Goats Dying Suddenly – 15 Reasons

Goats Dying Suddenly - 15 Reasons

Goats Dying Suddenly. Goats are becoming more famous all over the world, both as pet animals as well as commercial milking animals. However, there is an issue regarding goats, as they die suddenly. Goats are magnificent animals to raise, even if the goat doesn’t love you.

The goats appear healthy one day, but the next day the flock is found dead, unexplained goat deaths, what would cause a goat to die suddenly, why do goats die suddenly. These sudden deaths may be because of several possible causes, and hence it is a good idea to contact a veterinarian with a good history as soon as possible.

baby goats dying suddenly

The vet may perform a postmortem of the goat to diagnose the exact cause. The reasons can be either poisonings or infection. The sudden deaths should be taken seriously, but it should not deter the owner from owning or raising goatsOpens in a new tab..

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why do baby goats die suddenly / why do my goats keep dying

Goats Dying Suddenly / Reasons

Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) 

This disease is a viral illness that causes awful arthritisOpens in a new tab.. This disease makes the joint swollen and painful. Sometimes the goat may not show the signs and symptoms of the disease. Others might wobble while standing. This disease may develop into more difficult neurological situations, with the goat showing signs of paralysis of the legs and neck.

This disease can spread to young goats through infected goat milk. Therefore, it is a better idea to separate the young ones from the infected mother goat. The vaccination against this disease is still not available in the market.

See Our Guide – 8 Ways to Make Money from Goat Farming

Usually, there is no specific treatment for this disease. However, only support will help to recover some goats. This disease is not zoonotic (a disease transmitted from animals to humans).

Paratuberculois ( Johne’s Disease)

It is a disease of all ruminant animals, including goats. This disease is a bacterial disease that resides within the lining of the intestine. It causes the thickening of the coating.

This thickening of the lining will cause the animal challenging to absorb the nutrients. The common signs of Para-tuberculosis include soft defecation, depression, difficult breathing, shedding of hair/wool.

Goats Dying Suddenly - 15 Reasons 2
goat died suddenly

This disease is transmitted through direct contact of animals with each other and infected mothers to the young ones. This disease is a zoonotic disease, i.e. it can be transmissible to humans when humans come in direct contact with the infected goats.

This disease still doesn’t have any specific treatment. However, herd separation will help to reduce the spread of the disease. This illness is one of the fatal diseases worldwide.


It is one of the fatal diseases of ruminants, including goats. The primary source of Brucella is male, and the male then transmits it to the female during breeding. The first sign of Brucella in males is swollen testiclesOpens in a new tab..

This disease mostly causes abortion in females during the 4th month of pregnancy. The owner must take special care if they see any signs of abortion that can be fatal for the female goats.

 This disease is a zoonotic disease and can transmit to humans during direct contact with the infected animals. The best thing to eliminate Brucella is sunlight. Other treatment includes the administration of antibiotics for a longer period.

Q Fever (Coxiella)

Another bacterial infection occurs in several different species of animals and can be contracted to humans. This bacterial infectionOpens in a new tab. can cause late-term abortions in female goats.

 This disease is a fatal disease for humans, too, as it cause life-threatening illnesses in humans also. This disease can transmit to humans by having direct contact with newborns. Therefore, it is essential to test the goats each year before she gives birth to the young ones.

Q fever is a zoonotic disease and can be deadly for humans as well as for goats. Humans will not show any signs. Some humans may exhibit symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and pain in the abdomen. Therefore, special precautions are required to get rid of this disease.


Another fatal disease for goats is “Bloat.” In this condition, the goat is found dead with a distended rumen that may blow up like a drum. Usually, there is more distention of rumen on the left side of the goat. The affected goats will be uncomfortable with labored breathing and protrusion of the tongue. The goat may die within a matter of hours.

