Goat Enterotoxemia

Goat Enterotoxemia; (Overeating Disease, Pulpy Kidney Disease)

This is an important syndrome affecting young goats on concentrate feeds. Grain-fed kids on a high-concentrate diet are most susceptible, but adults may also be affected. Goats are commonly affected with a hemorrhagic form of enterotoxemia. The toxin is produced by Clostridium perfringens type D bacteria when the animal’s diet or other issues provide optimum conditions for the growth of the type D bacteria in the intestine.

Signs: Often, the first sign of a problem is finding an otherwise healthy and vigorous kid dead. Other signs can include sudden loss of appetite; bloat; lack of rumen activity and rumination; depression and a drunken appearance; as it progresses,the animal becomes unable to stand and lies on its side, making paddling movements; fever; watery, bloody diarrhea. Sick goats are usually those in good condition. Within a few hours of death, the urine will have a high glucose concentration, and the kidneys become soft and pulpy. Other lesions may include fluid in the lungs and heart sac and hemorrhages on internal surfaces.

Treatment: The prognosis for recovery is guarded in goat enterotoxemia even with treatment. Fluid therapy providing mixed electrolyte solution with bicarbonate is indicated in acute cases to counter shock, dehydration and acidosis. Antibiotic therapy may be helpful in reducing bacterial growth. Oral sulfas have been used with some success. Anti-toxin, anti-inflammatories, oral activated charcoal and probiotics can be helpful very early in the course of the disease. At the first sign of an enterotoxemia outbreak in a herd, the remaining kids should be given injections of C and D antitoxin and a C and D vaccine booster.

Prevention: Commercially available type C and D toxoid vaccine should be administered to all kids at 6, 9, 12 and 24 weeks of age and boostered every 6 months. Does should be boostered in the last 2-3 weeks of pregnancy and kids should receive adequate colostrum to ensure they obtain a protective level of passive protection.