sick pen and Terramycin eye ointment is placed in their eyes 3 times a day. Nothing is going to cure the pinkeye, you just have to keep secondary infections from taking hold. Some folks swear by port wine sprayed in the eyes, others vinegar. Some give LA200 as shots or drops for the eyes, so as you can see, no cure just lots of remedies :)

    Flies transport the Pinkeye Virus from animal to animal, it`s so prevalent now because of the hot weather. You can vaccinate at the beginning of Summer to eliminate the problem. But really the Neopredef powder will have even the worst case well in about 5 days. May need to redo it again in a week if other goats are present. I usually treat all goats in the same herd with the one showing symptoms.

    Pinkeye is caused by bacteria. Flies spread the bacteria from other herds of goats, cows and horses. That's why antibiotics are used. I don't think the pink-eye vaccine has been tested on goats, yet. (GoatWorld Note: more information is needed on the pinkeye vaccine for goats. If you have information, please contact gary@goatworld.com.)

    The cattle vaccine for pinkeye is not the type of pinkeye that goats get. And though catching the pinkeye in its earliest stages and using tetracycline on the whole herd will give you some results with the pinkeye in does who have not started with it yet. Antibiotics on a whole for treating the "already there" pinkeye is just about worthless. Terramycin eye ointment is great on does whose pinkeye progresses into secondary infections. But pinkeye and soremouth are all the type of things that everyone will get every once in awhile and it simply must run its course.

    My vet sold us Oxybiotic (Oxytetracycline). The name brand is "Butler". It is gone in 3 days with no spots unless it is really bad, then one more dose 3 days later. It cost $63.00 a bottle of 500ml. I don't know if you can get a smaller bottle but it really works. Our vet had us apply it between the shoulder blades. They cry for a few minutes but go back to eating and drinking. You can check with your vet but on ours it worked great.
    I have developed Pinkeye in my herd. I have been flushing the eyes with oxytetracycline (LA200) and the mild cases are responding. I have one animal that seems to be more advanced. The eyes have glazed to almost white. I have continued the flushing 3 times a day and had followed up with an injection of the same twice now. Not wanting to completely mess up the rumen. Am I on the right path and is this animal every going to clear up?:

    The treatment that I found to be effective for Pinkeye is using a yellow spray-on powder called Furox - a brand of Furazolidine. It's a good idea to separate the goats that have pinkeye from the goats that don't or else it will run rampant through your herd very quickly. We spray the Furox on the eyes and around the area of the eyes at least twice a day. It should clear up in a week or so. I do know that there are other ointments and treatments available that you do drop in the eyes - not sure about using LA200 though. Lastly, (even though) you probably already know and practice this) wash your hands thoroughly. Pinkeye is extrememly contagious and can be easily passed to humans as well as goats.

    There are as many treatments for pinkeye as there are goat owners! I just prefer to spray vinegar and water into the eyes twice a day. This changes the PH of the eyes making secondary infections harder to take hold. Since pinkeye in goats is not Moraxella Bovis and LA200 is for pinkeye for cattle, we choose not to use this. But if you are going to use LA200 as an injection please use the other Tetracyclines like Biomycin, its carrier hurts less. You can also give it subQ to goats! We are going to try the new ID-1 as an eyedrop if we get it this year. We usually just treat the severe cases with terramycin eye ointment. Keeping a handle on our flies always keeps pinkeye at bay. Once the eye has ulcerated it takes much longer for the doe to get over this. But whether you use LA200, Furox, ID-1 or whatever, you are just trying to help with secondary infection, and keeping symptoms at bay, stop the treatment and symptoms come back. And like a cold it will go away in 2 or 3 weeks no matter what you do.

    There is a new medication that Jeffers is now selling, it is Gentocin Pinkeye Spray. It contains Gentamicin Sulfate. I have not had a pinkeye problem in several years. However it was contagious and I had several goats come down with it over a period of several months. Their corneas became very cloudy and they were temporarly blinded. As I recalled, it took at least two weeks before the eyes started getting back to normal. Some recommendations that I have read, included isolating the infected goat from the herd and NOT treating it with anything, but allow the infection to run it's course.

    Any of the other treatments mentioned would work. We had pinkeye a few years back here. At the time we had a really good ole' country vet who gave me a couple of tubes of triplebiotic ointment. I used it 2x's a day for 7 days and it cleared up. One doe who that had pinkeye developed it so badly and so quickly that her eye was white. I also have heard other breeders mention using Today (mastitis treatment) in the eye for pinkeye. And in a pinch, I've read salt can be used, but I'd think that would burn, or also using Chardonay wine.

    The last time we had a bout with pinkeye I heard about the salt treatment too. Opting for something that sounded a little less painful I would wash all the drainage from their eyes with warm salt water before administering the antibiotic ointment. They seemed to really enjoy it and their eyes cleared up and returned to normal.

    I use Epsom salt instead of table salt -don't know if that makes a difference. I know my grandmother used to soak infections in warm water and Epsom salt.

