Hoof care is a very important part of maintaining your goat's health. A goat with bad feet will not be able to browse as much as needed because it hurts too much to walk. This can lead to even more problems. Remember that goats are ruminants and need to eat often to keep up with their bodies fast matabolisms.
Many breeders often overlook the hooves. Trimming hooves require a lot of time and it isnt always the best job around. Hooves that are not taken care of may develope hoof scald, hoof rot, or founder.
Symptoms of Hoof Scald will be noticed as a reddened area between the hoof claws (toes). Hoof scald is not contagious so there is no need to isolate them from the herd. Treat their hooves with a bleach water (10:1) or Kopertox.
Symptoms of Hoof rot will include things such as a foul odor, misformed hooves, and possibly pus. The goat will not be able to put weight on the affected hoof. Hoof rot is contagious and the lame goats should be isolated from the non-lame goats. The first thing you need to due to trim the hooves. Next you can apply a solution of bleach water (10:1 ratio). Some breeders prefer to use Kopertox. With hoof rot you should also treat the goat with a long acting penicillin or Tetracycline.
Founder is generally thought to be an Equine diesease, however, goats do get it. Founder is an inflammation of the hooves. Founder symptoms will include a hot to touch foot and a lame goat. Goats may be in pain and grinding therFounder is most often caused by too much protein. A foundered goat may show signs of pain such as grinding teeth and walking on their knees. They have have an increased temperature as well. For Founderd goats you will want to trim the hooves and soak in Epson salt water. Banamine mights be used to reduce the inflammation and help ease the pain. Goats with founder will need to be trimmed more often.
Keeping the hooves trimmed on a regular basis can help eliminate these problems. The best time to trim hooves is after a rain or heavy dew. This will make them softer. Be sure to have a good pair of trimmers and some blood stop powder (quick stop) just in case you cut too short.. It is also a good idea to make sure your goat is current on their Tetanus vaccination.
How often you will need to trim your goat will depend on many things. One of which will be the terrain they are on. A rocky terrain will help keep hooves short. Genetics, housing and even diet can all play a role in the frequency needed.