Goats are one of the oldest domesticated animals in the world and, even though strong creatures, they can still get sick. If you care about your goats and want to learn more about different diseases that might affect them or efficient treatments and medicines, you can read the article below, but you can also find more info here regarding goat milking machines.
We researched the topic and are ready to share valuable information with you. However, no article or blog entry, no matter how well-documented it is, can replace the professional advice of a veterinarian, and this is why you should address him or her for additional tests and treatments.
Common diseases in goats
These animals are fun to raise and can easily get attached to their owners, especially if you show them love and devotion in their first stages of life. However, whether you raise them for pleasure or for their benefits, one thing is for sure – you will have to spend your time and money to look after their needs and make sure they remain healthy.
Although goats are generally strong animals, this doesn’t mean they cannot get sick or develop certain health conditions in time.
The Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) is a virus that turns into painful arthritis that affects joints and causes discomfort. Unfortunately, this condition is hard to detect, especially since there aren’t many symptoms. Some goats will have difficulties when walking or standing, while others may wobble.
Unfortunately, if left untreated, CAE can lead to a more dangerous neurological condition named encephalitis, which causes paralysis of the legs or neck.
This condition can be contracted via milk from the mother goat to the kid. It is highly important to test all your goats periodically and try to prevent the spread of CAE when possible. If the virus shows up in one of your goats, you should separate the babies from the mother immediately after birth and switch to special formula or clean milk as there isn’t a vaccine for CAE yet.
Although it is mainly found in cattle, goats can suffer from this disease as well. It is usually contracted by the male and it is transmitted to the female in the breeding process. Swollen testicles are the most common sign of brucellosis in male goats while in females it often causes abortion.
The disease is transmissible to humans and can be contracted through milk, urine, vaginal discharges, and semen. Therefore, if you handle the afterbirth of a doe with brucellosis, you need to pay close attention.
Moreover, the pathogen can also live on clothes for a long time. Although strong antibiotics have proved to be efficient, many goat breeders prefer to put down the affected animals to prevent further spread.
Another bacterial infection that is transmissible to humans is Q Fever or Coxiella. It occurs in various species of animals and usually causes late-term abortions. Sometimes, the new-born kids will look weak and ill.
Again, humans can contract it from handling kids immediately after their birth and common symptoms include nausea, high fevers, abdominal pain or diarrhea. It is important to know that some people don’t show signs of the infection in the first 2-3 weeks after the exposure, so you need to see a doctor if you have any doubts.
As for does, make sure to have them regularly checked by a veterinarian.
What medications can goats take?
It goes without saying that no symptom, infection, disease or pain should be treated without having proper medical training or long experience in goat breeding. However, there are certain drugs that can be safely administered by everyone, and it is good to always have them around.
The most common ones include dewormers, antibiotics, Kao-Pectin, and electrolytes. Let’s examine them and other over-the-counter drugs closely.
A broad-spectrum antibiotic is extremely helpful in treating minor infections that can cause fever or diarrhea. In the first phase, you should opt for low-sting formulation products such as Biomycin 200 that won’t have too many side effects.
The medication can also be used for wounds and pneumonia cases, though we do recommend talking to a vet or carefully reading the prospect for the right dosage according to the age and weight of the goat.
Fortified Vitamin B complex
Goat polio is one of the most common illnesses that can be easily treated without too much effort. It is, in fact, a deficiency of Vitamin B1 which can be solved with some high-quality vitamins. In more severe cases of polio, the vet will recommend administering straight thiamine (Vitamin B1) and will write you a prescription for it.
The good thing is that you can also treat this illness by paying close attention to your pet’s diet and replacing foods rich in carbs with healthier solutions. The symptoms of B1 deficiency include circling, muscle spasms, convulsions, and motor or visual disturbances.
If your goat is used to off feed, chances are it will lack proper hydration which can cause additional health problems. Hydration loss can be easily fixed with the help of electrolyte packets you can usually find in a feed store. Kao-Pectin is an alternative solution also used to prevent dehydration.
As we previously mentioned, it is mandatory for you to look after your goat’s health by making all necessary vaccines and investigations periodically. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll never have to worry about Clostridium perfringens or Enterotoxemia, also known as “the overeating disease”.
You should keep a dose of the vaccine in your fridge at all times in case your kid or goat gets Enterotoxemia as it will probably make the difference between life and death.
Another inexpensive medicine that can treat mild infections and health problems is activated charcoal. You can find it in regular health stores and it is used to absorb toxins from the organism whenever your goat eats something it shouldn’t, such as toxic plants. Again, the vet is the only one who can prescribe the right amount of charcoal to be used for treating your goat.