Common Internal Parasites 

Goats are prone to parasites. Parasite management is the most important factor in the health of your goat.

Internal Parasites are commonly referred to as worms. There are many different kinds of worms that goats can have.  

Understanding the kind of worms your goat has will save you a great deal of time, money, and frustration.

All Goats Will Have Parasites

All goats will have some level of parasites.  This is normal. 

It is when a particular parasite load becomes too "heavy", meaning there are way too many, it causes health repercussions.

Not all internal parasites are pathogenic.

The Most Troublesome "Worms" for Goats

The most troublesome are the barberpole  (Haemonchus contortus), and liver flukes  (Fasciola hepatica). 

There are other worms your goat can have but these two are the most serious. They are most troublesome as they are both "blood-suckers" and can cause extreme anemia, bottlejaw, inability to thrive, and eventual death if not controlled. 

Management is the key to keeping your goats healthy.  

BarberpoleHaemonchus contortus

Haemonchus contortus, also known barberpole worm, is very common parasite and one the most problematic for goat owners. Adult worms attach to the abomasal mucosa and feed on the blood. This parasite is responsible for considerable loss in the goat and sheep industry.  Females may lay over 10,000 eggs a day. A single barberpole can suck up to 0.05 ml of blood per day. One thousand barber pole worm larvae can suck up to 50 ml of blood per day.  

This parasite thrives in warm humid, wet environments.    

The barberpole, if not managed, can cause anemia, bottle jaw, lethargy, dehydration, and death.

More about these parasites - written by Dr J-M Luginbuhl from NC State

Common Liver Fluke - Fasciola hepatica 

Fasciola hepatica, also known as the common liver fluke, is a parasitic flatworm that infects the livers of various mammals.

To complete its life cycle, F. hepatica requires a freshwater snail as an intermediate host in which the parasite can reproduce asexually. Once the sheep or goat is infected with the  parasite browses on liver tissue for a period of up to six weeks, and eventually finds its way to the bile duct, where it matures into an adult and begins to produce eggs. A single fluke can produce up to 25,000 eggs per day and up to 500,000 eggs per day can be deposited onto pasture by a single sheep or goat.

Wet, marshy pastures provide the right environment for flukes. 

 Each fluke can cause the loss of 0.5ml of blood per day from the liver.

Liver Flukes can cause bottlejaw, anemia, pale lower eyelids, weight loss, and diarrhea. 

the following are other links that may be helpful :

map and egg

Other Common Internal Parasites

Common Thread Worm-Strongyloides papillosus

Medium or Brown Stomach Worm-Ostertagia circumcincta

Small Stomach and Intestinal Worms-Trichostrongylus spp. 

                                                  Thin-Necked Intestinal Worm-Nematodirus spathiger 

Large Lung Worm-Dictyocaulus filaria 

Tapeworms-Moniezia expansia 


The information provided is not to replace veterinarian care. We do not  give medical advice and shall not be interpreted as such. 

We do not and cannot guarantee accuracy of any articles written nor for any links provided. The articles/pages herein have been written by laymen,  and should be understood as such. It is the readers responsibility to consult with their veterinarian before implementing the practices discussed herein. 

Wingin' it Farms shall not be held responsible for the use of any information provided.