Thursday, 22nd February 2018

[Updated September 2020]

Cryptosporidiosis is a rare but potential intestinal infection causing diarrhoea in Angora goat kids. Cases of diarrhoea and death have been recorded in Angora goats in Australia. ( Aust Vet J. 1981 Aug;57(8):386-8. Intestinal cryptosporidiosis in a kid goat. Mason RW, Hartley WJ)

Cryptosporidiosis is however been a major problem in claves and lambs under intensive conditions in South Africa. The disease is caused by Cryptosporidium parvum

It is a disease causing diarrhoea in young and immunocompromised animals (starving, thirsty) and usually associated with explosive outbreaks.

What age of kids are affected?

Infection usually occur in kids 1-4 weeks old and likely to be seen in intensive conditions such as lambing pens. (Lambs 5-14 days but up to 3 months)

How can Angora kids be infected?

The infection is via contaminated food or water. Cryptosporidiosis is also often associated with other intestinal infections such as E.coli. Stress is important in the development of the disease.

The oocytes shed in the faeces are very resistant in the environment and may survive for years. Clinical signs can occur 2-7 days after infection and may last 1-2 weeks. Death rates are low.

Clinical signs:

  • Except when occurring in very young kids the infection is in apparent or causes a mild diarrhoea.
  • A profuse yellow diarrhoea with mucous can occur. Kids will be anorexic and depressed.
  • Loss of body weight

Usually lasts 2 weeks and animals often relapse. Recovery may take up to 30 days

Post Mortem:

  • Intestine contains yellow water fluid
  • Lesions are found in the ileum, caecum and colon.
  • Hyperaemic intestines


  • Oocytes can be demonstrated in faeces.
  • Histopathology of intestinal samples (duodenum, jejenum, ileum and large intestine)
  • Screening not a positive diagnosis as subclinical carriers also positive

Treatment and control

  • Supportive therapy, rehydration anti-inflammatories.
  • Treat other diseases (eg E.Coli)
  • ‘Halocur’ (halifuginone) which treat ‘free’ stages and not intracellular stage.

7 day treatment 2ml/10kg per mouth once a day with or after feeding (Clinical signs improve 24-48 hrs after treatment). Treat all animals showing clinical signs once a day for 7 days

  • Activated charcoal
  • Raise kids in clean and dry environment, clean ‘lamhokke’
  • Isolate kids with diarrhoea
  • Cleaning with boiling water, formalin or hydrogen peroxide works
  • Can be used as control by treating all kids from 24 hrs old at 2ml/kg for 7 days

Remember it is a ZOONOSIS so PPE and hygiene critical 



Dr Marijke Henton

Aust Vet J. 1981 Aug;57(8):386-8.Intestinal cryptosporidiosis in a kid goat.

Mason RW, Hartley WJ, Tilt L.

MSD Veterinary manual

Infectious Diseases of Livestock Coetzer, Thomson, Tustin



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