Wednesday, 22nd May 2024

Anaemia (pale mucous membranes) can have a number of causes with undoubtedly the most common reason being ‘Wireworm’ (haemonchus contortus).


At the onset it must be remembered that Angora goats mucous are paler than those of sheep and hence why this must be taken into consideration when evaluation mucous membrane colour and using the FAMACHA chart.

Studies by Herselman (Grootfontein) evaluated the haematocrit of Angora goats, Boer goats and Merino sheep.

Haematocrit values recorded were:

  • Angora goat 32.1 ± 1.29 %
  • Boer goat 35.5 ± 0.82 %
  • Merino 44.7 ± 0.90 %

The Hct values are higher in adults than kids which had Hct values of 28.43 ± 2.18 %

So what apart from wireworm are possibilities?

  1. Loss of Blood
    1. Lice
    2. Ticks
    3. Liver fluke
    4. Coccidiosis
    5. Haemorrhage from wounds, internal bleeding, neoplasia

  2. Haemolysis (breakdown of red blood cells)
    1. Anaplasmosis
    2. Plant Poisoning (Brassica plant- fern, Mycotoxins, Prussic acid
    3. Copper toxicity
    4. Nitrate poisoning
    5. Bacterial toxins (Clostridium)

  3. Decreased red blood cell production
    1. Chronic disease
    2. Copper deficiency
    3. Selenium deficiency
    4. Iron (Fe) deficiency

HAEMATOCRIT IN ANGORA GOATS, BOER GOATS AND MERINO SHEEP. MJ Herselman. Grootfontein ADI, Private Bag X529, Middelburg, 5900
ANEMIA IN GOATS OTHER THAN HAEMONCHOSIS Christine B. Navarre, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM Extension Veterinarian, LSU Agricultural Center Louisiana State University