Watch Replay: Infectious Disease Control in Goats

Watch Replay: Infectious Disease Control in Goats

Watch Replay: Infectious Disease Control in Goats

We were thrilled to be recently joined by guest speaker, farm animal disease expert David Harwood BVetMed, FRCVS to talk about Infectious Disease Control in Goats.

Watch the webinar replay to learn:-

  • Valuable facts about infectious disease and how they can be introduced into a herd of goats (biosecurity).
  • Relevant topics for goat keepers including Listeriosis, abortions and parasitic gastro-enteritis (worms).
  • How to recognise, treat and prevent infectious disease.
  • Answers to your questions – which we’ve posted to the bottom of this page

Who should watch

This webinar is relevant to goat keepers all over the world whether farming many goats for profit or keeping a few goats for pleasure.



Q & A Session

Question 1:  You were discussing toxoplasmosis abortion and had a graphic on the effects of infection before and during pregnancy.  On that slide, you mention that infection at around 50 days post-breeding (if I’m remembering correctly)  causes the doe to be “barren”.  The way I understand that is that she can no longer carry any pregnancies and is sterile.  Is this what you meant?

  • Answer: Thanks for asking this question – and it has made me think about the wording on this graphic. The word “barren” in this case means “this pregnancy,” – i.e., the doe / ewe conceives, the embryo develops, but is killed by the toxoplasma insult – and the doe is no longer pregnant. Immunity to the toxoplasma parasite will be strong, however – and the doe / ewe should be able to conceive again in future matings – so is not “barren never to conceive again.”   Will change the wording to make this clearer.

Question 2: We don’t have any other livestock but a lot of deer go across our land as we border the forest. Are these likely to be a source of infection?

  • Answer:  This is a question we are often asked, and to a certain extent it depends where in the country / world you are based.  If we consider gut parasites / worms – then the risk will be minimal.  Most deer will carry low levels of worms, decreasing with age as immunity develops – so their egg output will be low.  As they are “passing through” – the amount of faeces and hence eggs they will pass out into your paddocks will also be low – and importantly, as they are wild and not treated with wormers, any eggs they deposit are most likely to be of worms still sensitive to conventional wormers (and not resistant).In the UK – and in particular in those areas where there is a background problem with bovine TB – deer could be infected with the TB organism – but to put it in perspective so will badgers in the locality.  Badgers are multipliers of TB infection – and will readily shed the organism in urine, faeces and sputum.  Deer although infected are low volume shedders – better to spend time and money keeping badgers out rather than deer!No real other risk factors that I am aware of!

Question 3: Is there a precaution we should take when pulling in a new ram or buck as far as abortions?

  • Answer: Bucks and rams pose a potential – but very low risk. Considering the causes we discussed last night:

Enzootic abortion – possible but very low risk of carriage of the organism in faeces. Try to source where possible from farms / smallholdings that are accredited – we do have some in the UK for example, or where the owners vet is able to certify that no cases of Enzootic abortion have been encountered in the past few years. Blood testing may be worth considering – but likely to yield false negative results, as low-level infection may not result in antibody production.

Border Disease – is one I did not discuss – but would be my main risk factor from the males perspective. Blood testing here would be a definite necessity – and I would want any male to be Border Disease virus (BDV) antibody and antigen negative. The biggest risk is the male that is persistently infected with this virus – and the blood test would confirm this status.

I would not consider the male to be a risk for any other cause – but our advice would always be to:
1. Only purchase directly from a reliable source – avoiding males that have gone through a market system (where other infections could be picked up).
2. Place in quarantine back on your farm (could be a small paddock separate from nose to nose contact with other animals (10-metre separation) for a minimum of 2 weeks – 4 weeks preferable.
3. Monitor for any signs of illness – foot infections, mange etc.
4. Consider blood testing for CAE, Johne’s disease, CLA, EAE?
5. Give quarantine wormer dose.
6. Incorporate into farms vaccination programme – e.g. Clostridia.

If you have any questions for David please email us here

Related information:  Online training in Ultrasound for Goat Pregnancy

The Animal Ultrasound Association run a comprehensive online course which includes

  • Basic ultrasound physics
  • Types of reflectors
  • Goat scanning technique
  • Quick and easy tips for image optimisation
  • Performing measurements and calculating gestational age,
    And much more

Each module includes text, diagrams, ultrasound images and tutorial videos. For full details click here


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