Goats are usually healthy animals and with the proper care, they usually remain healthy. However, there may be occasions when they will become ill, but with the proper goat care, these illnesses can be cured. Vaccination of your animals can be quite costly, especially if you make arrangements for your local veterinarian to perform regular checks on them. The costs would be minimal; however when compared to the thousands of dollars that will be required in treatment costs if the entire herd becomes ill. These would be in addition to the costs, that will be incurred as a result of a loss of production.
Goats are affected by many different conditions, but only some of the most common ones will be discussed here, that can be addressed with the proper treatment, care and in some cases prevention.
One of the most common diseases affecting goats over the years is Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis Virus (CAEV). These are common among dairy-producing goats and is mostly transmitted by infected does to their goat kids. With proper precautionary measures such as the administration of vaccines, this disease can be prevented.
Initially, the effects of Caprine Arthritis is not always visible, as it is a retrovirus and usually affects the kids or young goats. The symptoms are not usually exhibited until the goats get older in age.
In older goats, the common symptoms are swollen knees or hocks, but the disease is best identified through the administering of blood tests. This is not foolproof; however, as it sometimes does not show up in the blood, and is therefore not a truly accurate method by which to determine the disease.
On the other hand, the encephalitis virus affects goats at any age, and the symptoms are similar to that of white muscle disease.
The young kid is at first unable to move their hind legs, but this progresses eventually to their front legs as well, and then other areas of the body.
The kids lose their appetite as a result and will eventually not be able to drink or eat, even if they have the compulsion to do so.
The virus usually causes seizures which usually result in death.
There are no known vaccines or treatment for this virus technically, however, by isolating the infected animal and keeping them away from the rest of the herd would have some impact. The symptoms affecting the animals can be directly treated as well.
It is highly advised that kids of the CAEV infected does, be kept separate from the infected does. Also, the infected does should be fed with heat-treated colostrums.
Ketosis is another common disorder but is neither a bacteria nor a virus. It is a deficiency in the vital nutrients and if left untreated, affect the pregnant doe. The affected does will then weaken, refuse to eat and drink and eventually die.
Yet another disorder is selenium deficiency, and this can result in white muscle disease. The effects are similar to that of CAEV, with weakened muscles and results in tremors in both the hind and front legs.
Selenium is a mineral found in the earth and is generally acquired through the ingestion of fresh grass. A mineral infusion called Bo-se shots or vaccines can also be administered by veterinarians.
It is, therefore, advisable that you ensure that your goats are kept in good health. Additionally, any potential goat illnesses should be eliminated or prevented, by gaining the relevant knowledge required to effectively take proper care of your goats.
- Caring For Goats The Smart Way
- The Most Common Diseases That Affect Goats
- Simple Baby Goat Care Advice