Goats, Zoonoses and Pregnant Women

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Tam319, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. Tam319

    Tam319 Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    I am looking for some information on goat diseases that can be transmitted to pregnant women. We recently bought a herd of 26 Savanna meat goats and we are planning to expand our human family in the next year or two. What are some diseases that are transmittable from pregnant women, what is the mode of transmission (ie. direct contact, fecal contact, contact with goat birthing fluids) and how can I protect myself? Also, any information on keeping your human kids healthy while working with goats (I often take my toddler out in his sled to do chores) would be helpful.

    Thanks a bunch in advance!
    Tamara
    Ravenwood Ranch
    Alberta, Canada
     
  2. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I do know that they can carry toxoplasmosis (same as a cat litter box).

    If you had cats when you were pregnant with your toddler, you probably were warned not to change the litter box, or use gloves.
     

  3. Key

    Key Well-Known Member

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    Tamara,
    Hi, as the mom of 2 and hopefully more to come, I can help you a bit. Soremouth can be passed on to people, so please don't expose yourself or your children. Chylamdia sounds like it is passed mianly via birthing liquids and placenta to human hosts, so be careful at kidding time. (I just was exposed to some weird aborted babies, so take my word on this-the worry is NOT good) Toxoplasmosis, as the other lister said, also can be transmitted to human hosts. Cats only shed this when they are initially infected which often is when they are young but transmission to humans is via cat feces, so don't touch any cat waste during your preganancy. If your goats have abortions, toxo may also be the cause, so don't expose yourselft to those fluids or vagninal fluids of your does. Gloves are imperative, but I suggest you just stay out of the barn at kidding time. That is my plan in the future. If you can be there without wanting to help, then I bet you'd be ok, but I always tend to want to jump in and break sacs and help the does clean fof the babies. That isn't safe for our human babies inside us though.
     
  4. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    And then there is the lists of milk borne pathogens from raw milk, another list from manure, and another list from milk contaminated by feces :)

    Your children will be the healthiest kids around if you let them out young in the barn yard around the stock. They will learn life lessons that no city raised kids ever learn. You or your children will likely never come down with anything. The longer you have the goats and the more you learn, the more careful you will be in dealing with disease on your place, and also dealing with others and new animals who come to the farm.

    Unless you want to spend some real money testing these goats you really are just on a wait and watch. In the first month if you have CL abscess in the herd even with winter hair, you should see some abscess. With the stress of the move if you didn't worm you will see if the herd becomes anemic, gets diarrhea or has really good immunity to worms. Pinkeye, soremouth and ringworm are all diseases of the stressed goat, if you see this wear gloves if and when you treat it. Never handle aborted kids or placentas with bare hands during childbearing years. Spay cats and dont' allow kittens acess to your barn, the hay, the bedding or even the soil in which your goats lay, or your children. Have fun with the goats. Vicki
     
  5. Tam319

    Tam319 Well-Known Member

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    THANK YOU!

    I am very thankful for the information. You are so much more helpful than the 1-800 health link # I called to speak to a registered nurse. She just said "We don't have any information on goats, ma'am. Just don't let that goat bite you!" I don't know if she had visions of a rabid goat on the loose or what? LOL

    We don't have cats, so that isn't a worry. I will definitely be careful while handling the goats. We plan to try to plan baby #2 so pregnancy won't coincide with kidding time, but you all know how Mother Nature has her own plans at times. If it comes right down to it I will just have DH handle the kidding duties. And good point on staying OUT of the barn as I am sure I won't be able to resist helping if I am in there.

    What is the consensus on milking goats while pregnant? A definite no-no?

    Thanks for the tips and reassurance on my human kid. I do think the farm life is the richest lifestyle for a child to grow up in.

    Thanks again. I can't express my gratitude for making me feel a lot more confident that family AND farm can be a reality.

    Tam
     
  6. Key

    Key Well-Known Member

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    Tam,
    I didn't at all mean to discourage you as I totally agree that animals can add alot to the lives of children (and adults). My children have been around livestock since they were babies, and we think they offer invaulable lessons about life, death, and responsibility! Enjoy!
     
  7. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    There isn't a reason in the world you shouldn't be around the goats, pregnant, nursing or anything else.

    What is the consensus on milking goats while pregnant? A definite no-no?
    .................................

    Perhaps you could explain why you would think this would be harmful to a pregnant mom? Sorry don't get it at all :)

    I wouldn't drink the milk or feed it to infant children raw without knowing something about the health of the goats, but the actually milking of the goats is actually great exercise. Wear gloves during birthing, your goats need you, not a man :) Well unless he is one of those rare men who just get the whole birthing process and being gentle! Vicki
     
  8. MommaSasquatch

    MommaSasquatch Well-Known Member

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    Fortunately goat pregnancies are some four months shorter than human pregnancies so that makes it a bit easier to plan around. I delayed breeding my ewes and does so that I'd have adequate recovery time after my own birth. (She's six days old now, btw!) Unfortunately I delayed a little longer than I meant to and the does are still not bred. Oops.

    I did the milking (and drank the milk) while pregnant. After a certain point there's a degree of physical awkwardness involved I will admit.
     
  9. Tam319

    Tam319 Well-Known Member

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    LOL Oh, I suppose it would be a bit difficult to milk with a belly in the way. LOL CONGRATS on your little one, wow!! 6 days old!

    As for the milking...I just recall when I was in college and worked at the university cow dairy barn that one of the female workers became pregnant and had to quit working due to disease transmission concerns with working with the dairy cows. For the life of me I cannot remember the specific concern...Q fever?? Ahhh, dang, at the time babies were the furthest thing from my mind so I didn't make a mental note :(

    I've also read that listeria and campylobacter (?) can cause spontaneous abortion if preg woman is in contact w/birth materials from goats.
     
  10. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Like Vicki was saying, if your goats are healthy, they pose little risk. If a goat has listeria, she will abort. I would not handle aborted fetuses if you are pregnant. Leave that to hubby or wear rubber gloves. Handling healthy newborns with gloves on shouldn't endanger your baby. From what I recall camphylobactor is a food borne illness. I would imagine that to prevent it, it would be best to pasteurize milk and cook meat well before eating it and to wash your hands thoroughly after handling any animals. If you aren't having problems with abortion storms in your herd, being around birthing does should be OK.