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How to prevent common disease in goats

By Grace Chomba

Just like any other animals, goats keeping faces challenges of infections if not well taken care of. They are commonly affected by mastitis, a parasitic disease known as Coccidiosis, helminthiasis, Clostridium infections, Caprine arthritis and encephalitis.

To prevent the above diseases good management of your flock is paramount together with vaccination and frequent deworming and dipping.

Common symptoms

Here are common symptoms you will notice easily on your flock; poor growth, weight loss, diarrhoea, scruffy rough hair coat, milk yield dropping abruptly, progressive paralysis of young goats, reduced milk production, non-swollen udder during kidding, arthritis with pain and swollen joints in adults.

How to prevent the diseases

Cleanliness

Coccidiosis is spread from one animal to another by contact with infected droppings. Thorough cleaning and removal of manure regularly can help reduce the spread of the diseases.

If they are kept in a dirty surrounding they might drink water contaminated.

Mastitis is prevented by practising proper hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after milking. Use a separate clean udder cloth or a disposable tissue for cleaning each goat. Ensure there is a provision of clean beddings and the milking equipment are always cleaned.

Feeding

Your animals are likely to get sick if not feed well.

Pregnant females need more food to produce healthy offspring. During diet change, take much caution as high carbohydrates diets can lead to clostridium infections. 

Stress

Overcrowding, underfeeding, poor transportation and management procedures like castration, ear tagging, shearing and tail docking cause stress which make them ill.

Create enough space for your animals during transportation and provide enough water.

Vaccinating

Frequent vaccination prevents the spread of certain diseases. Vaccinate them every four to six months. It is cheap to vaccinate than treating sick animals.

Vaccinate females before giving birth to protect the young ones from being infected.

New flock

Check on new flock carefully and vaccinate them to ensure they are free from diseases.

Caprine arthritis and encephalitis is a viral disease that is susceptible to all goat breeds and it can be transmitted by the new goats.

It is spread from infected animals to offspring during milking. It is controlled by separating the newborns from the adults and feeding them with heat-treated colostrum and pasteurized milk.

Regular testing and culling infected animals help prevent its spread.

 

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