Why Is My Goat Coughing? – Various Reasons

Why is my goat coughing

If you’re a goat owner, you may be worried when you hear your goat cough. A cough in a goat can either be nothing serious or a sign of a disease.

In this post, we’re going to highlight some of the reasons why your goat is coughing.

Non-severe Goat Coughs

These are goat coughs that do not pose any risk to your goat health-wise. These are as follows:

Chewing Its Cud

Goats cough when they are chewing their cud up. The cough helps to bring the cud up. Such a cough shouldn’t worry you as it’s a beneficial cough.

The goat scoop and gulp feed into their mouth and swallow it into one of its four stomachs. After that, it coughs it to start chewing the cud.

Dusty And Windy Surroundings

Another reason why your goats may be coughing is due to a dusty and windy environment. Unlike humans, goats cannot survive in a dusty and windy climate. So, if the weather changes or the winds are strong and carry some dust around your grazing goats, you may notice them coughing.

The good news is that there is no harm to your goats, but they will cough as a sign of some discomfort.

If possible, you should always graze your goats in places with good pastures and not dusty areas. This will prevent them from coughing because of suffocation from the oncoming dust.

Feeding Them Moldy Or Dusty Hay

Goats are very sensitive animals, and that’s why they are very picky in the forage they browse. Therefore, if you give them moldy or dusty hay, such a small thing can make them cough. If your goats are susceptible to dusty or moldy hay, consider wetting it.

Eating And Drinking Too Fast

Just like humans, a goat can cough because it has eaten or drunk fast. This is normal and can happen from time to time. So, watch your goat cough as it tries to eat or drink very fast. You don’t have to worry about this as its no cause for alarm.


Goats also have allergy issues. If all of the things we’ve discussed are not the cause of your goat coughing, then it’s probably an allergy. If you suspect that your goat has an allergy, you can give it Benedryl to help them out.

Before you give any dose to your goat, always check their temperature. What’s more, ensure you give them the correct dose.

Serious Goat Coughs

The above-mentioned coughs are normal for your goat. But the ones that we’re about to talk about need serious attention as they can even lead to the death of your goat.


Lungworm infection is common in goats that are reared in rainfall areas and on pastures with standing waters. Goats will lungworms will appear to be healthy, but if the worms become severe, the goat will cough. Other signs of lungworms in your goat include difficulty breathing and loss of appetite.

If the goat’s temperature is okay and it looks fine, then the next step is to get a veterinarian to examine it. If it has lungworms, this can be life-threatening to your goat.

Reasons why goats are coughing

The good news is that lungworms can be eliminated if detected early.


Your goat can also cough because of a cold. However, it’s easy to confuse cold with lungworms if you’re not keen. Both of these diseases don’t show very specific signs.

Nonetheless, a goat with a cold will have clear or white snot, which is not present in a goat with lungworms.

Cold is easy to treat and it won’t attach healthy goats easily. To ward off this disease, give your goats antibiotics. Additionally, you can give them more nutrients to support strengthening their system.

You can also give them probiotics, nutridrench, and fortified B complex to boost their system.


Pneumonia can be fatal to your goat. This disease causes inflammation and infection to the lungs.

Some of the causes of pneumonia include bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungal agents, aspiration of liquids, mycoplasmas, and irritant specks of dust. With all of these possible causes, it’s vital to call the vent to diagnose your goat and determine the real cause of pneumonia.

Signs of pneumonia in goats include:

  • coughing
  • difficulty breathing
  • nasal discharge
  • mastitis
  • extended head
  • difficult movement
  • mouth breathing
  • keratitis
  • arthritis
  • conjunctivitis

Note that there are different types of pneumonia, and diagnosing your goat will help you identify the right disease. They include enzootic pneumonia, mycoplasma pneumonia, Pasteurella pneumonia, and verminous pneumonia.

Identifying the type of pneumonia will help you know the kind of diagnosis to give to your goat. Pasteurella pneumonia is the most dangerous and kills in hours, while mycoplasma pneumonia is the most contagious. Treat your goats as fast as possible if you discover that they have pneumonia.

Irritants Or Trachea Damage

Apart from disease, constant or prolonged inhalation of irritants, such as dust or ammonia, and damage of the trachea can lead to respiratory problems. As a result, you may notice your goat sneezing and coughing. Additionally, you may see nasal discharge.

If your goat is coughing because of irritants in the air, you should remove the source of those irritants immediately. But if it has damage to the trachea, you should avoid using balling and drenching guns to hurt them. Alternatively, you should follow the correct procedure when using them.


If your goat is coughing, it’s essential to examine it and determine if it’s a harmless goat cough or needs serious attention. Regular goat coughs include coughing while eating fast, allergies, dust in the air, moldy/dusty hay, or chewing its cud.

On the contrary, you should take the cough seriously if the goat has pneumonia, lungworms, cold, or trachea damage.

No matter the reason why your goat is coughing, most of the issues can be handled. If it’s a normal cough, there’s no need to panic. But if it’s serious, contact your vet so that they can diagnose the goat as quickly as possible.