Goat Disease

An important aspect of cashmere goat management is disease control. A disease-free herd is more productive and therefore more profitable. However, it cannot be stressed enough that good management practices will practically eliminate all disease processes that could disrupt a flock. Disease etiologies are highly predictable and control methods are well documented. The goat breeder should be able to recognize and control diseases before they become a factor in overall herd management.

In dry regions, many of the bacteria, oocysts and protozoa will not survive in the dry conditions. Unfortunately, the lack of medicines will offset this advantage for diseases that will occur. Goats do not normally have a high resistance to parasitic infection. Generally, wormy goats will have a rough coat and pale mucous membranes (such as the gums). Open pasture conditions will minimize parasitic infection among the herd members, but parasites can kill. Many of the diseases associated with dairy goats are rare or almost nonexistent in cashmere type goats under any conditions. Those that do affect fiber producing goats and are of concern to managers are caused by bacteria, viruses, protozoa or physiologic dysfunction. Diseases discussed herein include brucellosis, enterotoxemia, tetanus, caseous lymphadenitis, pneumonia, pinkeye, sore mouth, pregnancy toxemia, and internal and external parasites.

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