Abortions are most commonly seen during the final 2 months of pregnancy. Does are
normally very fertile animals but may have a higher incidence of abortion compared
to other farm animals. Abortion rates of 5% are common and rates below that are considered
good. Many infectious agents, events causing stress, drugs, nutritional deficiencies
and toxic plants may be the cause of a Doe aborting. Infectious causes may be the
common reason for a Doe aborting and should be considered the most likely cause
if a herd has an abortion outbreak. In an infectious abortion, it is most often a
Chlamydial abortion is one of the most common causes of infectious abortion in goats.
Pigeons and sparrows may be the carrier of the organism that causes Chlamydia and
ticks or insects may play a role in the transmission. Non-pregnant Does may become
infected but the organism can stay dormant creating little or no immune response.
The organism may stay dormant until the Doe becomes pregnant resulting in both an
abortion and the immune response. Inflammations of the placenta caused by the infection
prevent the normal transfer of nutrients across the placenta and that results in
the fetal death and it's abortion. After a Doe aborts, she will normally develop
a good immune response that eliminates the Chlamydia from her uterus normally within
3 months of the abortion. The infectious organism does not proliferate and attack
the placenta until around 90 days after breeding. Chlamydia has been found in a buck's
semen 29 days after being experimentally infected however the primary modes of transmission
are from vaginal or uterine secretions of aborting Does and Does shedding the organism
the following year. During future breeding seasons, the Does normally show no signs
of infertility and the natural immunity following an abortion lasts around 3 years.
In newly infected herds, 25% to 60% of the Does may abort. In herds that have been
exposed to the infection, abortion rates drop to between 1% to 15% and the new abortions
generally are in new animals to the herd. The abortions generally occur in the last
month of the pregnancy but may happen as early as day 100 of pregnancy. Does may
show loss of appetite, run fever and show a bloody vaginal discharge 2-3 days before
Treatment - If chlamydial is confirmed or highly likely to be present, it is common
to treat all Does remaining at risk of aborting. Treat with long-acting oxytetracycline
(20 mg/kg IM or SC). Bio Mycin 200 is one antibiotic that can be used. Some have
given the drug twice a week during the final 4-6 weeks of pregnancy. However because
of the management difficulties, the most effective process seems to be one injection
every three days for three times before kidding followed by an injection 3 weeks
after kidding. Aborting females should be removed from the herd for at least 3 weeks,
and fetuses and placentas should be burned or buried.
One of the most common parasitic infections in goats. This is associated with a
coccidium of cats. Cats become infected by consuming uncooked meat scraps, placentas,
and small rodents. Goats become infected by eating grass, hay or garin contaminated
by cat feces.It can result in abortion, stillbirths and weak kids. However, reducing
exposure to cat may help but in may lead to an increase in rats that carry other
diseases. Animals remain infected for life and may abort in future pregnancies so
you may want to cull infected Does. Feeding decoquinate or monensin throughout pregnancy
may reduce the incidence of abortion. These are often used in goat medicated feed.
a bacterial disease capable of being transmitted from animals to people caused by
Coxiella burnetii, a rickettsial organism. C. burnetii may be found in sheep, cattle,
goats, cats, dogs, some wild animals (including many wild rodents), birds, and ticks.
Animals shed the organism in their urine, feces, milk, and especially in their birth
products. Abortion or stillbirths occur in late pregnancy, but only when the placenta
has been severely damaged.
Treatment - Treat with long-acting oxytetracycline (20 mg/kg IM or SC). Bio Mycin
200 is one antibiotic that can be used. One injection every three days for three
times before kidding followed by an injection 3 weeks after kidding. Placentas and
aborted fetuses shoud be destroyed by burning. After a Doe is infected, she can carry
the organism indefinitely, shedding it in milk and at kidding.
caused by listeria monocytogenes an ubiquitous organism that may be found in soil,
water, plant litter and digestive tract of ruminants. Abortions occur in the last
2 months. Abortions have been attributed to the feeding of contaminated silage. Grazing
on boggy, high-pH soils can also cause the infection.
Treatment - Bio Mycin 200 is one antibiotic that can be used. One injection every
three days for three times before kidding followed by an injection 3 weeks after
kidding. The addition of chlortetracycline to the feed has been reported to stop
abortions during a listeriosis outbreak