Verminous Pneumonia (Lungworms)

Muellerius capillaris is the most common lungworm in goats. Affected goats have diffuse pneumonia without nodular lesions. M. capillaris may predispose animals to secondary infections and compromise health in general.

Signs: Clinical signs usually consist of a chronic fever, cough, thick nasal discharge, increased respiratory rate, poor appetite and weight loss.

Muellerius capollaris is not identified by its eggs in fecal egg counts or analyses.  Instead, the first-stage larvae can be isolated and identified in fecal samples using the Baermann Flotation technique to provide a definitive diagnosis. Larvae may also be found in nasal secretions. Diagnosis at necropsy is based on observation of the parasites in the airways of lung lobes. Pulmonary edema, emphysema, and pus-filled lobules may also be evident.

Treatment: Ivermectin (200 – 300 μg/kg SC), Fenbendazole (7.5 – 15mg/kg orally). Use these medications in consultation with a veterinarian and abide by all meat and milk withholding times.

Prevention: Larval stages of M. capillaris may survive in the pasture from one season to the next, so goats may be reinfected. Try to prevent contact with snails and slugs, which are intermediate hosts for the parasite. Geese and ducks will eat slugs and wet areas can be fenced off to minimize the likelihood of goats eating intermediate hosts. Treating the environment with chemicals to kill snails and slugs is not recommended due to adverse environmental impacts.