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Disease / Condition



Symptom



Treatment

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Acidosis occurs after accidentally taking in large quantities of concentrate foodstuffs

Depressed, hangs its head, drunken behavior, muscle twitching, bloat tends to occur, swelling on left flank, may grind teeth

Stop access to food. Drench goat with something alkaline such as bicarbonate of soda. 2-3 ounces will help neutralize acid. Walking goat has some value. Contact veterinary as needed.

Anemic -



Blackleg -  (Clostridial Myositis) -  caused by the soil-borne bacterium, Clostridium chauvei. The disease develops rapidly in affected animals and often deaths occur before the owner has noticed any sickness in the herd. 

Often no symptoms are observed;  At other

times, high fever, lack of appetite, depression, lameness, swelled head, and swellings that appear in the muscles on various parts of the body. Sometimes the leg muscles are involved, or the muscles in the

region of the back, hip, flank, chest or shoulder. In the latter stage of the disease, these swellings spread and become quite

mushy, producing a characteristic crackling sound when pressed with the hand. 

May respond to immediate treatment with penicillin or other antibiotics in large doses. In swelled head, need to have vet aid in draining of affected area. 

Bloat – gorging on anything unsuitable such as wet grass pastures or after raiding food bin

Tightly inflated flanks, misery, collapse

Drench with Mineral oil (6-8 fl oz) for an adult, (2+ fl oz) for kids. Walk goat about, massage flanks.

"Giving mineral oil is very effective in getting a goat that has over eaten grain to speed that grain on it's way. Vegetable oil will add to the digestive load, and may cause more harm than good. Mineral oil is not digestible, and I have used it with no problems at all. Feed that is overeaten ferments, causes gas, and acidosis to occur, which can lead to death. The object is to speed it out of there without adding to the digestive load." by Coni Ross

Another breeder's experience

"You wouldn't call me an expert on goats but I have had experience with the Bloating disease. To tell you the truth vegetable oil does work. I have personally used it on a couple of my bloated goats. I had amost a total of 3 of my kids die because of bloating, after the first one died I decided that it was time to get on the internet and do some of my own research. I came a crossed a web site that had information on bloating goats, and it said "If needed use vegetable oil", and it worked. I have used vegetable oil ever since. "

Amanda R. Wolfe

Suggestion from visitor to web site.

Mix some baking soda in with the goat's feed they really enjoy it and it takes away bloat.

Second Suggestion

  • 15cc Pepto-Bismol
  • 5cc Penicillin orally
  • 5cc SQ Penicillin
  • 5-7cc CD antitoxin SQ

Then give another shot of CD ANTITOXIN and Pepto later that day as well to make sure all is okay...12-24 hours later make sure you give the goat a probiotic to put the live bacteria back into the rumen...You will need to repopulate the gut once you clean it out

Bottle Jaw - Caused by animal being infected with blood-sucking worms.  Fluids are leaking from blood vessels and flow to the lower parts of the body. As the animal grazes during the day, the fluids build up in the head. Over night the fluids may partially drain away from the head.

Lower face and jaw will dramatically swell especially during the evening. Gums may not have the normal color because of being anemic.

Your worming medicine may not be effective or you may not have wormed recently. The animal needs to be wormed with a strong medication every 11 days for three times. It may also be anemic and need iron and vitamins given. Their system will have difficulty fighting off problems so you should use an antibiotic for several days to help.

Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) – Virus. Infectious to others.

Knees becomes enlarges, lameness, weight wasting, hard udder. Pneumonia, chronic cough.

Isolate and remove animal from herd.

Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) – Infectious. Bacteria enters animal through break in skin or mucous membranes and localizes in lymph node

Abscesses of the lymph glands. NOT ALL abscesses are CL. Your vet can test the animals to see if the abscess is CL or not.

Isolate and remove animal from herd. Many breeders will get rid of animals with CL. Some breeders treat and manage animals with CL. Abscesses can be lanced, remove discharge, and treated with iodine for several times. Wear rubber gloves and destroy all discharge. Spread through the eruption of abscess and discharge being exposed to other animals. Vaccine available at PHL Associates, Inc.

Coccidiosis – coccidia parasites. A disease of young or stressed animals.

