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1. Smith, M.C.; Sherman, D.M. Goat Medicine; Lea and Febiger: Malvern, PA, 1994.

2. Olcott, M.B. Caprine Herd Health. In Proceedings of Goat Field Day; Langston University, 1995.

3. Pugh, D.G. Sheep and Goat Medicine; WB Saunders: Philadelphia, 2002.

4. Dawson, L.J. General Care of Goats. In Proceedings of Goat Field Day; Langston University, 1998.

5. Mobini, S. Herd Health Management Practices for Goats. In Proceedings of Goat Field Day; Langston University, 1999.

6. Dawson, L.J. Caprine Herd Health Program. In Proceed ings of Goat Field Day; Langston University, 2001.

7. Smith, M.C. Small Ruminants for the Mixed Animal

Table 1 Causative agents, clinical signs, diagnosis, and control measures for infectious diseases of goats


Clinical signs



Caseous lymphadenitis is caused by Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis.

Tetanus is caused by C. tetani, which produces spores. These spores release toxin, which affects the nervous system.

Enterotoxemia is caused by C. perfringens types C and D, which produce toxins.

Peripheral swelling of the superficial lymph Presence of a firm to a nodes. Internal lymph nodes and organs could be involved, slightly fluctuant swelling

Decreased body weight and milk production, in the location of lower reproductive efficiency the lymph nodes

Stiffness, difficulty in moving or walking, "saw horse" stance, easily excited to touch or noise, "lockjaw" or difficulty in opening the mouth, salivation, food accumulated in the mouth, prolapse of the third eyelid, seizures or convulse periodically, and later death

Type C affects very young kids and adults with blood-tinged diarrhea, anemia, and later death. Type D affects young kids and is mainly seen as sudden death. Rise in temperature, abdominal pain, depressed, laying down, convulsions, paddling, head thrown straight over the back, and later death. May not have diarrhea. Chronic form seen in the adults; they experience listlessness, off feed, weight loss, intermittent episodes of pasty or loose feces, and milk production down if lactating

Clinical signs, presence of deep wounds or history of castration, disbudding, kidding, etc. Confirm the diagnosis by sending tissues or blood to the lab.

Clinical signs, necropsy, isolating the toxin, impression smears from the intestine, and improvement with intravenous antitoxin

Separate and isolate the affected animals. Proper sanitation of the pens, feeders, water troughs, and equipment. Use individual hypodermic needles. Purchase animals from a noninfected herd. Replacement animals need to be quarantined for at least 60 days. Kids from infected animals should be removed at birth, raised separately on milk replacers or pasteurized milk. Cull animals with multiple abscesses, chronic respiratory disease, and wasting disease. Vaccination could be considered if other methods have failed

Vaccination, surgical procedures such as castration should be carried out in a clean and hygienic manner. Wounds should be kept clean. Proper sanitation of the pens, lots, feeders, etc.


Caprine arthritis encephalitis is caused by a retro virus.

Contagious ecthyma, or sore mouth, is caused by a parapox virus.

Johne's disease is caused by a bacterium

Mycobacterium paratuberculosis.

Young kids: ataxic and weak in the rear legs. Cannot get up and later die from affecting the nervous system. Adults: swollen joints, arthritis, and contracted joints. Udder gets hard with no mastitis, and decrease in milk production

Thick scabby sores are seen on the lips, gums, face, ears, coronary band, scrotum, teats, or vulva

Loss of weight, rough hair coat, decrease in milk production, may or may not have diarrhea. Usually seen in animals 3 to 5 years old

Infectious kerato conjunctivitis, or pinkeye, in goats is caused by Mycoplasma conjunctivae or Chlamydia psittaci.

Abortions in goats due to infectious agents: Toxoplasma gondii C. psittaci Salmonellosis (Salmonella typhimurium and Salmonella dublin) Brucella melitensis Listeria monocytogenes Leptospirosis (Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae, L. grippotyphosa, L. pomona).

