What vaccine cover do Angora goats need?
By Dr Mackie Hobson BSc(Agric),BVSc

Thursday, 24th August 2023

Angora goat farming varies from very intensive kidding and pasture based to extensive (veld only systems. They may also differ from raising kids to running ‘kapaters’.  

There is no one vaccination program that will apply to all farmers. Experience and advice from your local vet may help you decide what is best for your farm and farming system.

Underlying conditions

We need to remember most diseases have predisposing causes so these needs to be addressed as vaccines only help in the control and do not prevent the disease entirely.

Very commonly I will diagnose Angora goat deaths from pneumonia or clostridium bacteria when they have previously been vaccinated against these conditions. Often these goats have underlying chronic roundworms which leads to reduced blood protein levels. Antibodies are basically made up of protein, so as a result antibodies produced as a result of vaccination or acquired immunity will be low and so will be of limited help control the diseases for which they have been vaccinated.

Confusion when comparing available vaccines.

Looking at the available vaccine manufacturer options it can be very confusing.

Some of the conditions covered in some multi-clostridium vaccines have not been diagnosed in Angora goats in South Africa - for example clostridium diseases such as Clostridium novyi Type B (necrotic hepatitis, black disease) Clostridium haemolyticum, previously Clostridium noyvi Type D (Bacilliary haemoglobinuria, red water).

We also need to understand that common names overlap and often apply to multiple diseases. The Clostridium perfringens types produce 3 lethal toxins important in Angora goats (alpha, beta, epsilon). Each one of these produce a number of less lethal toxins. These can be produced alone or in combination. For example 

  • ‘Rooiderm’ is a descriptive term for a syndrome as it may be the result of toxins produced by Clostridium perfringens A, B or C.
  • ‘Necrotic enteritis’ is another example which may also be the result of the toxins produced by Clostridium perfringens A, B or C
    We should rather be referring to the group of toxins as ENTEROTOXAEMIA. 

For more information on the different toxins produced see the website https://www.angoras.co.za/article/clostridium-perfringens-toxins-enterotoxeamia#446

Which of the clostridium diseases have been a problem in Angora goats?

If we look at which of the clostridium diseases have caused multiple deaths over the last few years and been diagnosed on laboratory testing then we should be covering:

  • Clostridium perfringes A (‘Rooiderm’, Enterotoxaemia)


  • Clostridium perfringens C (Necotic enteritis)


  • Clostridium perfingens D (‘Bloednier’, Pulpy Kidney, Enterotoxaemia)


Isolated cases have been diagnosed

  • Clostridium tetani (Tetanus, Klem-in-die-kaak) 


  • Clostridium septicum (‘Baarmoedersponsiekte’ Gas gangrene, Malignant oedema)


  • Because of the overlap of the toxins produced by the different Clostridium perfringens bacteria Clostridium perfringens Type B (‘Bloedpens’, Enterotoxeamia) should be included.


Pasteurella cover

Although not enough work has been done to identify the different strains occurring in Angora goats we can only presume they are similar to those occurring in sheep.


We also need to remember not all pneumonia outbreaks are caused by pasteurella and the importance of stress and environmental factors in these outbreaks.

Rift Valley Fever

Minimally your maiden ewes should be vaccinated each year with the live RVF before mating.

If warnings of a potential outbreak then look to re-vaccinate all stock.


Which vaccines should I use?

There is no one ‘golden bullet’ so a combination of vaccines is needed to cover the diseases of importance.

In intensive and kidding systems I would want the following covered.

  • Clostridium perfringes A 
  • Clostridium perfringens B
  • Clostridium perfringens C
  • Clostridium perfingens D 
  • Clostridium tetani 
  • Clostridium septicum 
  • Pasteurella


In veld only systems then minimally farmers could reduce vaccination to just cover Clostridium perfringens D (but being aware of the risks)

  • Rift Valley Fever (RVF) – maiden ewes each year

To see which vaccines cover these different options see: 


When should the vaccinations be done?

  • Vaccinate ewes against clostridium and pasteurella  4-6 weeks before kidding.
  • The kids should have BOTH their vaccinations (completed the vaccination course) PRIOR to weaning against Pateurella and Clostridium. A single vaccination is not effective.
  • Maiden ewes -vaccinate for RVF before mating

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