Off food, diarrhea, blood in diarrhea, rapid weight loss, dehydration, may show straining in attempts to pass feces, dehydration and fever

You can treat easily with Bio-Sol. Depending on weight. Give 2-5cc to kids, and 7-10 cc to adults orally once a day for 5-7 days. Another treatment is we will treat them for 5 days with Di-Mdthox Concentrated Solution 12.5%. It is drenched without adding to water. We also give them several squirts of Scour-Halt as long as the diarrhea lasts.

Conjunctivitis or Pinkeye – infection of the eye spread by agents such as flies, dust and long grass

A watery eye with excess tears spilling over on to the skin. May be reddening and cornea becomes cloudy. Animal sensitive to the light.

see detail page for treatments

Contracted Tendons

Leg tendons on new born kids are contracted so the leg does not straighten out properly

see article

Cystic Ovaries:

Continues to come into heat every 4-5 days. She will fail to come into a true, standing heat, and she will act ‘bucky’

treat cystic ovaries quite successfully with an injection of HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, an Rx) to correct the hormonal imbalance. That is followed about 9-10 days later by an injection of Lutalyse

Diarrhea (see article)



Enterotoxaemia –(overeaters disease) Clostridium perfringens type D bacteria produce the poisons responsible, when conditions in the digestive tract deprive them of oxygen.

Sudden loss of appetite. Depression and a drunken appearance. signs of stomach pain, such as kicking at their belly, laying on their sides, crying out. As it progresses the animal becomes unable to stand and lies on side making paddling movements. High temperature. Very watery diarrhea

The prognosis for recovery is guarded in caprine enterotoxemia, even with treatment. Fluid therapy providing mixed electrolyte solution with bicarbonate are indicate in acute cases to counter shock, dehydration an acidosis.

Commercially available type C and D antitoxins should be administered. Antibiotic therapy may be helpful in reducing bacterial

proliferation. Oral sulfas have been used successfully

(see personal recommendation for treatment)

Floppy Kid Syndrome -Some people believe it is caused by too much rich milk and others believe that it is associated with e-coli.

Newborn kids seem to do well for  a few days after birth then start to show depression and weakness of limbs that progress to flaccid paralysis. Drunken appearance. No signs of diarrhea or elevated temperature. Possible distension of the abdomen.

Remove kid from source of Milk immediately for 24 to 36 hours. Dissolve a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in a glass of water. With a syringe administer between 20 and 50 cc of the solution orally. Do it slowly so the kid has time to swallow. Repeat the treatment at 1, 3, 6, 12 hours from initial treatment. Feed electrolytes as alternative until returned to milk. Also administer a wide spectrum antibiotic to prevent secondary bacterial infections.

ANOTHER POSSIBLE SOLUTION Treatment is one-half tsp baking soda, mixed with electrolytes and one-half teaspoon Pepto-Bismol.

 Repeat in 6-12 hours.  Not required to pull from mother's milk from this solution's perspective

Third Solution - If the kid can still walk but is wobbly then give  2cc long-acting penicillin orally and 500MG thiamin. The Thiamin is mixed with the penicillin, and is imperative to recovery This should work in 6 hours. If the kid is comatose, give 5CC %50 dextrose orally and keep warm. Give the pen and thiamin for 3 days once a day.

Foot & Mouth Disease - viral disease of cloven-hoofed animals.

Blisters or vesicles form in any of the following places: lips, tongue, teats, or the coronary band of the hoof. Tend to become lame and possibly salivate excessively.

Must be controlled from occurring. Animals exposed to the disease are destroyed.  

Foot Rot – Fusiformis nodosus infection enters the hoof and causes inflammation of the sensitive laminae.

Lameness, mild to severe. There is a foul smell associated with it. Animals are reluctant to walk.

Hoof paring in order to remove the underrun hoof. Apply antiseptic agents in order to remove any infection.

Gastro-intestinal roundworms – infest stomach and intestines sucking blood or reducing the absorption of digested food materials from the gut

Diarrhea and weight loss, anaemia

Drench with dewormer medicine such as Ivomec, Cydectin. Make sure the worms are not resistant to your wormer.

Parasite Control and Treatment

 (Goat Polio) -  a Thiamine (Vitamin B 1) deficiency. From improper feeding, particularly feeding too much grain and too little roughage.

