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Home Farming Tips What Diseases Affect Goats Most?

What Diseases Affect Goats Most?

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There are many diseases that affect goats. These include scouring, pneumonia, coccidiosis, typhoid and diarrhoea.

Scouring manifests through general body weakness, loss of appetite and a scruffy skin.

Scours is a form of diarrhoea that occurs in ungulates, such as goats. Diarrhoea occurs in many species, but in kids it is especially dangerous because it kills them faster.

Scours can be managed by;

Administer antibiotics to scouring kids

Good management

Feed colostrums to newly born kids

Avoid overcrowding in the shelter

Keep house for kids dry and clean

Remove faecal material from the houses and keep the floor dry.

Vaccination (seek the help of a veterinarian). Should be done prior to birthing so that colostrum has adequate protective antibodies.

Goats are also attacked by respiratory diseases and they are dangerous. These manifest through different ways:

Caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP):

The most dangerous of them all is caused by bacteria Mycoplasma capricolum. It can kill goats in big numbers, especially when under stress due to transit or change in management and overcrowding.

This can be avoided by improving the hygiene, ventilation and reducing on over-crowding. At the moment, treat the goats with Tylosin, oxytetracycline and gentamycin. Also, vaccinate them annually.

Pasteurellosis is caused by bacteria — Pasteurella multocida and causes severe losses, especially to stressed goats or animals in transit and live in unhygienic conditions.

It can be treated using oxytetracycline and pen-strep, but after consulting a veterinary officer.


Swellings filled with pus on parts of the body. They are caused by poor hygiene and poor disposal of pus discharges from drained abscesses.

Bacteria such as staph and corynebacteria, strep to coccocal abscesses. This can be controlled by improving on the hygiene when draining abscesses and burying the discharges. Treat the goats with antibiotics, like pen-strep, sulfur drugs and oxytetracyclines.


A skin condition caused by mites, that makes the hair fall off and crusts. It can be fatal in kids by causing anaemia and secondary bacterial infections.

It can be controlled by avoiding overcrowding, spraying goats regularly using amidine acaricides and injectable ivermectins, such as noromectin which can kill the parasites.

Foot rot

The rotting of the feet, mostly caused by bacteria. Goats with over grown hooves and old ones are more susceptible. It can be controlled by hygiene use 5% formalin, copper sulphate or Zinc sulphate in foot baths.

Eye problems

These are common in overcrowded goat houses and poor hygiene. Ammonia gas, produced from uncollected goat dung, irritates the mucous membranes predisposing goats to secondary bacterial conditions.

This can be controlled by improving on hygiene and spacing. One can also use eye ointments or iodine spray.

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