    I have used port wine with success; one dose for the goats eyes, one for me! We keep everyone happy this way. Our Nubian buck enjoys a little nip of his own every once in a while (he drinks it). But then again, he is into herbal iced teas too. Not saying he's spoiled or anything.

    For all it's worth...last summer we too had pinkeye. The kind that just won't go away. The only thing we had luck with is LA200, antibiotic salve for the eyes (I think it was Gallimycin) and lots of TLC. We used the puffers too...messy! The Gallimycin spray for hotspots on dogs can be sprayed in their eyes but it contains alcohol and really stings. I also washed their faces twice daily in warm salt water. The old farmers around here used to throw salt in their cow's eyes when they got pinkeye. Seemed a little severe to me so I went with a wash! Sometimes one injection will get results...with some of my ladies it took two and even three shots (3 days apart!) to get results. The white in their eyes sometimes takes a while to go away but when the cornea begins to reattach, you can see it start to "color up" around the edges. Hope this helps.
    Pinkeye like soremouth are things that you get no matter what, and will run its course no matter what you do. Treating with LA200 is a treatment for maxi-bovis which is the cattle pinkeye, which goats can't get, this is why the vaccine for pinkeye also won't work for our goats. You can use anything 3 times a day, and it will go away in 2 or 3 weeks, it will also go away if you do nothing. Anything which changes the PH of the eye will prevent secondary infection, which is what your goal in treating the symptoms truly are. So if you are dropping in eye drops, antibiotics, ointments, vinegar in a spray bottle or port wine, all of this does nothing more or less than change the PH making it tough for infection to form and ulcerate the eye. Now if an eye clouds over than yes you need to aggressively treat the animal with systemic antibiotics and eye ointments (nothing with a steriod in it or you could cause permanant eye damage). I do think the new eye drops from Jeffers with the Gentocin in it is a good idea, and you can also make it yourself. I don't have the recipe handy........does somebody else have it to post? I also have a bottle of ID-1 (to use as eyedrops and to boost the does antibodies to fight this, in the fridge which I will be trying if we get it, we didn't get it last year, though year before it is was a horrible strain of chylmydia which kept coming back.

    I knew the bovine vaccines wouldn't work on the goats but I didn't realize the LA200 would only help with secondary infections. Maybe that's why the vet gave it to the first case we had. Of course that was several years ago and he and I have both learned a lot since then!

    Pinkeye can spread rapidly through a herd. While keeping the affected goats isolated from the rest of the healthy herd is a very good precaution, it can still be spread by flies, a goat rubbing up against something that the affected goat may have rubbed up against, etc. So washing areas that may have been contaminated is a good idea too (though not always easy or practical). It is also a widely accepted practice to give 1 or 2 cc's per day of an oxytetracyline antibiotic as well.

    The method I have used from start to finish during the last outbreak of pinkeye here was this:
    A few drops morning and night in each eye. Wash the area around the eye with warm water. Paper towels are best in my opinion because you can throw them away, burn them, etc. Then give at least 1 cc per day for 5 days of the oxytetracyline such as Biomycin. For the young kids, 1 cc per day is probably just right.

    Pinkeye generally runs it course in a couple of weeks. Left untreated it can cause some permanent damage - that's why it is important to treat it daily until all the signs disappear.

    I've heard of alot of rememdies for pinkeye - port wine sprayed in the eyes, penicillin, too many to remember. Others will post and give their two cents. Most cases of pinkeye can be easily treated but every once in awhile there seems to be a resistant strain of it that takes a little longer to cure.

    Last word of precaution - whenever you handle a goat that has pinkeye, scrub yourself well afterwards because you can get pinkeye too!

    My goat is a bottle fed goat and has done fine. But this morning his eye started to swell and run a white liquid. I don't think it's pinkeye because we've been through that with the rest of our goats.

    He may have just gotten something in his eye to irritate it but if it were me, I'd clean his eye with warm salt water and use an antibiotic salve like Terramycin Eye Ointment twice a day.

    I don't want to sound stupid but do you use regular salt? What do you use to flush it out with?

    Yes table salt is just fine. In fact, the old time solution for lots of eye problems is to just throw salt into the eye. You can also use solutions for people who wear contacts. Terramycin ointment is a great idea, so is the new Gentocin.

    We had a round of pinkeye a couple of years ago. I don't know how anybody else does it, but we'd called the vet for the first one having never seen pinkeye before and after that just did it ourselves. At the first sign we gave a dose of LA200 and then treated the eyes twice daily by washing their eyes and faces with warm salt water. That cleaned all the goo off their faces and after the initial shock of seeing the cloth come towards their face (clean cloth and water with every animal!) they actually seemed to enjoy it. When the eyes were clean we treated with an antibiotic salve (like Terramycin Eye Ointment). There's a new spray out now called Gentocin Pinkeye Spray. That would be lots easier to get in their eyes! Either of these treatments can be ordered from Jeffers. If their eyes turn white and they lose their sight, don't freak out but do keep up the treatments. All of ours returned to normal with no permanent damage. Hope this helps some.

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