Shipping Fever

Shipping Fever

By Debbie Cassidy

So what is Shipping Fever? It is usually thought of as a respiratory disease such as Pneumonia and is acquired by a goat during transportation. It can also be manifested as Pink eye, Scours and Mastitis. Stress causes the immune system to become suppressed and problems can occur.

You can even get it from moving your goats from one pasture to another. It doesn’t have to be a long travel for the goats. Many breeders will have goats come down with it after they get home for a show. Basically it is any abrupt change that the goat encounters that can cause it.

To help avoid Shipping Fever make sure that your goat is not transported in a crowed area. They need room to stand up and turn around in. I would recommend only giving hay while the goat is being transported and no or very limited amounts of grain to be given. I would also suggest against hauling a heavily bred doe. No reason to take a chance that she will pre-maturely deliver and/or abort unless there is just no other option.

Many breeders will give a CD/T shot prior to shipping and some will give an antibiotic injection such as LA 200. I hate to give antibiotics unless it is really needed so another suggestion would be to give Goat Serum. It has been proven to help the immune system and is not an antibiotic! 10cc SC would be the correct dosage.  Hoeggers Goat Supply has Goat Serum on hand while I am not sure about other suppliers. Since I started out my goat experience in the Dairy world, I learned to depend on Hoeggers for my supplies and advice from Miss Ann.

Once you get your goats to their new home I would suggest that you isolate them for 2-4 weeks. Start the new goats off on grain at a very slow rate. This is one reason to isolate them. You can control their feed. It will also give you a chance to get to know your new goat and for them to realize that you are the one that feeds them.