abortion, goats; parasites; ewes

Goat production: Act against abortions in your goat flocks

Question: I vaccinated and dosed my goats with Multivax, Fluxacur and Ivermex. The mothers look healthy and have not been short of food but now they are giving birth to very weak kids or dead kids, most of them twins. What could be the problem?

The Multivax would have given you cover against pasteurella, dysentery, clostridial metritis (uterine infections), infections caused by Clostridium novyi type TS, black quarter, bloodgut, pulpy kidney and tetanus.

Fluxacur is a dewormer dosed at 1ml/10kg of bodyweight, containing 0,2% m/v abermectin and 10% m/v triclabendazole (these are the active ingredients). It has an effect on nose bots and itch mites.

Fluxucur targets liver fluke, brown stomach worm, wireworm, bankrupt worm, white bankrupt worm, large mouthed bowel worm and whipworm.
Ivermectin, dosed at 1ml/50kg, is an avermectin that acts against nematodes, suckling lice and nose bots.

Unfortunately these goats were not vaccinated against chlamydia, a bacteria that causes chlamydiosis or enzootic abortions. Zambian vet dr Moosa Ameen suspects that chlamydia is the culprit here.

Apart from the abortions and weak lambs, placentas may be retained (left inside the mother’s uterus), and will show serious damage, with thick, reddish membranes and yellowy, brown discharge.

Chlamydia is easily picked up by clean goats through aborted foetuses, vaginal discharge, faeces and infected placentas. It is a fairly robust bug and once you’ve had it, you’re going to get it again.

Vaccinate the ewes a month before you mate them with Ovilis Enzovax (from Intervet), to avoid future abortion storms in late term. Ewe lambs can take the vaccine from five months.

Tetracyclines act on the Chlamydial infection and can stop the abortions. According to an information leaflet, put out by vet pharmaceutical company HIPRA, 20mg of oxytetracycline injected intramuscularly will, if given between day 105 and day 120 of the pregnancy, halt the abortions. It will not stop the chlamydia shedding with fluids and placenta at the time of delivery.

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