Maintain healthy immune systems for goats by supporting their health DLX2 PS

The ABCs of Goat Boogers: Causes, Concerns, and Cures

A goat’s nasal discharge varies in consistency, color, and content. It may even change as the disease or condition progresses. The appearance and texture of the mucous will often give you a clearer idea of the underlying problem

Profuse, watery nasal discharge is often a symptom of Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF)

A thick, yellow mucus is more commonly a sign of pneumonia. It’s often accompanied with wet coughing in your goats and can spread quickly.

Signs of blood in the mucus could indicate a nasal worm infestation. These are the larvae of the sheep bot fly, which it deposits in the nostrils. The larvae move and grow inside the animal’s nasal cavity and frontal sinuses. The larvae irritate the goat’s nasal passages, causing it to cough, sneeze, and produce bloody nasal discharge.

A grey discharge with a loosely clumped texture indicates a respiratory infection.

How to Prevent Your Goats from Getting Snotty Noses

Check Your Goats Daily For Signs Of A Cold

To be a good goat owner, you need to watch your animals’ health. You should check them every day for any signs of illness.

A quick wellness check involves looking at their eyes and nose, checking for any signs of unusual discharge.

Watch your goats walking and eating, keeping an eye out for any individual that’s lagging. Checking your goats frequently allows you to identify potential problems before they become more serious.

Mucus discharge in goats varies in consistency, color, and content due to the cause DLX2 PS

Keep Goat Enclosures Cleaned and Well Ventilated To Reduce Respiratory Illness

Goats kept in dirty enclosures are exposed to excessive levels of ammonia and dust. These conditions can cause respiratory irritation and increase the risk of your goats contracting pneumonia. 

Clean your enclosure thoroughly every one to two weeks. Ensure you remove all wet and soiled bedding and replace it with fresh wheat straw or pine shavings to minimize dust.

Natural ventilation is usually sufficient to keep the air moving inside the enclosure. However, if you notice it becoming stuffy or smelly, you may need to use mechanical ventilation to solve the problem. 

Avoid Over-Crowding To Keep Goats Healthier

A standard-sized adult goat needs 10 to 15 square feet of space inside the enclosure. Goats tend to sleep in a pile, but that doesn’t mean you can crowd them into a small space. An overcrowded shelter is challenging to keep clean and risks ammonia buildup. Overcrowding can also cause stress. 

Minimize Exposure To Dusty or Moldy Feed To Limit Allergies

A dusty feed can irritate your goats’ lungs, noses, and eyes. Dusty hay is often moldy and can cause the life-threatening disease listeriosis.

If you’re concerned about the quality of your roughage, discard it immediately. There’s no point in running the risk of exposing your goats to respiratory problems or disease for the sake of a few dollars. 

Provide Shelter Against Changing Weather To Keep Goats Healthy

Extreme weather conditions can cause stress and runny noses in a herd of goats. They need sufficient protection against sweltering conditions and cold, wet, and windy conditions. 

If possible, provide your goats with pasture shelters to use when the weather turns. Alternatively, give them access to their enclosure. 

Provide protection against extreme weather conditions for goats that can cause your goats to get a cold DLX2 PS

Limit Stressful Situations To Reduce Sickness 

Stress from transportation and commingling with other animals is commonly associated with diseases like mannheimia pneumonia and pasteurellosis. If you do need to transport goats, you can help prevent these health conditions by ensuring your goats: in a new tab)

  • Are well hydrated
  • Have good quality hay to eat during the journey
  • Travel in a clean, spacious environment
  • Are quarantined on arrival for two to four weeks
  • Receive an intranasal vaccine before traveling.

Administer Vaccinnes Reguarly 

Protect your goats against common diseases by following our complete goat vaccination guide. This will help prevent illnesses like shipping fever and Pasteurella.

Boost Your Goat’s Immune System 

A healthy immune system gives your goats a good chance of fighting off respiratory infections. Boost your goats’ immune systems with probiotics and foods that are high in vitamin-A.

I also give my goats a shot of a Vitamin B complex anytime my goats seem to be getting sick. It boosts their immune system and helps them keep eating healthily.  

Feed High Quality Food

Good-quality forage, like alfalfa, is much better for your goats than sub-standard hay.

Lucerne is rarely dusty, so it won’t cause respiratory irritation and provides your milking goats with the protein they need. Supplement this with a high-quality goat mineral (on Amazon), and your goats will get all the necessary vitamins and minerals.

Prevent goats from geting snotty nose by checking on them daily to monitor for signs of distress DLX2 PS

Medicine For Goat With A Runny Nose

Before you give your goats medicine for a runny nose- it’s important that you know what the underlying cause is. It’s also important to realize that human medicines are not safe or approved for use in goats. Goat medicines are usually used off-label from another animal, often bovines.