Excitability, "stargazing", muscle rigidity, uncoordinated staggering and/or weaving, drunkenness, circling, diarrhea, muscle tremor, head against wall,  and apparent blindness. A rapid, involuntary, oscillatory motion of the eyeball. As it progresses, convulsions and high fever may  occur, and if untreated, the animal generally dies within 24-72 hours.

Thiamine is the only effective therapy, and treatment can result in improvement in as little as two hours, if the disease is caught early enough. Dosage is related to body weight:  

Use 500mg/ml Thiamin. Start with a gram (1,000 mg) IM the first dose, then at least 500mg per day for as long as it takes for complete recovery. Give 10cc Penicillin orally, and 10cc SQ at first treatment. Polio can be caused by plant thiaminase, or bacteria that either inhibit production of thiamin in the goat's gut, or consume the thiamin. Since we don't know what the origin is, It is preferred to sterilize the gut, and start over. So, the oral penicillin will kill the bacteria if that is the cause. On the morning of day 2, calf pac the goat, and give 500mg Thiamin orally, and 500mg SQ. Do not repeat any of the penicillin. If the goat will eat, feed her. If she can't eat,  tube her or drench her with 100cc of Revive, 100cc of water several times a day until she can eat.

Indigestion  - failure of normal rumenal movement. Associated with high intake of concentrate foodstuffs.

Off of food, slightly dull

Generally recovers within two days. Sodium bicarbonate given by mouth may be of some use if there is a tendency to acid conditions in the rumen. Offer animal a quart of salt water with 25 g of sodium bicarbonate dissolved in it. Give Probios to refresh the rumen bacteria.

Inverted Eyelid (Entropion) - An inword deviation or rolling of the eyelid that caused a contact irritation of the cornea and conjunctiva by the eyelashes.

Involuntary forcible closure of the eyelids. Uncontrollable blinking. Excessive sensitivity to light and the aversion to sunlight. Inflammation of the eye involving both the cornea and the membrane that coats the inner surfaces of the eyelids and the outer surface of the eye. Cloudy looking eye. Watery eye.

Initial treatment involved the administration of topical antibiotic ointments and attempt to correct the eyelid to not turn in. Topical antibiotic ointments can include Terramycin, Neomycin salve or B.N.P. Triple Antibiotic Ophthalmic Ointment twice a day. The eyelid may correct on its own or with some assistance several times a day. If not, a vet may be able to give a shot of of procaine penicillin under the eyelid to force it out. A vet can clamp the skin of the affected eyelid with a mosquito hemostat to create swelling and resultant excessive membrane fibrous to help correct the eye. Finally a vet can do corrective surgery to the eyelid to prevent it from being inverted.

Johne’s Disease – chronic incurable infection of the intestines by Mycobacterium johnei bacterium. Causes a thickening of the intestine

Loss of condition, occasional scouring, becoming more frequent with bubbles of gas in the droppings. Weakness. Thirst may increase.

None. Slaughter animal as soon as possible to prevent spread to other animals.

Leg Injury



Lice – parasite

Intense irritation, rubbing, bald patches and itching, usually during the winter months

Louse powder will normally control the problem. Insecticides for spray or dip repeated.

Laminitis - inflammation of the skin layers around the hoof.  Often caused by consumption of a highly concentrated or lush forage diet. It may also be associated with sicknesses such as pneumonia, mastitis, and metritis.

Lameness and warm feet. Moves with a stiff gait, prefers to lay down or stay on knees. May also show signs of bloat, diarrhea and toxemia

Place on a reduced protein/energy diet such as hay with a very reduced or not concentrate ration and soft bed for lying down. Pain relief with a Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as Phenylbutazone is essential. Chronis cases need careful foot trimming to relieve pain by reducing pressure on the sensitive areas.

Listeriosis  - caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, found in soil, water, plant litter, silage and goat's digestive tract.  Brought on by feeding silage, sudden changes in kind of feed, parasitism, dramatic weather changes and advanced stages of pregnancy.

Depression, decreased appetite, fever, leaning or stumbling or moving in one direction only, head pulled to flank with rigid neck, facial paralysis on one side, slack jaw, and drooling, abortions.

