I Want My Free E-Book On Egg Laying Chickens

Listeriosis in Goats: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

listeriosis in goats

Did you know that listeriosis is a common disease in goats? Listeriosis is caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes and can lead to serious health problems in goats, including death.

Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent and treat listeriosis in goats.

Listeriosis in Goats infographics

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what listeriosis is, how to prevent it, and how to treat it if your goat does become ill.

Stay safe and healthy, homesteaders!

listeriosis in goats

What is Listeriosis in Goats?

Listeriosis is a bacterial infection that can be deadly to goats. The bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes is found in soil, water, and contaminated feed.

You can also find it on the surfaces of equipment and buildings that have come into contact with contaminated materials.

Goats can become infected with listeriosis when they eat contaminated food or water or when they come into contact with contaminated surfaces. The bacteria can then multiply in the goat’s body, causing severe illness.

Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, diarrhea, weakness, and loss of appetite. The bacteria can spread to the goat’s nervous system in severe cases, causing paralysis and death.

Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics, but it is often fatal if not caught early.

To prevent listeriosis in goats, it is essential to maintain cleanliness in the goat pen and keep goats away from contaminated areas.

listeriosis in goats

What Causes Listeriosis in Goats?

Listeriosis is a severe disease that can affect goats of all ages. The disease is caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, found in soil, water, and contaminated food.

There are a few ways goats can become infected with this bacteria.

Goats can become infected with listeriosis if they eat contaminated food or drink contaminated water.

The bacteria can also enter the goat’s body through cuts or wounds in the skin. Once inside the goat’s body, the bacteria multiply and spread to the nervous system.

This bacteria causes neurological symptoms such as tremors, weakness, and paralysis. In extreme cases, listeriosis can be fatal.

Poorly Fermented Silage

Listeriosis is a severe bacterial infection that can affect both humans and animals. In goats, the infection is typically caused by consuming poorly fermented silage made from grass or other plant material.

The bacteria thrive in the anaerobic environment of the silage, and when goats eat the silage, they can become infected.

Silage Put Up Too Dry

One of the most significant risk factors for listeriosis in goats is feeding them silage that has not been adequately prepared. If the silage is too dry, it can harbor large Listeria bacteria.

Bacteria in Hay

The bacteria are found in soil, water, and even hay. When a goat ingests the bacteria, it can cause them to become ill.

The symptoms of listeriosis include fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. In severe cases, the bacteria can cause organ damage and even death. There is no cure for listeriosis, so it is crucial to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

One way to do this is by ensuring that the goat’s food and water are free from contaminants.

Improper Cleaning of Feed Bunks

To protect goats from listeriosis, it is vital to clean feed bunks and remove rotting debris from pastures. This bacteria spreads quickly in dirty feed bunks and housing areas.

listeriosis in goats

What Are Common Symptoms of Listeriosis?

Listeriosis can cause various symptoms in goats, including fever, diarrhea, vomiting, muscle pain, loss of appetite, and weakness.

In severe cases, the bacteria can cause meningitis or encephalitis, fatal. Treatment for listeriosis typically involves the use of antibiotics.

How Long Can a Goat Live With Listeria?

The average lifespan of a goat is 12-15 years. However, goats infected with listeria may only live for a few days or weeks.

Treatment for listeriosis typically involves antibiotics, but the mortality rate is high even with treatment.

As a result, it is essential to take steps to prevent listeriosis in goats by providing clean food and water and maintaining good hygiene.

Can a Goat Recover From Listeriosis?

Once listeriosis has taken hold, it can cause fever, weakness, loss of appetite, and difficulty breathing. The infection can quickly spread to the brain if left untreated, leading to seizures and death.

While there is no cure for listeriosis, early diagnosis and treatment are essential for the best possible outcome.

With prompt veterinary care, many goats can make a full recovery from the infection. In some cases, however, the bacteria can cause permanent damage to the brain or other organs, leading to lifelong health problems.

How to Treat Listeriosis in Goats

To prevent listeriosis in goats, it is essential to practice good sanitation and hygiene and provide clean water and food.

Any goat that shows signs of listeriosis should be isolated from the rest of the herd and treated immediately by a veterinarian.


There is no specific cure for listeriosis, but affected animals can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin or ampicillin.

Depending on where you live, you may need a prescription, so be sure to contact your vet.


You may also use anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling. These can help minimize pain and discomfort for your goat, too.

Fluids and Electrolytes

In addition, affected animals should be given plenty of fluids and electrolytes to prevent dehydration. They may require supplemental feedings if they cannot eat on their own.


To help prevent the spread of the disease, all farm buildings and equipment should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

The best way to prevent listeriosis is to practice good hygiene and clean the farm environment.

Thoroughly clean and sanitize all farm equipment, pens, and other areas where goats live and roam. After handling any goat products, such as milk or cheese, be sure to wash your hands.

Disinfecting a goat barn is vital for the health of your animals.

