What are the main types of disease problems in Angoras?

  • Compared with other farm animals, goats are relatively susceptible to internal worms, which can cause scouring and ill-thrift.   
  • Angora goats tend to suffer more problems with their feet than sheep, especially on lush pasture, and this causes lameness and ill-thrift.
  • Goats are more susceptible to selenium deficiency than sheep and cattle.  Selenium deficiency causes ill-thrift and sudden death in very young kids. 
  • Goats are more susceptible to iodine deficiency than sheep and cattle.  Iodine deficiency causes goitre (swelling of the thyroid gland below the throat) and myxoedema (small tubby kids).

On the positive side:

  • Goats are relatively resistant to facial eczema
  • The metabolic diseases like milk fever and sleepy sickness (acetonaemia) that cause so much trouble in ewes and cows around lambing and calving time are unusual in Angoras. 
  • CAE (caprine arthritis encephalitis) is not the problem in Angoras that it can be in dairy goats.
  • Goats and sheep are not as susceptible to tuberculosis (TB) as cattle and deer.

Diseases of goats according to clinical signs

This article is Part One of five about the disease problems of Angora goats.  The diseases are discussed under their main clinical sign.  For example, worms are discussed under "Scouring" and footrot under "Lameness".    

Part 2 looks at scouring (diarrhoea).

  • Worms
  • Johne's disease
  • Other infections
  • Scouring in hand-reared kids
    • Non-infectious causes
    • Infectious causes

Part 3 considers lameness.

  • Footrot
  • Foot scald
  • Foot abscess
  • Arthritis

It also describes some causes of sudden death.

  • White muscle disease
  • Selenium poisoning
  • Pulpy kidney

Part 4 discusses skin problems.

  • Lice
  • Flystrike
  • Dermatophilosis
  • Scabby mouth

It also describes some of the more common brain diseases.

  • Circling disease
  • Polioencephalomalacia (PE)
  • Meningitis

Part 5 describes the other common health problems in Angoras.

  • Ill-thrift
    • Selenium deficiency
    • Johne's disease
  • Goitre and myxoedema
  • Ruminal acidosis
  • Pregnancy toxaemia
  • Hypothermia
  • Water belly
  • Bottle jaw
  • Pneumonia

Good management is the best preventive

Like all farm animals, goats that are farmed well are much more likely to be healthy and productive than those farmed badly. 

Good shelter is particularly important for Angoras

  • Unlike wool, mohair is not impregnated with grease and wax. 
  • This, together with their low subcutaneous fat cover makes Angoras very prone to cold chill and even hypothermia, especially after shearing. 
  • Kids and newly shorn Angoras must be protected from cold, wind and rain. 
  • Angoras will readily seek shelter in bad weather.
  • Where there is no natural shelter, sheds should be made available. 

Good nutrition is vital too

  • Like all goats, Angoras need a well-balanced diet and enough of it to keep them in good body condition.
  • They don't do well on poor pasture.
  • They don't do well on scrubby land, so they are not as useful for scrub control as feral goats