A preventive health care program can increase the
quality of your goat's life. It can also decrease the likelihood of your goat's
getting a transmissible disease. An efficient and effective three-part
program for preventing many common goat diseases includes vaccinations,
medications and a clean environment.
Vaccinations help prevent many devastating and often
fatal diseases. They're not expensive, and you or your veterinarian can give
them all in a matter of minutes. Most vaccines should be given annually,
although kid vaccinations must be given in a series. We
vaccinate our goats, for clostridium perfringens types C and D and
tetanus (CDT). The vaccine we use prevents tetanus and enterotoxemia that's
caused by several different bacteria. We vaccinate our goats against
several types of Pneumonia causing organisms, such as Pasteurella multocida and
Mannheimia Haemolytica pneumonia, and other pathogens. We also vaccinate
against "CL or CLA" , Cornybacterium pseudotuberculosis. We have
found some breeders don't vaccinate their goats for CL and some do. There
are several goat breeders with large herds in Texas that vaccinate their goats
My livestock experience is based in the horse industry.
From my perspective, I equate CL in goats to a similar disease in horses called
"Strangles". An old horse breeder said to me many years ago, it isn't a
question of "if" your herd will be infected, it is a question of "when".
At the time, I did not think much of his statement and did not vaccinate my
horses against Strangles. It was 15 years later that I saw my first
outbreak "Strangles" at my friends horse farm and it spread like wild fire from
horse to horse. Since that day forward I have vaccinated my horses against
strangles and I, therefore, vaccinate my goats against CL.
Medications and insecticides help to keep your goat
healthy and safe from external and internal parasites. Intestinal parasites,
such as Liver Fluke, Tapeworms, Lung worm, Meningeal worm, Brown stomach worm,
Barbepole worm, coccidia and Whip worm, etc. can be devastating and even fatal
in goats . By providing a clean, parasite-free environment you can help control
the spread of disease. That means having a place to isolate sick goats, the
ability to disinfect the area and by practicing good forage management
techniques, such as pasture rotation. We have four pastures in which to rotate
our goats and two isolation areas for sick goats that can be completely
disinfected if required.
Environment and age
play a big part in determining the health care needs of your goats. Vaccinations
and fecal examinations are needed more frequently by kids than by older goats.
As for environment, certain climates are more conducive to parasite
infestations. We live in the south east and have a warm wet climate, a perfect
environment for intestinal parasites to thrive and multiply. If parasite
infestation is ignored, it can become a primary cause of death.
Our goats are checked for internal parasites at least four times a year. We do
not deworm our goats without first determining the parasite load via fecal
check. Over use of dewormers can lead to parasite resistance, thus, we
first determine the type of internal parasites we dealing with and then
use the appropriate anthelmintics.