The first step is to remove all the manure from the barn. You can do this with a shovel or a pitchfork.

Next, scrub all of the surfaces with a disinfectant cleaner. Please pay special attention to areas where goats like to rest, such as their beds or branches.

Finally, rinse everything down with clean water. This will remove any residual cleaner and help to keep the barn clean.

By following these steps, you can help keep your goats healthy and prevent the spread of diseases like listeriosis.

Of course, deep cleaning and sanitation isn’t the only thing you should do if you suspect that your goats may have listeriosis.

You need to contact your veterinarian immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for the health of your herd.

How to Prevent Listeriosis in Goats

Listeriosis is a severe bacterial infection that can be deadly to humans and animals.

The bacteria usually enter the body through contaminated food, but they can also spread through contact with infected animals.

Goats are particularly susceptible to listeriosis, and it can cause severe illness or death in young kids.

Here are a few ways to prevent listeriosis from affecting your entire herd.

Isolate Aborting Does

To protect your herd, it is essential to isolate any aborted does or show signs of illness.

These animals should be kept separate from the rest of the herd, and all employees should wash their hands after handling them.

Humans or other animals should not consume any milk or meat from infected animals.

Some signs can help you tell if your goat has listeriosis. These include lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, muscle pain, and vomiting.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your goat, it is essential to seek medical help as soon as possible.

Prompt treatment can often prevent severe complications from developing.

Handle Fetuses and Fluids With Care

One of the best ways to prevent listeriosis is to handle fetuses and fluids with care.

If you are pregnant or handling newborns, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after contact with any fluids.

When working with older goats, wear gloves when handling their milk or meat.

Be sure to cook all meat products thoroughly before consuming them, and if you can, avoid the meat of infected goats.


Vaccinations are an essential tool for preventing this disease in goats. There are two types of vaccines available: live attenuated vaccines and inactivated whole-cell vaccines.

Live attenuated vaccines are more effective at preventing listeriosis, but they can also cause mild side effects such as fever or diarrhea.

Inactivated whole-cell vaccines are not as effective at preventing the disease, but they are safer for pregnant goats.

Ultimately, a veterinarian familiar with the goat’s health history and risk factors for listeriosis should decide which vaccine to use.

Unfortunately, these vaccinations can be expensive, and they aren’t always 100% effective at preventing the disease  – again, talk with your vet about whether they’re suitable for your farm.

Clean Thoroughly

To help prevent this disease, it is crucial to keep your goats clean and free from dirt and contaminated food.

Be sure to wash their pens and bedding regularly, and avoid feeding them moldy hay or spoiled grains.

Avoid Drinking Unpasteurized Milk

It is crucial to avoid drinking unpasteurized milk or eating other contaminated food to prevent this disease.

Optimize Nutrition

Goats are hardy creatures that can thrive on a diet of mainly grass and hay. However, goats are susceptible to several diseases, many of which can be prevented through proper nutrition.

One of the most important things to remember when feeding goats is to provide them with a source of fresh, clean water at all times.

Goats also need a balance of protein, energy, and essential nutrients in their diet to stay healthy.

For this reason, you should feed goats a variety of different foods, including hay, grass, grains, and vegetables.

By carefully selecting what you feed your goats, you can help keep them healthy and prevent disease.


listeriosis in goats

Is Listeriosis in Goats Contagious?

Yes. Listeriosis in goats is contagious, both within the hire and when it comes to spreading to humans.

Listeriosis is most commonly seen in pregnant goats, as the bacteria can cause miscarriage or stillbirth. However, all goats are susceptible to the disease.

To prevent listeriosis from spreading, it is crucial to practice good hygiene and sanitation. All feed and water containers should be clean and sanitized.

Any sick goats should be isolated from the rest of the herd. If you suspect that your goat has listeriosis, contact your veterinarian immediately.


Can Humans Get Listeria From Goats?

Listeriosis is contagious among goats, and it can spread to humans through contact with infected animals or contaminated milk.

The infection can also be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy in rare cases. Listeriosis is a severe disease that can cause fever, diarrhea, and even death.

While healthy adults can usually recover from listeriosis without any problems, the disease can be deadly for young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.

Therefore, it is essential to avoid exposure to infected goats. If you must handle an infected animal, wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.

You should also avoid consuming unpasteurized milk or cheese made from goat’s milk, as these products may contain bacteria.

If you have any concerns about exposure to listeriosis, please consult your doctor.

Listeriosis In Goats Final Thoughts

Goats are susceptible to listeriosis, a potentially fatal disease caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. Ingestion of the bacteria can cause abortions in pregnant goats and even death in kids and adults.

Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. Call your veterinarian right away if you notice any of these symptoms in your goats.

There is no specific treatment for listeriosis, so early diagnosis and treatment is essential for the best prognosis.

Prevention is key with this disease, so make sure you follow good biosecurity practices to keep your herd healthy.

Goat Definitive Guide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *