Goat Problems


Success Guide For Raising Healthy Goats
Success Guide For Raising Healthy Goats
Felicity McCullough

Success Guide For Raising Healthy Goats


Goat Problems

There are a number of diseases, illnesses and health problems that can affect goats. Consult your veterinary at the earliest signs.

In terms of infectious diseases, the following are reportable in the UK:


Anthrax - This bacterial disease is caused by Bacillus antracis and can kill without any symptoms.

If the animal lingers for several days with only general symptoms such as not eating and fever.


Brucellosis - This bacterial disease is caused by several species of Brucella.

It causes abortions and is spread through infected tissue relating to birth and abortion including the placenta, foetus and any associated excretions and secretions.

Contagious Agalactia

Contagious Agalactia - This bacterial disease is characterised by fever, loss of appetite, keratitis, arthritis, mastitis, blindness if both eyes are infected and abortion.

Foot and Mouth Disease

Foot and Mouth Disease - This disease is normally not fatal, depending on the variant.

It does cause considerable financial damage, though.

As the name implies, it is characterised by wounds that develop on the mouth and the feet.

Goat Pox

Goat Pox - This viral disease is characterised by only general symptoms of fever, nasal discharge and salivation.

Skin lesions develop after a few days that evolve into vesicles and then pustules and finally scabs.

These scabs can contain viable viruses for up to 6 months.

Pest Des Petits Ruminants

Pest Des Petits Ruminants - This Goat Plague has not been seen in Britain, thankfully.

It is characterised by erosive stomatitis, enteritis, pneumonia and death, according to the DEFRA site.

There is a high fever, nasal catarrh followed by severe depression, frequent sneezing and constant licking of the lips.

Next, mucosal erosions appear.

The eye and nose secretions become encrusted and the animal can develop pneumonia.

Rift Valley Fever

Rift Valley Fever - This viral disease can be transmitted to humans.

It can be a fast and fatal disease with animals dying so quickly as to show no symptoms.

Another possibility is that the animal show general symptoms of recumbence, fever and death in 24 hours.

Mortality can get as high as 95%.


Scrapie - The caprine equivalent of mad cow disease, this ancient neurological disease has been recorded in Britain since 1732.

The common symptoms are subtle including intolerable itchy skin resulting in so much scratching that the animal can seriously injure itself.

There are also frequently associated behavioural changes and incoordination.


Tuberculosis - This bacterial disease is caused by several species of Mycobacterium.

It also affects humans.

It is a chronic, wasting disease characterised by the development of areas of infection. Symptoms vary depending on what areas are affected. There is a vaccine available.

Diagnosis is made using the Intradermal Caudal-fold skin test.

Respiratory problems and diarrhoea

Kids are commonly affected by respiratory problems and diarrhoea.

This can quickly be fatal if they become dehydrated, which can also happen quickly.

Kids must be closely monitored for any signs relating to these problems including problems breathing and coughing, as well as the presence of runny stool in their enclosure.

Hoof Rot

All goats can get Hoof Rot, which is a bacterial infection that affects the area between the "toes" on the hoof.

The area becomes black and smells bad. This tissue needs to be removed and the area treated with local antibiotics.

References: http://www.defra.gov.uk/


Felicity McCullough  
4th March 2016



Success Guide For Raising Healthy Goats
Success Guide For Raising Healthy Goats
Felicity McCullough
Success Guide For Raising Healthy Goats

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