5 Common Diseases of Goats

There are diseases that goats seem to commonly suffer from. As a goat owner, you need to make sure that you are aware of them and do what you can to prevent them. If you are not properly educated on goat health and diseases, you could end up wasting your time and money. If you can’t keep them healthy and alive, your investment will be largely be wasted. While you will not be able to prevent every type of illness and/or ailment, if you know what to watch for, you will be able to recognize serious or even deadly symptoms and get help for your goat(s) before the situation gets dire.

While the list of common goat disease can get pretty lengthy, below, we will only discuss a few here. A complete listing is beyond the scope of this webpage. The ones that we will discuss are:

  1. Blackleg
  2. Bottle Jaw
  3. Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE)
  4. Coccidiosis
  5. Foot and Mouth Disease

You’ll find information about how each of these can affect the health of your beloved goats. Some of these conditions are very serious and can lead to rapid death. Other diseases can simply be treated with antibiotics or other medications.


This can be an extremely dangerous disease for goats. It is caused by Clostridium chauvei, a bacteria found in the soil. The animal will get sick really fast and the disease can lead to rapid death. Many times there are no symptoms at all which makes the condition even more dangerous and frightening. However, when symptoms do occur, they often include fever, sadness (by the goat), loss of appetite and swelling. Treatment generally includes penicillin and/or other antibiotics.

Bottle Jaw

Bloodsucking worms can cause Bottle Jaw in goats. When it occurs, the goat’s blood vessels begin to leak into other parts of their body, generally, the lower half. The jaw and face will swell and the gums may change color. When this occurs, the goat will need to be dewormed. They may also need to be administered vitamins and iron. Antibiotics may also be necessary.

Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE)

Symptoms associated with this disease include swelling in the knees, weight loss, pneumonia, hard udders and coughing. The goat will need to be separated from the other animals. They may also need to see a veterinarian.


This disease is caused by parasites. Stressed and young goats are most susceptible. Diarrhea, often with blood, is common. The goat(s) may also suffer from dehydration, lose weight and develop a fever. Biosol is generally given in order to remedy this disease.

Foot and Mouth Disease

This is a viral disease. When it occurs, the goat generally develops blisters on their tongue, hooves, teats and lips. They may also salivate heavily and can become lame. Animals that are diagnosed with Foot and Mouth Disease are put down.

This is a brief listing of common goat disease. You can download the free Goat Farming Ebook Here to see detailed information on goat diseases.

Make sure that you are the lookout for any changes in your goat’s exterior or any changes in their behavior. If you suspect anything, it may be necessary to call in your vet.

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Akinbobola A.

I'm a livestock farmer, certified animal scientist and agro consultant. You can follow Livestocking on Facebook and Twitter. Click here to send me an email
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