Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency in Goats


Carrie MillerWhile each mineral listed below is super important, it is just as important not to overdose goats. Yes, you can overdose vitamins and minerals just like any other medication! This is called mineral/vitamin toxicity or toxemia. Before introducing any supplements, be sure to talk to a licensed veterinarian, and get blood work to confirm the diagnosis. This is especially important, since many deficiencies include the same symptoms, making diagnosing often difficult. A good quality loose mineral will help to fight against deficiencies, but some geographical areas are worse off than others, requiring additional supplemental support.

Mabel Oberhasli Doe


Typical signs of deficiency include: hair loss on the tip of the tail known as “fishtail,” crooked legs, stiff joints, diarrhea, anemia, loss of hair color (bleached out appearance), lameness, infertility or miscarriages, failure to shed their winter coat, high parasite loads, hair loss around the eyes, poor immune system, milk reduction, and even heart failure. Severe cases will require a copper bolus.


Iodine deficiency can cause an array of symptoms: an enlarged thyroid, poor growth, reduced milk production, pregnancy toxemia, reproductive abnormalities, and infertility to name a few. To treat, you simply paint the tail web with an iodine solution. However, Iodine toxicity has a small margin of error, therefore please consult a veterinarian before administering iodine.


A low sodium count can cause many issues, including but not limited to: heart issues, muscle contractions, slow growth, tremors, poor appetite, and a lack of coordination. When introducing salt or any minerals to their diets, make sure an endless supply of water is available. Sodium toxemia occurs when large quantities of salt are introduced or water availability is low.

Vitamin A

A lack of Vitamin A can cause a large array of issues: miscarriages, infertility, weak babies, cough, raspy breathing, diarrhea, decreased milk production, crooked head, thick nasal discharge, and even hair loss. Vitamin A supplements are available by injections, loose mineral, or multi-vitamin pastes.

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