Signs of Illness in Goats

Have you recently adopted some goats? Congratulations! Your new buddies will definitely keep you smiling with their antics. Just like any other animal, Billy will need good food, a suitable habitat, and proper veterinary care in order to thrive. It’s also important for you to pay close attention to your goats, and watch for signs of illness. In this article, a local Marietta, GA vet lists some common signs of illness in goats.


Billy is quite outspoken by nature, and will not hesitate to greet you, demand his dinner, or tell you about his day. However, if your furry friend isn’t feeling well, his bleats may sound different, almost as though he is crying.

Abnormal Posture

Sick goats sometimes stand in an awkward hunched or stiff position. Billy may also press his head up to a fence, wall, or tree if he is ill.

Lack of Appetite

To say that healthy goats have healthy appetites may be a bit of an understatement. In fact, Billy will eat pretty much anything and everything! A lack of appetite is a serious red flag in goats.


While goats do like to nap and relax sometimes, your hooved pals should jump right up if they notice something unusual, or when it’s time for supper. If Billy is just listlessly standing around or lying down, he could be sick.

Respiratory Issues

Coughing, wheezing, and sneezing are all signs of illness in goats. Shallow breathing is another red flag.

Unusual Behavior

If Billy isn’t feeling well, he may withdraw from his buddies and go off by himself. He could also let his tail hang, or get up and down repeatedly. Restlessness and trembling can also be indicative of sickness.

Tummy Trouble

Diarrhea and constipation are both warning signs in goats. A swollen belly is another red flag to watch for.


Pay close attention to Billy, and look him over every day. Dull, matted fur, thick nasal discharge, pale gums, and/or greyish eyelids can all be indications of sickness.


If you notice any of the warning signs listed above, contact your vet right away. Goats are typically quite hardy, and may not show signs of illness until they are quite sick. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you have questions about goat care? We are here to help! Call us, your local Marietta, GA animal clinic, today!