The bloat occurred in goats when they grazed on Lucerne lands, or they may feed some toxic plants. The bloat is usually of two types:

  • Fresh Gas Bloat:-  This type of bloat usually occur after the consumption of poisonous plants that may cause the stasis of the rumen.
  • Frothy Bloat: –  This type of bloat occurs when the gas gets trapped in the foam and when the goat becomes unable to release it. This type of bloat usually seen in green, wilted or frost-damaged grazing pastures like Lucerne and clover.
why did my goat suddenly died
Goats Dying Suddenly - 15 Reasons 3
why are my goats dying / do goats die easily


Goats are very susceptible to the Heart-water disease caused by Ehrlichia. This disease gets transmitted to the goats through a tick bite. This disease usually progresses rapidly that the goat may collapse suddenly. The infection leads to convulsion, and that leads to the death of the goat.

The goat starts with the sign of poor appetite, high fever, lagging behind the flock, and as the disease progresses, the goat may face difficult breathing. The tongue of the goat will protrude out, the twitching of eyelids and tail occurs. The goat may paddle with its leg, and it may pull the head back before dying.

Diseases of Sheep and GoatsOpens in a new tab. Webinar University of Idaho


this illness may cause death in goats without showing any signs. The death occurs within 12-24 hours of infection and may appear for a further 4-6 weeks.

This disease is usually known as pasteurellosis. This illness mostly occurs in late autumn and early winter. The loss with the disease is 2-8% but 10-50% show signs of the disease.

This pneumonia is a complex disease involving interaction between a wide range of microorganisms along with the immunological and physiological response of the host. The main bacteria involved in this disease is Pasteurella hemolytic.


The condition and vector of this disease are similar to Rift Valley fever. The newborn kids of the goats are more susceptible to this disease, and the death rate is more in kids. Whereas the adult will only show subclinical signs, and sometimes abortion does occur.

This disease is viral and causes flavivirus that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Aedes mosquitoes are thought to be the primary vector of transmission. However, the virus is also detected in other mosquitoes, including Culex, Mansonia, and Anopheles.

The death rate caused by this disease in kids is 30 % after the onset of the incubation period of 1-3 days. The kids don’t show any particular signs like fever, depression, weakness, increased respiration, anorexia (off feed), listlessness, and jaundice.

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what causes goats to die suddenly


It is one of the most common diseases of goats. This disease causes the sudden death of the goats under intensive conditions. However, this disease still appears extensively on the veld due to the principal predisposing factors. These predisposing factors include: –

  • Sudden change in the diet
  • Grazing on fodder crops
  • Deworming
  • Higher protein level
  • High level of energy
  • Stasis of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Internal parasites
  • Erupt change in the climate
  • Pasture wilting

The signs of this disease start appearing between 2-14 days. This disease happens due to a sudden change in the diet. The rumen flora adapts to a particular feed for several days. When an alternation in feed with high starch occurs, the flora may not adapt to that change in the feed.

This starch or carbohydrate then passes to the intestine where it results in the proliferation of Clostridium perfringens type of bacteria. These bacteria will produce toxins like epsilon toxin that can be fatal death in the goats.


There is particular others disease that can be fatal to goats. The list of the conditions are

Goat Breeder Associations

Goat AssociationLocationLink
American Goat Breeders AssociationUnited StatesAGFOpens in a new tab.
English Goat Breeders AssociationUKEGBAOpens in a new tab.
Canadian Meat Goat AssociationCanadaCMGOpens in a new tab.
Minature Goat Breeders AssociationAustraliaMGBAOpens in a new tab.
Boer GoatsSouth AfricaBGSAOpens in a new tab.
American Boer Goat AssociationUnited StatesABGAOpens in a new tab.
World Goat Breeders AssociationsListWGBAOpens in a new tab.


If Your Goat is having health problems, Here is a list of 15 Diseases that can cause Death for your Goat. Each Disease has Linked for you for further research. Make sure you consult your Local Veterinarian for tests and diagnoses and professional treatments. You do not want to allow this disease to spread to any of your other Livestock

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