Administration of Procaine penicillin every six hours for three to five days, then daily for an additional seven days.

Lungworms – worms inhabit the air passages and cause inflammation (parasite pneumonia)

Chronic cough

Drench with dewormer such as Ivomec

Mange, Chorioptic – Chorioptes caprae infest the skin of the lower leg

Itchiness may be noticed and there may be small crusty scabs.


Mange, Demodectic – Demodex caprae invade the hair follicles and sebaceous glands of the skin

Small lumps are noticed in the skin. They may be like a cyst or bag of fluid.

Response to treatment is generally poor. Discuss with your veterinary.

Mange, Psoroptic – Psoroptes caprae which infests the ears

May cause head-shaking and scratching.

Gamma benzene hexachloride and gammexane can be used

Mange, Sarcoptic – Saroptes scabei burrow in the skin and lay their eggs in tunnels

Terrible itching, Skin becomes raised, red and hairless round the eyes, ears and nose.

Infestation can be passed to other goats. Veterinary treatment is required.

Mastitis - inflammation of the udder, almost always associated with germs

Misery, udder hot, hard and very tender, appetite lost, pupils of eyes narrowed to slits

Antibiotics, and supportive therapy

Mastitis (gangrene) - inflammation of the udder, almost always associated with germs

bruised looking udder. Doe show signs of generalized illness: depression, fever or loss of appetite. Gangrene mastitis should be suspect if the udder is cold, swollen with an excessive accumulation of fluid  and the milk is watery or bloody.


  •  CD antitoxin -7cc SQ
  •  Poly Serum - 10cc SQ
  • 10cc Penicillin SQ & 5cc IM,
  • Banamine - 1cc/100lbs IM

 follow with 10cc Penicillin SQ per day for 5 more days.

 If you have Nuflor, give her 6cc/100lbs SQ first day, and 3cc/100 for at least 5 days more

I know this seems excessive, but this type of Mastitis is a true emergency. You can spray the udder with Scarlet oil as it sloughs, and it will clean up all by it's self. I have had does loose half of the udder, and never stop eating with this treatment. If you catch it fast enough, you may actually save the udder.

Milk Fever (Hypocalcemia) Low concentrations of serum calcium are found in heavily lactating animals or those with multiple fetuses

Occurs close to kidding, up to about 3 weeks after birth, but can occur before kidding. Animals will show a wobbly gait, foot dragging, and muscle incoordination. Some animals will be unable to stand and, if prior to kidding, be too weak to deliver

Drench 20-30 cc of Calcium Gluconate 23% twice a day. Some people add it to some water because it can sting.  

Mycotoxin - "Myco means fungus and toxin means poison" - a poisoning of an animal from a fungus growth normally in old hay or feed.

Excessive salavation, depression, anorexia, convulsions, arched back

Varies according to the source of problem. Remove the "bad" feed or hay from the animals immediately. Administration of activated charcoal may inhibit additional uptake of toxin from the gut. Mineral oil may help.

Navel Ill – dirty environments infecting the navel cord after birth

Young kid with swollen, painful navel which may look red

Antibiotic injections. Area around the navel should be cleaned with antiseptic iodine, crusty scabs removed by soaking and any pockets of pus drained.

Pneumonia – infection of the lung

Refuses food, stands around hanging head down, sounds congested, elevated temperature, and coughs and breathes rapidly or with difficulty.

Antibacterial drugs such as Oxytetracycline. May require veterinary-only drugs if severe.

Poisoning -Poisonous Plants and Goats


frothing at the mouth, vomiting, staggering, trembling, crying for help, rapid or labored breathing, convulsions and sudden death.


ToxiBan Suspension activated charcoal is leading brand of activated charcoal used as the universal antidote for animal poisonings. ToxiBan protects the intestinal lining as it absorbs toxins in the gastrointestinal tract.

Poison Control Information

National Animal Poison Control Center Numbers

  • 1-900-680-0000 $20 for the first 5 minutes, then $2.95/minute after. Charged to your phone bill
  • 1-800-548-2423 $30.00 per case, (bills to your VISA, Mastercard, Discover or American Express only)

The 800 number cost includes follow-up calls and will consult with your veterinarian.

