Watching For and Treating Pneumonia in Goats
Raising goats is part of a green lifestyle, but to be sustainable, you have to learn to handle common problems like treating pneumonia — an inflammation of the lungs caused by parasites, CAEV, CLA, a sudden change in weather, viruses, poor nutrition, the stress of transport, or poor ventilation. Healthy goats normally have some bacteria in their lungs but have antibodies to protect them. Newborn kids can be prone to pneumonia because they are still developing immunity, but colostrum provides some antibodies.
The most important things you can do to prevent pneumonia are to provide your goats a clean, uncrowded, and well-ventilated environment; make sure they are not stressed; and watch for other problems (such as a virus or lungworms) that can impair the lungs.
Kids that get pneumonia may exhibit the following symptoms:
Refusal to nurse
If you don't notice the pneumonia right away, kids' lungs can be damaged. Even kids that recover may be more prone to further pneumonia, develop a chronic cough, or not grow well.
Signs of pneumonia in adult goats include
A temperature of 104 to 107° Fahrenheit
A moist, painful cough
Discharge from the nose or eyes
Loss of appetite
Depression (dullness, isolation from the herd, and indifference to being handled)
If you have a goat with signs of pneumonia, make sure that it's getting enough water. Just like in humans, the adage "Drink water and get plenty of rest" is good advice. You may need to tube-feed a kid, or have your veterinarian put an IV in an adult.
Work with your veterinarian to determine whether an antibiotic or pain medication is needed and what is appropriate. Some goat owners, particularly those with large herds, vaccinate their goats against pneumonia caused by two different bacteria: Pasteurella multocida and Mannheimia haemolytica.