Friday, September 29, 2023
HomeGoat FarmingCommon Diseases Found in Goats

Common Diseases Found in Goats

Common Diseases Found in Goats: Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment

If you’re a goat owner, you know how important it is to ensure the health and well-being of your herd. Just like any other livestock, goats are susceptible to various diseases that can have a significant impact on their overall health and productivity. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into some of the most common diseases found in goats, their symptoms, prevention strategies, and available treatments.


Goats, like all animals, are susceptible to a range of diseases that can affect their health and reproductive capabilities. Some of these diseases can also pose a risk to human health, making effective prevention and treatment strategies crucial for both animal and human well-being.

Mastitis: Enlarged Udder and Watery Milk

Mastitis is a common infection that affects the udder of goats. Symptoms include an enlarged, hot, and painful udder, as well as fever and watery milk with flakes of blood. To prevent mastitis, it’s important to improve hygiene and practise proper milking techniques. In cases of infection, antibiotics can be applied to treat the condition.

Foot Rot: Lameness and Rotten Hooves

Foot rot is a bacterial infection that causes lameness in goats. Infected hooves appear rotten and emit a foul smell. Pain and signs of discomfort are evident when pressure is applied. Treatment involves trimming the affected hooves and soaking them in a bath of CuSo4 (copper sulphate).

Common Diseases
Common Diseases

Brucellosis: Abortion and Infertility

Brucellosis is a disease that can lead to abortion in late pregnancy, retention of placenta, and metritis. Infected bucks may experience infertility, orchitis, and swollen joints. Prevention strategies include isolating infected animals, vaccination, blood testing, and culling of positive animals.

Internal Parasites: Weight Loss and Anemia

Internal parasites can cause weight loss, reduced milk yield, diarrhea, and anemia in goats. To prevent these issues, providing good quality food, clean water, and proper medication is essential.

External Parasites: Restlessness and Scratching

External parasites can lead to restlessness, scratching, weight loss, and reduced milk yield in goats. To combat these parasites, appropriate chemicals should be applied as dust, spray, or dip.

Poisoning: Unconsciousness and Vomiting

Poisoning in goats can result in unsteadiness, dullness, unconsciousness, vomiting, and eventual death. Preventing access to poisonous plants and chemicals is vital, and immediate treatment is necessary in case of poisoning.

Bloat: Distended Abdomen and Respiratory Difficulty

Bloat is characterized by a distended abdomen on the left side, respiratory difficulty, and restlessness. Avoiding excessive consumption of fresh green grass is key. Mineral oil may offer relief, and in severe cases, gas removal through puncture may be required.

Infectious Abortions in Goats: Causes and Concerns

Infectious abortions in goat herds are a concern as they can lead to economic losses. These abortions can also affect human health. Various microorganisms can cause abortions in goats, including Chlamydiosis, Q fever, Listeriosis, Leptospirosis, Toxoplasmosis, and Brucellosis.

Chlamydiosis: Common Cause of Abortion

Chlamydiosis, commonly known as chlamydia, is a frequent cause of abortion in goats. It is associated with pneumonia, pink eye, and joint inflammation. Preventing direct contact with infected feces and ticks is crucial. Diagnosing chlamydiosis involves clinical signs and placental characteristics, with treatment consisting of antibiotics.

Listeriosis: Fever and Neurological Disturbances

Listeriosis is caused by Listeria monocytogenes bacteria and leads to fever, decreased appetite, and neurological disturbances in goats. It can result in abortion and stillborn kids. Preventive measures include avoiding contaminated food and proper treatment with antibiotics.

Leptospirosis: Abortion and Weak Kids

Leptospirosis can cause abortion, stillbirths, or weak kids. Leptospira bacteria are the cause, and humans can get sick from it. Diagnosis involves testing for Leptospira in urine and tissue samples. Treatment includes antibiotics and immunization of the herd.

Toxoplasmosis: Fetal Death and Human Health Concerns

Toxoplasmosis, caused by Toxoplasma gondii, leads to fetal death, stillbirths, or weak kids. Cats are carriers, and goats can become infected by ingesting contaminated food or water. It can also affect humans through consumption of infected meat or milk. Prevention involves managing cat feces and treating with antibiotics.

Q Fever: Abortion and Infection Transmission

Q fever is caused by Coxiella burnetii and can cause abortion in goats. It affects various animals, including humans. Transmission occurs through contaminated pastures, ticks, and inhalation of dust. Prevention involves hygiene, protection during kidding, and using antibiotics for treatment.

Brucella: Rare but Serious Goat Disease

Brucellosis, caused by Brucella melitensis, can lead to abortion, infertility, and various health issues in goats. Preventing ingestion of contaminated feed, pasture, and water is crucial. Diagnosis involves lab tests, and infected animals should be eliminated. No vaccine is available in most countries.


As a responsible goat owner, being aware of common diseases, their symptoms, prevention strategies, and treatment options is essential for maintaining a healthy herd. Regular veterinary care, proper hygiene, and biosecurity measures can go a long way in ensuring the well-being of your goats and minimizing the risks of disease outbreaks.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can these diseases affect humans?
    Yes, some of these diseases, such as Q fever and brucellosis, can also infect humans, posing a potential public health risk.
  2. What’s the best way to prevent these diseases?
    Prevention involves maintaining clean and hy

gienic conditions, practicing proper quarantine procedures, providing regular veterinary care, and implementing vaccination protocols where available.

  1. Are there vaccines available for all these diseases?
    Vaccines are available for some of these diseases, but not for all. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best vaccination plan for your herd.
  2. How can I identify if my goat is sick?
    Watch for symptoms such as fever, lethargy, reduced appetite, changes in behavior, lameness, and changes in milk production. Regular health checks by a veterinarian are crucial for early detection.
  3. Can I consume milk or meat from goats with these diseases?
    Consuming products from animals with infectious diseases can pose health risks to humans. It’s important to ensure that the products come from healthy animals and are properly handled and cooked.

For more details, Contact Us.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Popular

Why Goat Farming

Sweet Haylage

Stall-Fed Goat Farming

Recent Comments