Is It Possible For Goats To Get Fleas?

Goats are common farm animals and are growing increasingly popular as indoor and outdoor pets. However, they’re still at-risk for certain diseases, parasites, and health problems. So are fleas a problem for goats?

Goats can easily attract fleas, and they can commonly be found on the eyes, ears, neck, and the areas where the torso connects to the legs. Fleas will irritate your goats and can easily spread to other animals. Fortunately, prevention and treatment are both possible.

Fleas are no fun for anyone! They usually won’t cause serious health issues for goats (unless there is a major infestation) but they can cause itching, irritated skin, and maybe even bacterial infections. For tips on preventing flea outbreaks, as well as ways to treat goats with fleas, read below.

Flea Prevention

Fleas can sneak up on you and your goats if you aren’t careful! They’re small, hide easily, and can quickly reproduce and spread throughout a whole herd. Fleas can lay about 25 eggs each day, so an infestation can quickly grow out of control if you don’t take the proper preventative steps.

There are a couple different things that owners can do to prevent fleas from infecting their goats.

1. First of all, make sure your goats have a good amount of space to roam and graze. Cramped, musty living spaces are breeding grounds for disease, filth, and parasites. Make sure your goats get a good amount of time outside and have room to spread out and move around.

2. Next, make sure their pen/indoor area is clean. Fleas can easily take root and hide in old hay, wood chips, or any other crevice. Clean out the pen regularly and spray it down with clean water and cleaning products. Make sure the pen is completely dry before the goats return!

3. Finally, give your goats baths from time to time. Bathing and brushing your goats’ fur will help you notice any problems with their fur and skin. If they’re there, you’ll also spot signs of parasites during this time.

Unfortunately no prevention method is guaranteed to be 100% effective, so your goats may pick up a case of fleas from time to time. For guidance on treating these outbreaks, read below.

Flea Treatment

If you notice fleas on one of your goats, there’s a good chance that the whole herd has also been infected. If you’ve just got one goat, then this will be easier to fix! It can be a bit harder to manage the care of several goats, but they’ll be much healthier and happier once they’re parasite-free.

The first thing to do is to remove all the goats from their barn or pen and make sure they can’t come in again until it’s clean. Remove all debris from the floor and take all the fabric/cloth goods out for a thorough washing. Spray down the walls, floor, and all other areas with water and a goat-safe insecticide.

Diatomaceous Earth Insecticide is a good option for flea removal. It’s deadly to fleas but safe for goats. It usually comes in powder form, which is great for barn cleaning. You can buy it here if you’re interested.

Once the pen has been cleaned and is drying out, it’s time to deal with the goats! First things first, you’ll want to shave their hair. Fleas can easily hide in the fur of animals and it can protect them from some insecticides.

Once the fleas have been exposed, apply an animal-safe insecticide directly to the goat’s skin. This could be in the form of a powder or a pour-on solution. Apply the insecticide along the goat’s back, from the horns to the end of the tail.

After they’re all been coated, allow the goats to graze and move around so they can occupy themselves when they’re drying off. If you have the time and resources available, you could also give each goat a bath to remove dead skin, fleas, and excess chemicals.

Repeat this process as many times as necessary and wait to see the fleas go away over time.

Other Common Goat Parasites

Fleas are common pests that pet owners have had to deal with for years. They’re certainly annoying, but unfortunately, they’re probably not the only parasite you’ll have to deal with. Below are a few other common parasites that can be found in goats, as well as some tips for removing them.

The previous tips about pen cleaning and open space apply to these different pests as well. A clean, open environment is good for goats and bad for parasites!


Ticks are common pests that can be found outside. They can jump long distances and burrow into the skin to suck blood. They carry a variety of harmful diseases as well, so it’s dangerous to let them stay on your goats.

Carefully remove ticks with tweezers and place them in a bottle of rubbing alcohol to kill them. Goats can be shaved and sprayed with a vinegar solution as well since ticks can’t stand it.


A lot of people have heard about lice, and they can indeed be a problem for both humans and goats. They’re small whitish insects that can usually be spotted without the use of a microscope. Lice can cause itching and stress to your goats.

There are treatments available, but they usually don’t have recommended dosages attached. For this reason, it’s best to visit your local vet for a recommendation/prescription.


Mites are tiny parasites that are commonly found in many outdoor animals. These pests are the primary cause behind mange. They feed off of the skin of animals and secrete a toxin that inflames the skin and causes itching. Mites might live in the fur of a goat, or near the eyes and ears.

If you find mange on your goat, consider shaving the fur and giving the goat a medicated bath to kill the mites. If they have ear mites (which is quite common for goats) you can inject extra virgin olive oil into the ear or obtain some prescription medication from your vet.

Nasal Botflies:

Nasal botflies are fuzzy, winged insects that look similar to bumblebees. However, they’re not nearly as helpful! These are parasites that often lay their eggs around the face of goats and other farm animals. The larvae then enters the nasal passage of these animals and the insects grow inside the safety of the animal’s nose.

Your goat might have nasal botflies if it’s shaking its head, has nasal drainage, or is particularly agitated for no apparent reason. Powerful prescription medication is often needed for treatment because goats will be stressed and agitated until the issue is resolved.

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