Disease surveillance: Mortalities in Angora goats
By Dr Mackie Hobson BSc(Agric),BVSc

Thursday, 2nd November 2023

Mohair SA has a disease surveillance monitoring system in place where producers can get free post-mortems conducted to determine the cause of any Angora goat death on their farms.

This helps to monitor trends and causes of deaths on individual farms. It also enables the dissemination of information to other producers to help improve the management and welfare of Angora goats within the industry.

The industry vet or the farmer’s local vet can be used to conduct these post-mortems (PM).

The number of these investigations over the period 2015-2022 is reflected in the graph below.


The diagnosis made on these PMs is reflected in the table below. Reflected as a % of diagnoses (not number of mortalities).


Clostridium diseases and roundworms account for the majority of deaths.

Clostridia's cause of death has been in general decline (until 2022, when it spiked). The decline may possibly be due to the increased use of multi-clostridia vaccinations. However, in 2022, we saw an increase, which may be related to the increase in roundworm cases and improved environmental conditions leading to better grazing conditions.

It also appears that roundworm cases and coccidiosis appear to be inversely related for many years. This is likely because, under poorer veld conditions (drought), the young goats/kids are fed more intensively with congregations around feeding troughs, resulting in higher coccidiosis cases.

Under better conditions (increased rainfall), roundworm cases become more prevalent, and there is less congregation around feeding troughs, resulting in reduced coccidian cases.

Roundworms remain one of the biggest health threats to Angora goats, especially between weaning and their first winter.

Pneumonia cases occur on a regular basis but are often secondary to underlying factors.


From these cases, kids and young goats must be vaccinated with a multi-clostridia vaccine and vaccinated against Pasteurella.

Faecal roundworm and coccidian checks are vital, especially in kids and young goats.


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