Using The Service:

  • Be ready to provide your name, address and phone number.
  • Information concerning the exposure (amount of agent, time since exposure. Etc.)
  • Species, breed, sex, weight, age and number of animals exposed.
  • The agent the animal(s) were exposed to, if known.
  • The problems your animals are experiencing. If you are unable to access the 900 number, call your telephone company for assistance or use the 800 number. When the 800 number is used your credit card number will be required in addition to the above information.

Pregnancy Toxemia - a metabolic disease of does in late pregnancy. Most of the nutrition is going to the kids. Similar to Ketosis. Ketosis is after birthing.

Lethargy and losses of appetite over one to two weeks, generally in very late pregnancy. Limping or swelling of feet. Laying around not wanting to get up. Sweet-smelling (ketotic) breath. Ketosis strips can be used to identify if the doe is ketotic

Give doe propylene glycol twice a day. We give 60cc drench in am and pm. We also create a mixture of sodium bicarbonate with water and give 30cc drench am and pm. Help get the doe up and moving around during the day and offering food.

Another Solution  Give her 3 Tbs Calf Pac mixed with 100cc Revive and 100cc  water. Give the doe 200cc of Revive every 2 hours, with Calf Pac in it. Also, once you get the doe awake, always give alfalfa, and corn with the sweet feed. Give her at least 6-8 oz.  Magic at night to hold them.

Ringworms – Fungal condition

Grey-white crusty appearance on small areas of skin. Skin is usually thickened and the hairs thin or absent. Generally no itching or evidence of irritation. Enlargement of affected areas occurs.

Fungicidal preparations applied as a liquid dressing. Any of the following daily for five days and then weekly: 0.5% Lime sulphur

  • 1:10 bleach
  • 1:300 Captan
  • 1% Betadine

 (Sore Mouth) –-  Highly infectious viral disease to animals and humans. ORF is the name for this in humans.

Pimples about the nose, mouth, eyes, anus and hoofs. Turning to watery blisters, then to sticky and encrusted scabs. Swelling of mouth and gums. Will run a course of around three weeks. Animals can die if they are unable to eat or nurse because of the sore mouth.

Difficult. Dress with antibiotic spray or ointment. Isolate infected animals.  There is a Ovine Ecthyma Vaccine against sore mouth infection to all animals. Vaccine to infected animals may reduce the time to recover. We do not recommend vaccinating. We let the soremouth run its course of 3 weeks and doctor severe  cases. We use medication with Cephapirin Benzathine in it. Two brands are Cefa-Dri and Tomorrow.  CHX-Guard LA gel antibacterial agent adheres to the gums of infected animals.

Tapeworms – inhabit the small intestine

Examination of the goat’s droppings. Young goats will pass tapeworm segments in their feces during the summer months.

An anthelmintic such as albendazole can be used. Oral niclosamide is highly effective.

Tetanus - Infection of open wounds by the bacterium Clostridium tetani results in tetanus (lockjaw)

A general increase in muscle stiffness is seen, causing an unsteady gait. Eyelid begins to extend over the eye and animal looks "anxious". The symptoms get progressively worse and convulsions may occur. The goat dies because it is unable to breathe.

Goats can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin and antisera, but response is poor.  The site of bacterial proliferation should be searched for and whenever possible, the wound or infection site should be opened to the air, debrided, flushed with hydrogen peroxide and infiltrated with penicillin. The area be infiltrated with tetanus antitoxin before the wound cleaning process is begun to reduce the chance that more pre-existing toxin will b absorbed during tissue manipulations.

Urinary Calculi  - A hard mass of mineral salts in the urinary tract caused by a dietary mineral imbalance, usually in bucks

Restlessness, straining to urinate, pawing the ground, recurrent looking at its own abdomen, vocal signs of pain

Most treatment must be done by veterinarians. Often requiring the removal of the tip of the penis. Look at the details in the article on Urinary Calculi

White Muscle Disease - deficiency of Vitamin E and Selenium

Stiffness, weakness and trembling. Back legs become stiff and unable to use. Can result in death

Administration of selenium, together with vitamin E.

Link to a map showing counties Selenium levels
http://tin.er.usgs.gov/geochem/doc/averages/se/usa.html