Perinatal and neonatal mortality in goats



The normal gestation period of the Saanan goat is 154 +- SE .8 days for a single kid and 147 for quads. There is a variation of about 3 days between herds. The proportion of does who give birth is about above 83%. Birthweight ranges from 1.7 to 5.8kg with the average being 3.8 kg for single-born kids and 2.4 kg for quintuplet-born kids.

The WHO definition of the perinatal period in humans is from just before birth to the first week of life. The neonatal period, as definied by the WHO is from birth of a normal infant to 28 days. The early neonatal period is the first week. The late neonatal period is from 7 days on. When assessing papers, it is important to know the definitions used.




Portosystemic shunts

Kinde et al (2014) reported on 11 goat kids with portosystemic shunts and hepatic encephalopathy. These were 4 pure bred and 3 mixed breed goats. All kids had nervous signs. They were 1.5-11 months of age. PSS was diagnosed on liver and brain histology.

Kinde H, Pesavento PA, Loretti AP, Adaska JM, Barr BC, Moore JD, Anderson ML, Rimoldi G, Hill AE, Jones ME. Congenital portosystemic shunts and hepatic encephalopathy in goat kids in California: 11 cases (1999-2012). J Vet Diagn Invest. 2014; 26: 173-177.

Aspiration of amniotic fluid

Goat kids aspirate amniotic fluid, just as other species.

Newman SJ, Fasina OO. Meconium aspiration pneumonia and otitis media in two goat kids. J Vet Diagn Invest. 2019; 31: 463-466.

Otitis media

Newman and Fasina (2019) report on a goat kid with meconium within the middle ear and an inflammatory reaction to it. The kids died within 5 minutes of birth.

Newman SJ, Fasina OO. Meconium aspiration pneumonia and otitis media in two goat kids. J Vet Diagn Invest. 2019; 31: 463-466.





Caprine herpesvirus

Mariarosaria Marinaro, Anna Lucia Bellacicco, Elvira Tarsitano, Michele Camero, Valeriana Colao, Maria Tempesta, and Canio Buonavoglia (Detection of Caprine herpesvirus 1–specific antibodies in goat sera using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and serum neutralization test) J Vet Diagn Invest 2010 22: 245-248.
Abstract. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed to detect immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies directed to whole Caprine herpesvirus 1 (CpHV-1). Sera from 248 goats were obtained from CpHV-1–free and CpHV-1–infected flocks and were subjected to both IgG ELISA and serum neutralization (SN) assays, with the latter considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of CpHV-1 infection. In flocks where CpHV-1 infection was detected, 57 sera were negative by the SN and the ELISA tests and 97 sera were positive with both tests. Thus, although based on biologically different principles, the ELISA was as sensitive as the SN assay in detecting seropositive animals and could be efficiently used as a faster and less expensive alternative to the SN test for the screening of many samples.

Caprine herpesvirus 1 (CpHV-1; order Herpesvirales, family Herpesviridae, subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae, genus Varicellovirus2) is spread worldwide where goat husbandry is practiced and induces generalized, often lethal, infection in 1–2-week-old kids characterized by gastroenteritic 1 lesions.8,15 In adults goats, however, the infection is mild or subclinical, with affected animals showing very slight signs of respiratory distress, vaginitis, balanoposthitis, or occasionally, abortion.4,9,16 Caprine herpesvirus 1 establishes latent infections, but, unlike other herpesviruses, its reactivation is extremely difficult to demonstrate under both natural and experimental conditions.1,10 In previous studies, CpHV-1 was experimentally reactivated in adult goats by administration of a high dose of dexamethasone (DMS) for several days.1,11 In the natural infection, CpHV-1 reactivates during estrus, but only in animals with low neutralizing antibody titers.



Mycoplasma arthritis

There are several different mycoplasmas that are recovered from cases of arthritis in goat kids. These include Mycoplasma agalactiae and Mycoplasma mycoides subsp capri.

Intrauterine infection was identified in Mycoplasma agalactiae.


Filioussis G, Giadinis ND, Petridou EJ, Karavanis E, Papageorgiou K, Karatzias H. Congenital polyarthritis in goat kids attributed to Mycoplasma agalactiae. Vet Rec 2011; 169: 364.

Johnson GC, Fales WH, Shoemake BM, Adkins PR, Middleton JR, Williams F 3rd, Zinn M, Mitchell WJ, Calcutt MJ. An outbreak of Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies capri arthritis in young goats: a case study. J Vet Diagn Invest. 2019; 31: 453-457.