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Treatment

There are several different methods used to treat goats for foot rot. Typically, you need to use several methods to control foot rot.
The foot on this animal has been properly trimmed to expose all infected areas in the foot. This will allow the foot bath solution to reach any infected areas.

The foot on this animal has been properly trimmed to expose all infected areas in the foot. This will allow the foot bath solution to reach any infected areas.

Treating goats at the first sign of any lameness and routinely running goats through a foot bath is important for controlling foot rot once it has been identified on your farm.

Foot trimming is the first step in treating foot rot. Trimming the foot will cut away any cracked areas in the hoof and help to prevent the foot rot organism from becoming established. Goats who have foot rot should be trimmed to remove all infected areas. It is extremely important to open up these areas so that the foot bath solution and air can reach the damaged areas.

Unfortunately, this may also cause some bleeding. Do not become alarmed at the sight of the blood. A small amount will help to cleanse the foot. For routine trimming, trim goats with healthy feet first so that you do not spread the disease to them. Then, as you work on the goats with infected feet, use a Clorox solution to disinfect the foot trimmers between each goat.

Once the infected foot has been trimmed, the foot should be soaked in a foot bath for a few minutes. For small numbers of goats you may want to mix a small amount of solution in a small container and individually soak each foot. For large numbers of goats you will want to construct a foot bath that includes a system of panels to direct them into the foot bath and requires them to stand in the solution. Typical footbath solutions are made up of either zinc sulfate or copper sulfate. Follow directions on the label for mixing. Zinc sulfate is colorless, but copper sulfate will leave a bluish green color on anything it touches. You can also use other foot treatment medications to treat one animal or a small number of animals at a time. Products that you can use include Dr. Naylor’s Hoof and Heel or Kopertox.

For goats with chronic foot rot, you may want to treat with antibiotics. Penicillin, streptomycin, or tetracycline have all been proven effective at treating foot rot. If the goats with the chronic foot rot do not clear up with antibiotic treatment, you should consider culling them. Be sure to follow directions on the label for withdrawal periods prior to slaughter.

Foot rot takes a lot of time and energy, but it can be eradicated on your farm. Use several different methods and monitor the herd for lameness. Treat as soon as any goats start to limp and regularly run them through a foot bath. The effort is well worth the results.