Goat Goiter

Asked May 3, 2013, 3:04 PM EDT

Does a goat goiter necessarily have to be right under the chin? All the pictures I have seen of them have been directly under the chin. Ours is on her chest. She has a large mass on her lower chest and a smaller one just above that one. She eats just fine but is very thin on her back rear. We just got her from a sale barn and don't know much more about her. We are getting ready to deworm her.

Johnson County Indiana

1 Response

Goiter is a problem with the thyroid glands, which are located at the larynx area between the jaws. Depending on how old this goat is, you may be seeing some thymus gland, which is immune tissue prominent in young animals that disappears with time. My concern is something more serious, though, especially given the source of this animal. PLEASE NEVER BUY AN ANIMAL FROM A SALE BARN AGAIN. As you said, you don't know much about her, such as why the previous owner put her up for sale; it could very well have been because of these masses on her chest. The masses could be tumors that will end her life (she is already thin) or even worse for your property and any other goats you may have-- contagious abscesses (caseous lymphadenitis). These abscesses are highly contagious between goats and can be spread to sheep and even people. Before deworming this animal and committing to a meat withholding time, I suggest you have a veterinarian diagnose what is wrong. If you are not interested in doing that, your other options are to take her back to the sale yard for re-sale (NOT a good idea; this will just pass the problem along), euthanize her or use her for meat, cutting out the affected area. In the future, purchase animals directly from reputable breeders. Yes, it will cost more, but you are much less likely to bring problems home as well.