Pneumonia is a common respiratory disease that results in an inflammation of the lung. Several different kinds of pneumonia can be classified. The disease can be caused by severe lungworm infestation, Corynebacterium, mycoplasm, chlamydia as well as other bacteria and viruses. However, the most common forms are those resulting from stress of entry of foreign material to the lungs and stress due to shearing. Pneumonia can cause death. Diagnosis by qualified personnel is essential to ensure that correct treatment is initiated.
Symptoms – Symptoms include fever, depression, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, loss of appetite and body condition and an audible rattle in the chest.
Treatment – Antibiotics should be administered following veterinary consultation in order to determine the proper one to use. Oxytetracycline, penicillin, neomycin, or sulfonamides are effective. Affected goats should be isolated.
Prevention – The best prevention is to minimize stress. Goats that are housed in poorly ventilated sheds are most susceptible to pneumonia, although any disease will rapidly spread through overcrowded animal populations. Dusty feed can cause rhinitis or runny noses. Changing feed or wetting the feed slightly can eliminate this source of infection. Sudden rainstorms may cause an outbreak of pneumonia as may the stress of shearing or combing with its associated changes in thermoregulation. Adequate shelter can minimize loss due to pneumonia.