Joint –ill (Angora Kids)
By Dr Mackie Hobson BSc(Agric),BVSc

Wednesday, 25th October 2017

Joint-ill usually occurs in Angora goat kids under a month old and results in the development of swollen joints, lameness and deaths.

The fetlocks, knees, hocks, shoulders and stifles are the joints usually affected.

How do the kids get joint-ill?

Usually the route of infection is through the navel or any wound. The infection can also occur through the gut or respiratory tract. The bacteria travel via the bloodstream and cause a localised build-up in the joints.

The predisposing conditions usually involve intensive kidding where the environment may be un-hygienic or overcrowded.

What clinical signs are seen?

  • Affected joints are hot and painful.
  • The kids may be dull but seldom run a temperature.
  • If more than one leg is affected the kid may not be able to stand.
  • Some kids may have a swollen navel while other may have signs of pneumonia.
  • If the condition becomes chronic the legs may be stiff and the kid’s growth is poor.


If treated early with antibiotics the kid may recover.

  • Due to the possibility of the infection being due to Streptococci bacteria it is best to initially use a penicillin antibiotic.
  • An anti-inflammatory injection may also be given.

If you have a number of cases it would be better to get your vet to take samples for culture and identification of the bacteria.

  • Supportive care is required (massaging joints, soft bedding)
  • In large flocks, treating severely affected kids may not be economically justified, and humane euthanasia should be considered.



Hygiene at parturition is essential.

  • Kidding on fresh lands helps.
  • Under intensive conditions the umbilical cords of new-born kids should be sprayed with ‘blue spray’ (antibiotic spray such as tetracycline) or dipped in an iodine solution.
  • Kids must receive adequate colostrum at birth.



Joan S. Bowen, DVM, Bowen Mobile Veterinary Practice, Wellington, CO

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