Pink eye in goats is generally caused by Chlamydia species bacteria. Sometimes Mycoplasma may be the culprit, but it is not the same as cattle pink eye. Dry dusty weather, or rainy wet weather and flies seen to cause a higher incidence. Dust carries the bacteria into the eye, or flies carry the bacteria to the eyes, and from goat to goat. Symptoms usually begin with a runny red eye. If left untreated, the goat will become completely blind in one or both eyes. This is reversible, but some times, in cases left untreated, damage occurs to the cornea. If the disease occurs in a pasture situation, the goat may not be able to find water, and may die. If several are being treated, it is easier to confine them together where they can find water and feed, and help prevent transmission to other animals. Many people put the goats in a dark place. I usually just make sure they have shelter from sun and rain, and are easily accessible for treatment.
Pink eye has been commonly treated with furazone powder, or LA 200 injectable either IM or dropped into the eye. There may be a more economical way to treat pink eye, but the time and the number of times I have to handle the goat count for a lot. The following recipe requires a Vet for the ingredients, but it will work, and the medicine will keep well, for a long time. Like all medications keep them in a cool location and stored out of the sun.
- 10ml of 100mg/ml Gentamycin
- 10ml of 2mg/ml Dexamethasone
- 10ml of distilled or sterile water
- a small spray bottle (an old travel size hair spray bottle)
To treat the goats, you must prevent further spread of the infection. I use paper towels, and Listerine to clean the pus off of the goat's face. Be sure the eye and face are clean of any drainage. The flies will feed on this and re-infect the eye, and other goats. Spray the mixture in the eye. Be sure the eye is held open, while you spray. If you are in a hurry, treat twice a day, but if you are treating a lot of goats, you may do the treatment only once a day. Depending on the stage of the disease, it may take 3 or 4 days to clear up the eye. If the eye is just beginning to drain, one treatment is enough. If the eye is already opaque, the treatment period will last longer. Be sure to clean the goat's face each day.
Merck 8th Edition