Abortion in goats

Asked December 16, 2013, 9:25 PM EST

I have had three does abort in early pregnancy (1 to 3 months). Have only noticed a bright bloody discharge. Does are in good condition until about two to three days before the abort they go off feed. One of the does had pneumonia and aborted a week later after being treated with antibiotics and recovering. I haven't found an answer for an early term abortion. Most problems are of late term.

Franklin County Idaho

1 Response

I'd like to know how many goats are in your herd, the ages and previous history of the affected animals, and whether you've recently brought new animals into the herd. There is a good summary of goat abortions at https://ask.extension.org/expert/questions/www.merckmanuals.com/vet/reproductive_system/abortion_in_large_animals/abortion_in_goats.html. Given the information you've provided, I'd tend to suspect Chlamydia, leptospirosis, toxoplasmosis, or moldy feed as causing the problem in your herd. Laboratory testing can confirm, so it is essential for you to work with your veterinarian and diagnostic lab to know which samples to submit and how. Aborted fetuses, placental materials, and blood from the doe (repeated in two weeks) may be needed.

Be advised that many infectious agents that cause abortion in goats can be transmitted to humans, so be sure to wear gloves and protective eyewear when handling infected tissues or goats that have aborted; do not let pregnant women be near your goats. Separate sick goats from the herd, remove and destroy infected bedding, and thoroughly disinfect contaminated areas to help prevent additional cases.

There are vaccines for some causes of abortion, and sometimes whole-herd administration of specific antibiotics can stop abortion outbreaks in their tracks. Check with your veterinarian about this option after you get a diagnosis.