Goat Common Diseases

In this article, we will discuss goat common diseases. Goat diseases are very harmful for goat farming. Below there are more details about goat diseases.

Kids Diarrhea (colibacillosis, white diarrhea, neonatal diarrhea):

There are several causes of diarrhea in kids, and in general, lack of hygiene, lack of disinfection of the umbilical cord, overcrowding, heat and excessive humidity act as predisposing factors.

During the first week of life, the most common causes of diarrhea in kids are bacteria, especially the bacteria Escherichia coli (colibacillosis) and viruses, acting alone or in the association.

The symptom of :

In these cases, the fecal matter is usually white-yellowish from creamy to almost liquid consistency and the kids are rapidly dehydrated. Death rates can be high if justify untreated.

Prevention and treatment:

To avoid the occurrence of diarrhea it is necessary to maintain a good hygiene of the pens and frets mainly. Avoiding the overcrowding of the kids and looking for places shaded during the day and repaired during the night, but with access to sunny places. An area of 30 to 50 square centimeters per kid should be calculated.

The treatment is based on antibiotics for the case of colibacillosis, preferably orally to avoid damaging the muscles with injectables in small goats going to consumption. This treatment must be accompanied by a symptomatic treatment with injectable antidiarrheals.

It is essential to hydrate diseased kids, for which it can be administered orally prepared based on electrolyte sachets that are reconstituted with clean water.

Goat Common Diseases

Coccidiosis (Coccidiosis Diarrhea):

From the month of life, the most common diarrhea is caused by parasites. That is not seen by the naked eye and are called coccidia.

The animals become infected by ingesting oocysts (parasite eggs), which are located in the cells of the small intestine where they multiply. After about 16 days coccidios colonize the large intestine and between 21 and 28 days are eliminated by fecal matter, constituting an important contaminating material.

The conditions of humidity, stress, overcrowding, and lack of hygiene in the corrals favor the appearance of the goat diseases

The symptom of Goat Diseases:

The main symptoms are green diarrhea, sometimes with blood or clots and mucus. The perianal region is often spotted dark in color. The kids have sunken eyes due to dehydration and anemia (the inner part

Of the eyelids (conjunctiva) looks white rather than pink). Other times animals die suddenly without apparent symptoms.

Injuries and treatment:

The thick and straight intestines are thickened with blood and clots inside. White plaques appear on the wall in the small intestine. For the diagnosis it is necessary to sample the fecal matter of the diseased animals, performing the count of oocysts per gram of feces.

In terms of prevention, the above is true for bacterial diarrhea.

The treatment for coccidiosis is based on coccidicidal chemotherapeutics called generically sulfas.

Importantly, diseased animals develop rapid immunity once cured.

The premature and individual treatment is the one that yields the best results. The application of sulfas must be accompanied by a treatment of recomposition in animals with dehydration.

Some of the medicines used are Following:

  • Delayed 30% sulphamethazine (Laboratory Rio de Janeiro)
  • Raxidal (Intervet)
  • Baycox 5% (Bayer)

Ectima Contagioso (Pizotia, Boqueria):

It is a viral disease that primarily affects small goat but can be spread to adult animals that have not been vaccinated or developed the disease in their juvenile stage, especially through breastfeeding.

This disease also affects sheep and occasionally affects the human. Morbidity is high from 30 to 90%, while mortality is nil in adult animals and from 15 to 75% in young.

Symptoms and Injuries:

The kids stop eating, have plenty of saliva in their mouth and fever, symptoms that may not be perceived among adult animals.

These symptoms are aggravated when the lesions occur in the mouth, tongue, pharynx, and nose. In adult animals, the disease can spread to the breasts and nipples. When the vesicles are located at the level of interdigital space and crown of the hooves, the bacterial complications can produce symptoms and injuries similar to a pietín. Other secondary sites of the vesicles are the vagina,

In adult animals, the disease can spread to the breasts and nipples. When the vesicles are located at the level of interdigital space and crown of the hooves, the bacterial complications can produce symptoms and injuries similar to a pietín. Other secondary sites of the vesicles are the vagina, Vulva perianal region, scrotum, and glans.

Prevention and treatment:

The disease can be prevented by vaccination of the goats within 10 to 15 days of life with a vaccine for infectious wool, which gives a lifelong immunity. It is also recommended to vaccinate the goats in the last two months of gestation since they can create passive immunity during the first weeks of life.

Although some authors report vaccine abortions in this period, in our experience we have not observed these problems.

The vaccines come in two flasks, one with lyophilized powder containing the attenuated virus and the other with diluent. At the time of use, the two vials are mixed and shaken well.

The vaccine is applied to the cabrito in the inner thigh by scarification, ie 1 to 2 droplets are deposited and the skin is scraped with the needle of the syringe on the droplet that has been deposited. In adult goats, the vaccine can be

Apply at the base of a tail devoid of hair.

The treatment is based on the cleaning of crusts and grains with solutions of povidone-iodine and the application of antibiotic ointments, using swabs and protective gloves.

