Caused by a bacteria that can affect all mammals including humans. In the goat industry
is is called the "Circling Disease" because affected animals commonly walk compulsively
in a circle. The bacteria are found in the environment, especially in rotting vegetation
such as poorly prepared silage. The infection is normally cause by the goat ingesting
the organism through environmental or fecal contamination of their feed. The disease
is most common during the cool weather. Though the bacteria is easily killed by common
disinfectants, it can survive in feces, silage, and tissue for 5 or more years.
The disease is most common in adult goats. The source of infection in herds can be
when mammals and birds feces spread the bacteria in the soil or on feed areas..
Signs and Symptoms
Early signs are:
Decreased milk production
There are two forms seen:
Encephalitic form - In the brain. The bacteria enters through breaks in the oral
mucosa and migrate to the brain. Signs are:
Circling in the same direction
Hind lib paralysis
Facial nerve disorders
Septicemic form - Blood-borne. The bacteria enters through the intestines. Signs
Required detection early in the course of the disease. Large doses of antibiotics
such as penicillin and tetracycline are generally given along with fluids, electrolytes
Administer penicillin and tetracycline orally at 25 mg/kg for 1 week or 11.5 mg/lb
per day for 3 consecutive days. In the encephalic forms, intravenous sodium penicillin
at a dosage of 40,000 IU/kg or 18,000 IU mg/lb every 6 hours until signs are improved,
followed by administration of procaine penicillin at a dosage of 20,000 IU/kg body
weight twice a day for 3 days.
Administer intravenously 1-2 mg/kg or 0.05 mg/lb mg/kg or dexamethasone is recommended
to treat inflammation in the brain. Intravenous fluid and electrolyte therapy and
supplemental feeding are also recommended.
Discard spoiled feed and hay.
Improve sanitation of pens, water supply, pasture, and housing.
Keep wild birds away from the herd as much as possible as these birds may serve as
vectors for the disease.
Identify the source of infection in order to help eliminate the causative agent.
In the case of abortion, isolate aborting does and send aborted fetuses and placentas
to a diagnosis center for isolation of the causative agent. (Wear latex gloves when
handling placental membranes.)
If a doe has listeriosis, feed kids pasteurized colostrums, milk, or a milk substitute.
Human listeriosis is associated with the consumption of contaminated meat products,
as well as milk and cheese obtained from nonpasteurized milk. Humans can also contract
listeriosis by handling fetuses and specimens from aborted animals, and newborns
of infected does. Always wear gloves when handling fetuses and specimens from aborted
This treatment comes from
Maria Lenira Leite-Browning, DVM, Extension Animal Scientist, Alabama A&M University