Off-label means that medicine is manufactured for another species but is often used by vets for goats because of the limited goat-specific medicines available.

For less serious conditions like a cold or allergies, some possible treatments might include:

  1. Antihistamines: These are used to treat allergic reactions and can help with a runny nose caused by allergies.
  2. Decongestants: These can help if the goat is having trouble breathing due to a blocked nose.
  3. Antibiotics: If the runny nose is due to a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be prescribed by a vet.

For more serious conditions like pneumonia, treatment can be more complicated and may include a combination of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and supportive care such as ensuring the goat is warm and hydrated.

Remember that it’s important not to medicate your goats without consulting with a vet first.

Goat Boogers FAQs

What does a healthy goat’s nasal discharge look like?

A healthy goat’s nose should be clear without any noticeable discharge. If you notice any changes in color, consistency, or volume, it might be a sign of illness or infection.

What does profuse, watery nasal discharge in a goat indicate?

Profuse, watery nasal discharge is often a symptom of Malignant Catarrhal Fever (MCF), a serious viral disease that can affect goats.

What could a thick, yellow mucus in my goat’s nose mean?

A thick, yellow mucus is commonly associated with pneumonia, a serious respiratory disease that requires immediate veterinary attention.

Why is there blood in my goat’s mucus?

Blood in the mucus could indicate a nasal worm infestation. This is caused by the larvae of the sheep bot fly, which it deposits in the nostrils of the goat, causing irritation, coughing, sneezing, and bloody nasal discharge.

How often should I check my goats for signs of illness?

To maintain your goats’ health, it’s recommended to check them daily for any signs of illness. This includes looking at their eyes and nose for any signs of unusual discharge and observing their movement and eating habits.

How often should I clean my goat’s enclosure?

It’s recommended to thoroughly clean your goat’s enclosure every one to two weeks. This includes removing all wet and soiled bedding and replacing it with fresh material to minimize dust and maintain good air quality.

A standard-sized adult goat needs about 10 to 15 square feet of space inside the enclosure. Overcrowding can lead to stress and increase the risk of disease transmission.

How do I prevent my goats from getting diseases when traveling or comingling with other animals?

Stress from transportation and commingling can lead to diseases like mannheimia pneumonia and pasteurellosis. To prevent this, ensure your goats are well hydrated, have good quality hay to eat during the journey, travel in a clean, spacious environment, are quarantined on arrival, and receive an intranasal vaccine before traveling.

How can I boost my goats’ immune systems?

Boosting your goats’ immune systems can be achieved by providing them with probiotics and foods high in vitamin-A. In addition, consider giving your goats a shot of a Vitamin B complex whenever they seem to be getting sick. This can help boost their immune system and keep them eating healthily.

My Essential Goat Supplies

This list contains affiliate products. Affiliate products do not cost more but helps to support BestFarmAnimals and our goal to provide farm animal owners with accurate and helpful information.

This little giant bucket fits on a fence and this one’s easy to carry.

A sturdy dog collar is essential. Don’t do rope (they’ll break and tangle) or chain (injury!).

A Black Water Tub is way nicer than buckets that tip over. I like to get a 20 or 30-gallon in each pen so my goats have plenty of water, but you can get 100-gallons if you have a lot of sheep in one pen.

Loose minerals in a small bag or a Purina 50 lb bag, and a mineral feeder for free-choice is the best option. One side holds minerals, and the other holds baking soda. Don’t feed sheep goat minerals because it usually contains copper- something that is fatal to sheep.

Hoof trimmers are a necessity because you’ll need to trim your sheep’s hooves every few months. These are nice for the price.

Don’t make the mistake I made by waiting to order a drench gun before you need it. I was surprised by how often I use it. It helps with bloating, dehydration, and other ailments. Here’s a good drench, but you can also drench a bloat solution or water if dehydrated.

Digital Thermometor for when your lambs act sick. You’ll need to know if their temps are too low or too high so you can accurately diagnose the issues.

Vetericyn for wound care. It makes a big difference in a speedy recovery.

Check out this list of goat milk supplies you need if you have milk goats.


In conclusion, taking care of your goats’ nasal health is a multifaceted task that requires diligence, understanding, and preventive measures. The appearance of a goat’s nasal discharge can be a key indicator of various health issues. Checking daily for signs of illness, maintaining clean and well-ventilated enclosures, avoiding over-crowding, and providing high-quality, dust-free feed can significantly reduce the chances of your goats developing snotty noses.