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Farm Animal Practice
Differential diagnosis of diarrhoea/illthrift in goats at grass
  1. George Mitchell

    George Mitchell qualified from Glasgow in 1976 and was awarded a PhD in 1979 for studies on liver fluke infection in sheep and cattle. He spent four years at St Boswell's Veterinary Investigation Centre, where he conducted field studies of gastrointestinal helminth infection in sheep, before transferring to the SAC Veterinary Centre, Ayr, in 1983. There he has conducted research into a range of animal diseases including tick-borne diseases and trace element deficiencies in ruminants. He is currently senior veterinary investigation officer at the SAC Veterinary Science Division, Ayr, in charge of disease surveillance.


GOAT rearing is extremely important economically worldwide as a source of meat, milk and fibre, particularly in Third World countries. In recent years, importation of Angora and cashmere goats into the UK to produce mohair and cashmere, respectively, has increased the number of domestic goats to around 84,000 and added significantly to the number of small goat herds kept largely on smallholdings. With this has come an increased risk of the importation of disease and its subsequent spread to indigenous goats and sheep in the UK. Disease remains one of the major limiting factors affecting animal welfare and profitability of goat enterprises. This article discusses the diagnosis, treatment and control of the common diseases in young (over four weeks of age) and adult goats at pasture which present as diarrhoea with weight loss.

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