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"Chlamydia" (see also Abortion, Pinkeye, or Pneumonia)

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USDA Rural Information Center

by Gary Pfalzbot
About the Author

Chlamydiae are bacteria which differ from most other bacteria in that they can multiply only in living cells. Each species has many strains and one of these strains causes abortion in sheep and goats. The disease is characterized by abortion, usually towards the end of pregnancy, stillbirths and the birth of weak lambs or kids. The placenta is often severely damaged and may be retained in the uterus after abortion has occurred. Unfortunately there is no practical way of identifying an infected or carrier animal. Newly-infected animals have a low, short-lasting antibody titre even though they may show a high titre if they abort later. However, even this high titre only lasts a few months. Blood testing is the only way to correctly identify Chlamydia. Vaccines for goats are available and it is considered that chlamydia bacteria are also susceptible to chlortetracycline. Human health is also a concern - women should be extremely careful handling goats as certain strains of chlamydia may be transmitted from goat to human (zoonotic).

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About the author: Gary Pfalzbot is a Service Connected Disabled Veteran and the web master of GoatWorld as well as some other web sites. He has raised goats over the years, been involved with 4-H (as a young boy) and currently resides in Colorado where he and his wife Pam raise a few breeds of goats and other animals, and primarily author the GoatWorld web site to continue to inform, educate, and promote the industry.

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