Keeping goats in peak health is a concern of every goat keeper and if you are considering purchasing a goat, we have listed the main diseases common to goats. Buying from a herd that monitors and regular checks for them is recommended especially when thinking about importing or exporting goats.
Caprine Arthritis – Encephalitis (CAE)
C.A.E. is a virus desease of goats which can lie dormant for some time before manifesting itself. It must be stressed that this virus is host specific and does ot affect humans; as yet there is no cure. In adult goats it causes Arthritis and a form of Mastitis: in young kids it causes Encephalitis and sometimes Pneumonia. It is endemic in many parts of the world, but has been kept under control in this country by dedicated goat breeders, and overseen by the British Goat Society and the Scottish Agricultural College, (S.A.C)
C.A.E. Accredited Herds.
This is a herd accredited for C.A.E. who are in the S.A.C. health scheme. In this scheme herds blood test every three years.
C.A.E. Monitored Herds.
This sceme is approved and monitored by the B.G.S. Blood tests are taken biannually. In both of these schemes movement of goats is recorded and monitored strictley.
Private Testing (whole herd).
Here blood testing is carried out annually. To compete at B.G.S. shows goats must be C.A.E. tested negitave using one of these schemes.
All of these above schemes require blood samples to be taken by a vet and are aimed at disease (C.A.E.) eradication.
The Scrapie Monitored scheme is voluntary and is overseen by S.A.C. Your own vet is required to check and sign the paperwork. This scheme needs to be renewed annually.
If exporting you could well require negitave certificates for your herd from both these schemes. Likewise when it comes to finding a stud goat for your females, if the male goat of your choise is in one of these schemes and your goats are not, then you will not be allowed to use him.
Caseous Lymphadentitis (CL)
At present there are no schemes in place for this chronic disease of sheep and goats. It is highly contagious and is characterised by nodules containing a cheesy pus forming in the lymph nodes, lungs, skin or other organs. If a goat developes a body abscess a very close eye should be kept on it. If in doubt always consult a vet.