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Goat Practical

Goats can suffer from various foot conditions, especially when the environment is not ideal. During rainy periods a common condition is interdigital dermatitis (scald) and is characterised by redness, inflammation between the toes and lameness. Scald tends to precede foot rot which can be much more severe and penetrates the layers of the hoof, causing sore, red wounds between the toes.Ensuring well-trimmed hooves can reduce the risk of these conditions.

Trimming should aim to make the bottom of the hoof nice and even by maintaining the correct shape and angle. This can reduce the risk of poor conformation.

Goat hooves are made of keratin and require regular trimming to prevent various health issues.Hoof trimming is required to regularly carried out, but it's frequency is dependent on a variety of factors such as the environment and nutrition.Cleaning and dry living quarters can help with keeping the hooves healthy as it limits bacterial exposure and reduces the chances of them softening

Foot Health

  • Salmonella - diarrhea
  • Chronic Pneumonia
  • Foot & Mouth (N)
  • TB (N)
  • Scrapie (N)
  • Caseous Lymphadenitis

They can also suffer from enzoonotic abortion (form of chlamidya) that can cause pregnant goats/cattle/sheep to abort their young. It can transfer to pregnant women causing them to abort as well so PPE and precaution is required.

Goats are vaccinated against clostridial diseases, tetanus, and pasturella every six months (unlike sheep that get vaccinated for this every year). They can suffer from injection site lumps which you may feel when doing your healthchecks.



  • Lungworms - irritation and pain causes the goats to cough
  • Stomach worms - abdominal pain (colic), diarrhea, anemia, and weight loss
  • Liver flukes - depression or stupor
  • Ticks - can transmit diseases and cause aneamia resulting from blood loss and open sores
  • Mites - can cause sheep scab and mange
  • Fleas and lice
  • Nasal bots (fly)
Goats can suffer from immune issues which leads to them being more susceptible to parasites


Due to being a prey species, goats have a particular ocular adaptation that helps them efficiently detect danger - horizontal, rectangular pupils. These provide a broad line of site in their peripheral vision. Additionally, their eyes can rotate in the head, meaning they stay level with the horizon even when lowering their head to graze, to keep a look out for danger (Doll's Head Reflex) Placement of their eyes towards the side of their head will also assist with this.

A goat's dentition may appear unusual, but it is adapted to be able to efficiently feed on plant matter. They have a dental pad on the top, with 8 incisors on the bottom. After the incisors they have a diastema (large gap) before reaching their molars.


Ringworm is a zoonotic, fungal skin disease that can be spread by touching an infected individual or surfaces that have had contact with the infection. Transferring goats to a different paddock can increase the ringworm risk. Characterised by patches of scabbed skin and patches of missing fur.

Also known as scabby mouth, Orf is a pox virus that causes sores and scabs to appear around a goat's nose, eyes, mouth, and lower legs. It is zoonotic, so PPE while handling is required. It can affect sheep but is more severe in goats. It is very contagious and spreads through direct animal-animal contact, entering thorough damaged skin.



To be legally housed in the UK they require two ear tags with their ID and flock number.

Goats are medium sized, even toed ungulates that despite their independent nature are a social herd animal.They are ruminants, meaning they have a four chambered stomach that includes a rumen to ferment plant matter prior to digestion. This causes them to have quite large abdomens that sit to the left due to the position of the rumen.

Species Information

It can be treated by using antiobiotics, corticosteroids, and ointments to name a few methods

It is less likely in our herd as they are not used for milk production but it is important to still consider it. Preventing foot infections associated with mastitis (foot rot and scald) and proper wound care can help prevent mastitis. Additionally, managing stress, regular udder checks and ensuring a clean enclosure can help with keeping the herd healthy .

Mastitis refers to the inflammation of the udders. Both male and female goats have udders so this is can be a common issue in herds.It can be caused by physical injury, stress, bacteria, and viruses. It is identified by observing clots or serum in milk, and swollen, hot, or tender udders.