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Diarrhea in Goats: Causes, Signs, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Goats are one of the essential economic farm animals. There is an old proverb that a goat eats anything. The digestive system of goats is unique and can digest various feed materials they eat daily. There is a diverse feeding habit in goats even they can eat tins, zippers of clothes, paper, polyethylene, and even dust and muds. Diarrhea in goats is sometimes a common problem and mainly occurs due to coccidiosis organisms.

Essential Points on Diarrhea in Goats

Diarrhea in goats is not a disease; instead, it is the symptoms of many other diseases. The goat diseases that cause diarrhea are bloat, ruminal acidosis, anaphylactic shock, laminitis, aflatoxicosis, renal failure, plant poisoning, selenium toxicity, coccidiosis, salmonellosis, enterotoxaemia, parasitic diseases, caprine herpes virus, and many other predisposing causes. Diarrhea causes significant loss of body fluids, electrolytes, energy, and the animal dies due to shock.

Goat’s Digestive System

The goat’s digestive system is like other compound stomach animals like cattle, buffaloes, and sheep. The stomach has four compartments: rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. The stomach has both glandular and non-glandular parts. The abomasum is the glandular part where enzymatic digestion of food occurs, and the other three parts are non-glandular, where microbial digestions occur. The goat can regurgitate food from the rumen and chew during the rest.

Goat Digestive System

Causes of Diarrhea in Goats

Diarrhea in goats is a complex sign of many diseases. Both infectious and non-infectious agents cause the disease. The infectious causes of goat diarrhea are:

  • Coccidiosis.
  • Salmonellosis.
  • E Coli.
  • Clostridium perfringens type C & D (Enterotoxaemia).
  • Caprine Herpes Virus.
  • Goat Polio.
  • Heavy parasitic infestation.

Causes of Diarrhea in Goats

The non-infectious causes of goat diarrhea are as follows:

  • Bloat.
  • Laminitis.
  • Lead poisoning.
  • Aflatoxin poisoning.
  • Anaphylactic shock.
  • Renal failure.
  • Selenium toxicity.

Beautiful Goats

Predisposing Factors for Goat Diarrhea

Diarrhea in goats is caused due to following conditions:

  • Stress due to transportation.
  • Overcrowding.
  • Poor hygiene in the goat house.
  • Sudden change in diet.
  • Excessive lush green pasture.
  • Rainy or winter season.
  • Excessive grain feeding.
  • Goat kids feed excessive milk.
  • Inappropriate feed.

Risk of Goat Scour

Clinical Signs of Goat Diarrhea

The following signs can see the clinical manifestation of the disease:

  • Watery diarrhea.
  • Blood and mucous may be present with feces.
  • Loss of condition.
  • Weakness.
  • The feces may be soiled on the tail, legs, and around the anus.
  • Plae mucous membrane.
  • Severe dehydration.
  • The animal died due to hypovolemic shock.

Diarrhea in goats

Diagnosis of Diarrhea in Goats

The disease can be diagnosed by:

  • Clinical signs.
  • History of the presence of predisposing factors.
  • Bacterial culture for determination of causative bacteria.
  • Complement fixation test (CFT), ELISA, and Agar gel Immunodiffusion test (AGID).
  • PCR.


Treatment Protocols for Goat Diarrhea

The disease can be treated as follows:

  • Fluid and electrolyte through oral or IV route to reduce rapid dehydration.
  • Broad-spectrum antibiotics if bacteria cause the disease.
  • Antiprotozoal drugs if the coccidia organism causes diarrhea.
  • Antifungal drugs if fungal organisms cause the disease.
  • Metronidazole and an astringent mixture can be given to reduce diarrhea.
  • Appetite mixture can be added with feed to improve the appetite of goats.
  • Probiotics can be given, which will help improve the gut microflora and enhance recovery.

Treatment of Diarrhea in Goats

Prevention and Control of Diarrhea in Goats

The disease can be restricted and prevented by following the simple measures:

  • Supply fresh water all the time.
  • Keep the diseases goats’ quarantined from the healthy flock.
  • Clean the goat’s house every day.
  • Keep the goat’s bedding clean and change at each alternate day.
  • Feed your goat fresh hay.
  • Restrict the entrance to lush green pasture.
  • Feed little grains.

Prevention Goat Scour

Final Advice on Diarrhea in Goat

Diarrhea is a common sign of many diseases in goats. The disease is caused by multiple causes, both infectious and non-infectious agents. The disease causes weakness, loss of production, dehydration, and death due to anaphylactic or hypovolemic shock. The disease can be controlled by taking adequate preventive measures. The treatment at correct times is helpful, and the prognosis is favorable. 

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