Mountain Goat

Health Issues Which May Affect This Animal

What Causes This Disease?

Contagious ecthyma is caused by a poxvirus. In domestic sheep and goats it is known as Orf. Orf is spread by direct contact with lesions or scabs from infected animals to humans and other animals.

Where Is The Disease Found?

Contagious ecthyma occurs in domestic livestock and wild ruminants throughout North American, but it occurs rarely. Contagious ecthyma has not been documented in Idaho.

Signs of Disease

In animals, contagious ecthyma causes fluid-filled blisters with thick scabs on lips, mouth, nose, eyelids, ears and teats. The scabs on the mouth may make it difficult or painful for the animal to eat and some animals may appear weak. If scabs are on the feet, animals may find it painful to walk normally. Scabs on the teats may cause females to not let young nurse.

Read More About Contagious Ecthyma

What Causes This Disease?

Hydatids are the immature form of a tapeworm called Echinococcus granulosus. Echinococcus granulosus is a very small (3-5 m) tapeworm that requires two different animal species, a canid and an ungulate, to complete its lifecycle.

Where Is The Disease Found?

Hydatid disease is found around the world including North America where it exists in two forms – a domestic form involving domestic dogs and domestic sheep and a sylvatic form involving wolves or coyotes and ungulates. The most common form of E. granulosus is found in domestic dogs and sheep, and is found worldwide, including the western USA. The form in domestic dogs and domestic sheep is the most common source of the disease in humans. There are numerous strains of E .granulosus worldwide that occur in various host species systems e. g. wolves and wild ungulates in temperate North America, dingos and kangaroos in Australia, and jackels and domestic cattle in Africa. Hydatid cysts have been found in cattle and domestic sheep, deer, elk,. moose and mountain goats in Idaho. Adult tapeworms have been found in wolves and coyotes in Idaho.

Signs of Disease

The adult tapeworm occurs in the intestines of wolves, coyotes and foxes but they are generally asymptomatic. The larval form or hydatid cyst occurs in moose, elk and deer, and can occur in humans. In moose, deer, and elk, the cysts have thick walls and are filled with a clear watery liquid. The cysts are usually found in the lungs but can also occur in the liver or other organs. Cysts can vary in size from ¾ to 4 inches in diameter and contain hundreds of juvenile tapeworms. The presence of hydatids in herbivores usually does not cause clinical signs unless the cyst obstructs normal body function. If cysts rupture, illness can be severe.

Read More About Hydatid Disease

What Causes This Disease?

The most common pathogens in bighorn sheep are respiratory bacteria Pasteurella haemolytica or Pasteurella multocida, and Mycoplasma ovipneumonia but respiratory viruses like Infectious Bovine Rhinovirus, Parainfluenza virus, Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or parasites like lungworms can contribute to pneumonia in bighorns and other ruminants. There is evidence in captive and free-ranging bighorn sheep that transmission can occur after contact with domestic sheep or goats. Other ruminants can develop pneumonia from these and other bacteria including Arcanobacter spp., Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, and Trueprella pyogenes as well as a variety of respiratory viruses.

Where Is The Disease Found?

Generally, pneumonia is a problem in bighorn sheep and to a lesser extent in deer and elk. Pneumonia in bighorn sheep has been found throughout North America. In Idaho, pneumonia in bighorns has been found in all areas where bighorn sheep exist. Isolated cases of pneumonia have been documented in mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, moose, pronghorn and mountain goats in Idaho.

Signs of Disease

Clinical signs of pneumonia in ruminants include coughing, shortness of breath, and a weakened condition. Generally, animals with pneumonia will have discolored lungs possibly with adhesions to the rib cage or abscesses. In trials of captive bighorn sheep that are inoculated with Pasteurellaceae bacteria, survival is generally less than 2-3 days. Depending on the bacterial pathogen present, the nutritional and immune status of the individual, and other factors, affects range from chronic pneumonia in adult females, summer lamb mortality events and ill thrift to rapid whole herd mortality events . Often the mortality events are found by hunters or during herd surveys when carcasses or skeletons are found. Similar signs of disease occur in other ruminants affected by pneumonia but pneumonia in other species of ruminants tends to occur in single individuals rather than on a herd basis.

Read More About Pneumonia

What Causes This Disease?

