Pneumonia in goats is a serious respiratory disease that can have serious long term affects on the health of a goat and in many cases can cause death. It can affect goats of all ages and can have numerous causes. Some causes can be treated relatively easily and have only a minor affect on the long term health of your goat, other causes may be much more difficult to treat and may have a chronic affect, and some causes will produce an acute form of pneumonia often leading to death. Just as the causes of pneumonia vary, the symptoms may vary from one case to the next as well.
Pneumonia is caused by various strains of viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites.
While stress is not a cause of pneumonia in goats, it is a catalyst for the bacteria or viruses that do cause pneumonia. Stress is a factor that can affect goats of all ages and can lead to increased risk of pneumonia. Some common causes of stress include:
Unfortunately there is no medicine available for the treatment of viral pneumonia in goats. However, antibiotics may be administered to prevent secondary bacterial infection. By preventing secondary infection the goat is able to concentrate its energy on fighting the virus.
Some viruses such as CAEV are systemic, meaning that they affect multiple organs, including the lungs. In addition to being systemic, CAEV is also a chronic disease with no cure. In cases where CAEV is the root cause, no treatment will be effective.
While parasites may not be a direct cause of pneumonia, parasites (such as cryptosporidia, or worms) disrupt the immune system and leave the goat more susceptible to other pneumonia-causing bacteria or viruses. In some cases worms (a type of parasite) may travel from the intestines into the lungs, and cause pneumonia. If you suspect a parasite may be the root cause, talk to your veterinarian about a protocol for clearing up the parasite. Antibiotics may help treat the symptoms of the pneumonia, but without dealing with the parasite, the pneumonia will persist.
We hope this article helps you as you care for your goats! please feel free to add your comments below if you have further tips and information to share about pneumonia in goats.
Do you have other tips and information about this sickness, or maybe a story to share?
If so, we'd love to hear it, and learn from your experience!
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