A healthy goat herd is essential for a successful goat operation. Today, our Stanwood vets share some of the most common health problems in goats and how to prevent them through vaccinations.
What are some common health problems in goats?
Unfortunately, goats can suffer from many various health problems. These include Footrot, parasites, Paratubeculosis, Caseous Lymphadenitis, Caprine Arthritis and encephalitis, Pregnancy Toxemia, Contagious ecthyma, Selenium deficiency and toxicity, Pink Eye, Navel Ill, Zinc deficiency, Copper deficiency, Enterotoxaemia, and Polioencephalomalacia. Some bacterial/viral infections and other stresses can spread in goat herds, such as Q fever, Listeriosis, Vibriosis, and Chlamydiosis. This is why goat vaccines and preventive care are so important.
What should I consider before buying a goat?
Here are some things you should consider before buying a goat:
- Check out what disease problems occur on the seller’s property
- Thoroughly examine the goats you intend to buy
- Provide an On-farm quarantine of new goats for 4-6 weeks after moving from the seller’s property
Goats may be carrying unwanted infections or parasites into the herd. It is critical to be aware of any previous illness, drenching history, vaccination status, reason for sale, production records, scours incidence history, kidding percentage, and veterinary examination results to ensure a healthy herd.
Foot evaluation, coat condition, lumps under the jaw, gum and conjunctiva color, age estimate, and soundness of potential breeding bucks should all be done before purchasing a goat.
The quarantine of new goats on the farm is an important tool for health management. During quarantine, the goats should be kept in a separate area from the existing herd, given vaccines or drenches, observed for 4-6 weeks, and tested by a veterinarian. Throughout the operation, bio-security protocols should be in place.
What vaccinations should I give my goat?
Most veterinarians recommend that goats be vaccinated against Clostridium perfringens types C and D, as well as tetanus (CDT). This vaccine protects against tetanus and enterotoxemia, both of which are caused by different bacteria.
Vaccinating against enterotoxemia or another disease does not always prevent the disease, but it can make it shorter and less severe in some cases, and the goat is less likely to die. The cost of vaccination is insignificant when compared to the cost of treating the disease or replacing a dead goat.
Other than CDT, goat owners with small herds usually do not require any other vaccines. In areas where rabies is prevalent, some veterinarians recommend rabies vaccination for goats but be advised that there is no formally-approved rabies vaccine for goats. It is critical to consult with a veterinarian to determine what is best for your specific situation.
Goat Vaccination Schedule Chart
Here is a handy chart to help keep up with your goat vaccinations.
|Vaccine||Disease Protected Against||When to Give|
|CDT||Enterotoxemia and Tetanus|| |
Does: The fourth Month of Pregnancy
Kids: One-month-old and one month later
All: Annual booster
|Pneumonia||Pasteurella multocida or Mannheimia Haemolytica pneumonia||Twice, 2-4 weeks apart|
|CLA||Cornybacterium pseudotuberculosis|| |
Kids: Six months old, then three weeks later
All: Annual booster
|Chlamydia||Chlamydia abortion||First 28-45 days of pregnancy|