Two major causes of diarrhoea in kids are Cryptosporidium and Coccidia however it’s very difficult to diagnose the cause in goats. The management of the diseases are similar. There are three key points:
1. Identify and isolate any kids with diarrhoea. Work with infected kids last and keep your hands and boots washed with a strong disinfectant such as “Virkon” or “Trigene”. Both Crypto and Coccidia are resistant to most disinfectants so your boots need to be free of any dirt and faeces. Keep the kids separate until the diarrhoea stops.
2. Feed them electrolytes that contain glucose. We recommend revive. Day one give only electrolytes, at least three feeds; Day two give two feeds of electrolytes and one of milk; Day three give one feed of electrolytes and two small feeds of milk. Thereafter give small feeds of milk often. Throughout their recovery ensure they have ad lib access to electrolytesin an open trough between feeds.
3. Introduce milk slowly. Their intestines will take around two weeks to fully recover and be able to digest milk normally. It’s the lactulose (sugar) content in the milk that can continue to give them diarrhoea. Try small feeds often or adding lactase (to help digest the lactulose) to the milk.
Neither of these causes respond to antibiotics. A coccidiostat (Coxiprol) can be added to the milk to help with coccidia but antibiotics will only stop secondary infections from exacerbating the disease.