Hypothyroidism or Goiter (Iodine Deficiency):

This disease can be due to iodine deficiency in diet and water (primary endemic goiter or endemic goiter) or, due to the presence of goiter plants (for example, cruciferous plants such as turnip and Motacilla), which have components that

Hinder the absorption of iodine, decreasing the production of thyroid hormone (thyroxine). All this causes the secretion of the thyrotropic hormone through the pituitary gland, causing thyroid hyperplasia.

The symptom of Goat Diseases:

The symptoms are a bilateral enlargement of the thyroid glands that are found in the upper part of the neck, “swelling the throat on both sides”. The increase of the gland is always visible and palpable, from the size of a plum

Even a grapefruit. In addition, some kids are born weak and with alopecia. In very deficient areas of iodine, the mortality of kids at birth may be very high because of this since young animals are the most susceptible.

Prevention and treatment:

In a preventive way, the placement of salt stones enriched with iodine, but it must be taken into account that in places where there is much saltpeter in the soil they will not lick them.

You can also apply 1ml of iodine tincture weekly during the gestation period, brushing the skin in areas devoid of hair.

Finally, goats can be dosed in the last third of gestation with injectable preparations. Iodohormone 10 to 20cc can be placed subcutaneously.

Fibrous osteodystrophy (swollen face):

This is a chronic nutritional disease that is caused by an excess of phosphorus intake in the diet. This excess of phosphorus causes the parathyroid gland to cause a calcium extraction from the bones to maintain the blood 2:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus. The result is severe decalcification of the bones and replacement by fibrous tissue.

The symptom of Goat Diseases:

The main symptoms are:
  • lethargy,
  • difficulty eating, and drinking water,
  • the tendency to stay put,
  • loss of weight and delay in growing kids,
  • swelling of the jaw bones of the upper jaw,
  • frequent fractures.


If the disease is recognized early, symptoms can be reversed by correcting diet and Calcium-phosphorus ratio. The application can be attempted of calcifiers which have no phosphorus in their Formulation.

Caseous lymphadenitis or pseudotuberculosis (Apostem disease):

This is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium (Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis). That is normally found in the environment and penetrates by small wounds of the skin or the mucosa.

The symptom of Goat Diseases:

The main symptoms are the appearance of abscesses (ulcer) of different size in the location where the lymph nodes are located (under the armpits, in the inguinal area, under the jaws and in the upper part of the neck, in the union with the Lower part of the head). These lymph nodes increase in size (3 to 5 cm or more)

Until they open and eliminate a greenish pus and cream cheese-like consistency. These secretions are the main source of contagion for the other animals of the flock. Sometimes the apostemes are located in the lungs and the disease is not detected until the animals die.


Treatment is very difficult since all abscesses should be treated by surgical drainage and iodine-povidone cleaning or removal of all affected nodes. Additional treatment with antibiotics (penicillin-streptomycin) should be done for 3 to 5 days. It is often more convenient to dispose of diseased animals in the flock.


Goats have different types of scab according to the parasite (mite) that produces it. The contagion is carried out directly from animal to animal, or by scraping on poles, logs and drinking fountains were a sick animal was previously scratched.

Sarcoptic mange mainly affects the face. Starts at the edges of the lips, nostrils and around the eyes and they can take over the entire head and in cases of intense parasitism, can spread to the entire trunk, under the belly, breast, and extremities. In the beginning, small vesiculous papules are noticed and the serosity that they contain when they dry form black scabs, hence the name “black snout” with which it is known in the field.

The symptom of Goat Diseases:

Psoroptic mange is located in the outer ear canal, inside the ears. This type of mange has been identified in the western Pampean and may be confused with the lesions caused by the tick of the ear. The main lesson is an otitis externa, ie an ear infection, usually produced by bacterial infections

high schools. It is characterized by pruritus, thickening, and formation of wrinkles in the skin of the base of the ear. Accumulation of masses of brown discharge in the ear canal, which gives rise to deafness and symptoms of head movements.

Chorioptic mange is often located on the hind legs and between the hooves or around the anus and in the scrotum. It is not very contagious and relatively rare. In addition, goats are affected by a fourth scab.

Demodectic mange or follicular mange. It is characterized by the presence and multiplication of small mites of elongated form in hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Saanen goats are especially susceptible to this type of scabies. Skin lesions appear on the skin of the neck, thorax, and flanks.


In all cases, the injectable avermectins or endectocides are very effective at a dose of 0.2 mg/kg body weight

The treatment can be done with Ivermectin or doramectin, with 2 injections with a week of difference between each, at doses of 1 cc each 50 kg of weight.

  • Ivomec (Merial).
  • Dectomax (Pfizer)

Not all goat diseases have a cure or treatment. Unfortunately, the solution depends on the gravity is to sacrifice the animal, to be able to preserve the rest of the herd. However, there are some goat diseases that can be avoided by vaccinating goats first.

Fredric L Triplett

I'm a friendly, hardworking independent farmer. As a high-tech farmer, I'm always looking for ways to improve the quality of my life. I have two girls and one lovely wife who all love me very much. We enjoy spending time together outdoors - gardening, fishing, hunting, etc. Also like to play football and table tennis with friends on the weekends.

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