Coxiellosis, also known as Q Fever, can wipe out an entire kidding season before the producer is able to figure out what is happening. Often the infected does show no symptoms: they don’t stop eating and they appear ok until they abort or until a day or two before they abort. Since Q Fever is highly contagious in the afterbirth and other bodily fluids an abortion storm can take place and the entire herd of does can be infected.
The other devestating characteristic of Q Fever is that while the does develop immunity after they have had the disease, they are highly contagious the year after they’ve aborted – and if they are not kept from other uninfected goats, they can infect all of those goats as well. In addition, this disease is contagious to humans and can cause serious chronic health problems.
Substantial production and financial losses are suffered throughout the goat industry annually to this zoonotic disease. There is minimal knowledge regarding Q Fever when it occurs in producers, veterinarians and other industry stake holders.