I am doing FAMACHA exams approximately every 10-14 days right now. When I find that one of my animals needs to be dewormed, I do so and recheck FAMACHA 7-10 days later. I am finding that my goats are needing to be dewormed much too frequently for my comfort. This year I dewormed in the spring when they needed it. Most of them required a second dose when I did the recheck. One of them required a third dose. My one sheep required a forth dose. I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking this alone was excessive. In doing the FAMACHA exams, I am seeing anemia creep back in with record speed. Some of my goats needed to be dewormed as quickly as 6 weeks after the initial deworming, and while this may be common for some, it has previously been unheard of for my herd. Recently I checked my saanen doe's eyelids and, according to the FAMACHA chart, she was in that borderline area, where one basically makes a judgement call - either deworm now, or watch closely in case deworming is needed in the near future. She has some other health issues going on right now as well, so in the interest of checking out every possibility, I asked my vet to run a fecal exam. His reaction to what he saw was, to question whether I had dewormed her at all. That tells me the worm load was much higher than my FAMACHA exam indicated, which means the rest of my herd is likely in the same condition. At the suggestion of my vet, I administered a different deworming medication to my entire herd and he is going to recheck the fecal in 10 days.
I still stand by using FAMACHA as a tool when determining whether to deworm or not. However, normal circumstances allow for a bit of wiggle room if the eye membrane color falls in the middle of the spectrum (example C(3) on the FAMACHA card). I am recommending that, if your goats do not resemble example B(2) or better then consult your vet. Do not assume that what has worked for you in the past is still working. Do not assume that because you usually only need to deworm 2 or 3 times each year, that you can get by with doing FAMACHA once per season. Ask other breeders, local to you, what they are experiencing this year, and for the sake of your goats, talk to your vet. Wet conditions like we have experienced in my region this year, promotes parasite proliferation. In talking to other breeders local to me, the parasite populations this year are out of control, and are not responding to the usual treatments. So I will repeat: for the sake of your goats, talk to your vet!
As I learn more information, I will share it with you here, but do not rely on me as your only source of information. I am only one person, and I admit to being wrong sometimes. Check your goats often, and talk to your vet!
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