GOATS occupy a unique position in the UK livestock industry due to the fact that they are kept for a wide range of uses. Traditionally, particularly before the 1980s, goats were kept as individuals or in small groups primarily to produce milk for their owners. Since that time, unit size has gradually increased and, nowadays, a single herd can comprise in excess of 2000 milking goats. Diseases of dairy goats show many similarities to those of high-yielding dairy cows and also sheep. There are, however, a number of important differences between these species that need to be borne in mind, including specific goat diseases. This article discusses these differences with reference to common infectious diseases, other clinical conditions, endoparasites and breeding/fertility problems.
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