Several species of tapeworm produce cystercerci in the intermediate host. The most common in cervids is Taenia hydatigena, but other species including T. pissiformis and T. krabbei.

Where Is The Disease Found?

Tapeworm cystercerci are found in appropriate ruminant hosts across most of North America. They are commonly reported in ungulates in Idaho.

Signs of Disease

Cystercerci are usually small bladders, approximately 0.5-2 cm in diameter, containing fluid and a single larval tapeworm. The location of the cystercerci depends on the tapeworm species and the host species. Taenia hydatigena and T. pissiformis typically form cystercerci in the mesenteries or the liver. Taenia krabbei typically forms cystercerci in the skeletal muscle. There also may be white, star-like scars on the surface of the liver from the migration of larval tapeworms. Carnivores like wolves, coyotes and foxes are the definitive host of the adult tapeworms and usually appear healthy even though they may be infected with large numbers of tapeworms.

Read More About Tapeworm cysts (Cystercerci)


  • mt_goats_for_thumbnail

    Mountain Goat Counts Slated for Early September near Yellow Pine

    Idaho Fish and Game biologists will take to the air in early September to count mountain goats near Yellow Pine, Idaho. The mountain goat surveys will focus on an area north of the East Fork of the South Fork Salmon River Road between Monumental Creek and the South Fork of the Salmon River.

  • Mt goat Scotchman Peak

    Counting Beasts the Color of Winter

    Panhandle wildlife biologists were in the air counting mountain goats this spring. On May 8th and 9th, we flew helicopter surveys of Units 7 and 9 to see how many of the shaggy white animals we could find.

  • Bighorn Sheep / Photo by Gary Powers

    Moose, goat, and sheep controlled hunt results available online

    Results of the drawings for moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat controlled hunts are now available online.

    Check results

  • Bighorn ram running

    Moose, sheep and goat controlled hunt application deadline approaching

    Hunters, anglers and trappers are also reminded they will see new prices starting May 1 with an additional $5 Access/Depredation fee for resident adults and $10 for nonresident adults when they buy their first annual license.

  • Bull moose in yellow grass

    Apply now for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat hunts

    The application period for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat controlled hunts is now open. Hunters have through April 30 to apply.

    Hunters can apply at any Fish and Game office, license vendor, or use a credit card by telephone or over the Internet. Telephone applications may be made at 1-800-554-8685. Internet users may apply through Fish and Game's website at Mailed applications must be postmarked no later than April 30.

  • Bighorn Sheep / Photo by Gary Powers

    Moose, sheep and goat rules available soon

    Idaho's 2017 and 2018 moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat seasons and rules booklet arrived from the printer and should be available at Fish and Game offices and license vendors later this week.

    They are available online now at

  • Moose, southwest region, near McCall

    Here's a sneak peak at the new moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat rules

    Idaho Fish and Game Commission on Jan. 26 adopted new rules and seasons for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat for the 2017-18 hunting seasons. 

  • Snow Peak

    Snow Peak WMA Trail Work Proposed

    Snow Peak Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is a great place for backcountry hunting and angling, but it’s gotten pretty difficult to travel the trails.  Over the past decade, many of the trails have become inaccessible due to downed trees and overgrown brush.  Several severe windstorms in recent years have increased the number of downed trees across the trails.  Although some trail improvements were accomplished last summer, there is a lot of work left to do.  Current conditions make it difficult for people to access Snow Peak for horseback riding, fishing, big game hunting, huckleberry picki

  • Public meeting for moose, sheep, and mountain goat season proposals (Lewison)

    Idaho Fish and Game wants to hear from hunters on proposed changes to moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat seasons for 2017 and 2018.

    Fish and Game will host open houses where those interested can visit with local wildlife biologists about the proposals and provided their comments. 

  • IDFG Scoping For 2017-2018 Moose, Goat And Sheep Hunting Seasons

    IDAHO FALLS – The Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG) is in the process of scoping the public as they undertake setting seasons for trophy species (moose, mountain goat, and bighorn sheep) for 2017- 2018.  The public will have the opportunity to discuss with biologists their season suggestions at an open house scheduled for Monday, December 19th from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Mountain Goat

Oreamnos americanus

IDAPA Classification: Big Game
View Species Profile