Acute onset, watery eyes, redness of the eye, swelling of the eyelids, photophobia, cloudy cornea with later forming ulcers

Abortions, still births, and birth of weak infected kids. Systemic effects may be seen in the doe with salmonellosis, brucellosis, listeria, and leptospirosis

Clinical signs, serology, Test and cull. Remove the kids from and necropsy their affected mother. Heat-treat the colostrum. Raise the kids on pasteurized milk or milk replacer. Kids should be separated from the adults at birth

Clinical signs, electron microscopy, or immunologic techniques to demonstrate antigen in the scabs

Clinical signs, fecal culture, serology, and lymph node biopsy

Clinical signs

Vaccine is a live virus vaccine

Proper sanitation and management of the kidding pens is very essential. Kids removed immediately after kidding and raised on heat-treated colostrum, pasteurized milk, or milk replacer. Blood test every 6 months and remove the affected animals. Kids should not commingle with the adults until they have kidded. In Norway, this disease has been controlled by vaccination

Prevent dusty environment and feed. Proper isolation and quarantine measures for your replacements

Abortion, serology, and histopathology of the fetus and placenta

Proper sanitation, rodent control, clean feed and water supply. Isolating pregnant animals. Avoid overcrowding and stressing of the does. Prevent exposure to barn cats. Do not feed spoiled and poorly fermented silage. Vaccinate for Chlamydia; B. melitensis is controlled by test and slaughter policy

Table 2 Vaccination schedule for infectious diseases of goats


Time to vaccinate

Disease / causative agent





Prebreeding Doe


Gestation Doe

4 to 6 weeks

8 and 12 weeks

30 days prior to breeding 30 days prior to breeding

30 days prior to kidding

C. perfringens C&D

C. tetani toxoid Contagious ecthyma (if a herd problem)

Caseous lymphadenitis

Chlamydia (abortions)

C. perfringens C&D C. tetani toxoid

C. perfringens C&D C. tetani toxoid


Annual or 2 months before the show season Annual

Annual Annual


Table 3 Causes, clinical signs, diagnosis, and control measures for metabolic diseases of goats



Clinical signs




Milk fever

Pregnancy toxemia

Floppy kid syndrome

Increased grain in the diet



Thiamine deficiency or low availability of thiamine

Low energy diet or low availability of energy during the last trimester of pregnancy

Metabolic acidosis Cause unknown.

Depressed, off feed, bloat, grinding teeth, diarrhea, and dehydration Mild bloat, off feed, ataxia, down, hypothermia, ''S '' curved neck, pupils dilated, and muscle twitching Loss of appetite, depressed, no rumen motility, head pressing, aimless walking, blindness, muscle tremors, and hyperexcitable Weak, depressed, poor muscle tone, and down

Depressed, weak, ataxic, and cannot suckle

Clinical signs. Rumen pH drops below 5

Close to or 1 3 weeks after kidding. Mainly seen in dairy goats. Response to in travenous calcium therapy

Symptoms. Response to thiamine treatment

Symptoms. Does carrying multiple fetuses

Response to bicarbonate orally

Gradual increase of grain in the diet

Proper nutrition during the dry period. Cation/anion

[(Na+K)/(cl + S)] balance during the last month of pregnancy

Proper nutrition, good quality roughage, less stress, low sulfates in the ration, and early diagnosis

Proper nutrition and increased energy intake during the last 6 weeks of pregnancy

Supportive care. Correction of electrolyte imbalance or i.v.

Practitioners. In Proceedings of the 70th Western Veteri nary Conference, 1998.

8. Piontkowski, M.D.; Shivvers, D.W. Evaluation of a commercially available vaccine against Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis for use in sheep. JAVMA 1998, 212 (11), 1765 1768.

9. Bowen, J.S. A Practitioner's Approach to Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis. In Proceedings of Goat Field Day; Langston University, 1995. 10. Dawson, L.J. Infectious Abortions in Goats. In Goat Newsletter; E (kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research: Spring, 2002.

Tilahun Sahlu Arthur Goetsch

Langston University, Langston, Oklahoma, U.S.A.

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