In this complete guide to pneumonia in goats, we answer the most common questions that farmers ask about this condition, including causes and treatments (home remedies and the best medicine), and more.
What is Pneumonia in Goats?
Goats are animals that have difficulty in maintaining their body temperature, mainly when there is a rapid change in the weather conditions. Due to this reason, goats are more prone to pneumonia. Goats can tolerate cold and hot weather if the weather changes gradually.
However, they have an issue while dealing with wind. The inflammation or the swelling of lungs is known as “Pneumonia.” Pneumonia can be the inflammation of bronchioles (large airways) known broncho-pneumonia, and it can be the swelling of the pleura (the outer lung surface, near the chest wall) known as pleura-pneumonia.
Pneumonia in goats is generally due to some infectious agents, especially a combination of viruses or bacteria. Pneumonia affects goats throughout the year but the more suitable season for pneumonia is summer to generate problem or even death in goats.
What Causes Pneumonia in Goats?
The causative reasons for pneumonia are both infectious and non-infectious. These agents cause the inflammation of the lungs. The infectious causes include bacteria like Pasteurella species (P. multocida, P. haemolytic), Chlamydia species, Haemophilus species, and Mycoplasma species. These bacteria usually present in the upper respiratory tract of the goats. Some Pasteurella species cause severe pneumonia in the goats, while others affect the growth rate of the goats.
The conditions that trigger these bacteria to cause pneumonia includes poor management, the stress of transportation, overcrowding, inappropriate housing, the sudden change in the climate, and high humidity.
Other infectious causes of pneumonia include virus i.e. parainfluenza- 3, adenovirus, caprine arthritis, encephalitis virus, syncytial virus, and parasitic agents like lungworms. These infectious agents break the barriers, and there will be the occurrence of the loss of the defense system, inviting secondary bacterial infection.
The non-infectious causes that lead to pneumonia in goats include: -
Pneumonia caused by improper drenching is known as aspiration pneumonia. The other causes of pneumonia include septicaemia (infection in the blood) and endotoxaemia (internal toxins). With the compression of the chest of the lung, there will be severe pain in the chest. Death occurs due to extreme compression of the lungs with the inflammation and infection in the blood.
Signs of Pneumonia in Goats
The animals suffering from pneumonia may show the following symptoms:
The discharge from eyes and nose may also be due to ammonia vapours, dust, or flies. These signs are common in bacterial or viral pneumonia. A constant cough may cause rectal prolapsed in goats.
A persistent cough in goats can also be due to the presence of lungworms, and the massive infestation of the lungs may cause a reduction in feed consumption and other signs as mentioned earlier.
Treating Pneumonia in Goats - Major Treatments
Initially, it is curial to take the temperature of the goat before applying any medication. Higher temperature will indicate the presence of the inflammation or infection. After the confirmation of infectious pneumonia, the goat must have a course of antibiotics like oxytetracycline or Sulfa + TMP.
These broad-spectrum antibiotics will have effective results against pneumonia as compared to the narrow-spectrum antibiotics like procaine penicillin. Administration of non-inflammatory or pain killer drugs is necessary. Access to excessive water and feed is essential. Severely affected animals should be euthanized without any delay. Usage of anthelmintics will help to remove lungworms.
Is Pneumonia Contagious in Goats?
Pneumonia is contagious, i.e. it is capable of transmitting from one goat to others depending on the cause of pneumonia. If the causative agent of pneumonia is virus-like CAE, OPP virus, then it can spread from one animal to the other.
Several bacterial are also capable of moving from one goat to the other via the secretions of the respiratory system. Some bacteria are naturally present in the mouth and nose of the healthy goat. When there are optimal conditions for the bacteria, they divide quickly and invade in the tissue of the lungs.
Therefore, the infectious pneumonia is considered as a contagious disease and an ailment that can develop from the bacteria reside with the healthy goats.
Can Humans Get Pneumonia from Goats?
The transmission of pneumonia from goat to humans depends on the cause of pneumonia. For instance, if the causative agent is infectious, i.e. bacterial or virus, then there are some chances of pneumonia transmission from goat to human.
However, not all infectious pneumonia causative agents can induce diseases in humans. On the other hand, non-infectious pneumonia is not contagious to the humans, as the source of pneumonia is neither bacteria nor virus.
How Can Pneumonia in Goats Be Prevent?
The best prevent from pneumonia is to have the proper management to reduce the stress from the goats. The proper management will help to eradicate the chances of diseases to occur within the herd. Try to place the goats according to the area as it will prevent overcrowding of the goats, and goats will have proper ventilation.
Prepare a shelter that is good enough to resist the sudden change in the environment. Identify the disease goats as soon as possible and isolate it from the rest of the herd, so minimum goats get infected from pneumonia. Proper drenching while administering any medicine will help to reduce the cases of pneumonia.
Proper de-worming will help to get rid of lungworms. The diet of goats should have balanced nutrient values with free access to water and minerals. Vaccinate the goats against different diseases regularly so the disease stress remains away. The vaccination is available against pneumonia. The protection can be done for the kids of up to six months. Addition of vitamin E in the feed will help the goats.