Veterinary advice should be sought before applying any treatment or vaccine.

Enterotoxemia is a common, frequently fatal enteric disease caused by infection with the Clostridium perfringens bacterium. It is seen more frequently in sheep, but also affects goats. There are several different types of C. perfringens, however type D is the most common cause of enterotoxemia in goats. Sudden changes in feed or feed routine has shown to be associated with outbreaks of enterotoxemia. Excessive grain consumption, feeding of a bran/molasses mash to recently fresh does, feeding of garden greens to unaccustomed goats, turnout in lush pasture, or feeding of bread or bakery goods can cause goats to become predisposed to the disease.

Symptoms

Loss of appetite
Depression
Abdominal discomfort
Fever of 105°F (40.5°C)
Arching back
Kicking belly
Loud, and painful screaming
Profuse, watery diarrhea containing blood and shreds of mucus
Weakness
Recumbency
Paddling
Convulsions
Coma
Sudden death

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Evidence of enterocolitis at necropsy
  • Isolation of C. perfringens from the feces or gut lumen
  • Identification of epsilon toxin or the gene expressing epsilon toxin in C. perfringens cult

Treatment

Clostridium perfringens C and D antitoxin: 15-20 ml IV, repeat every 3-4 h

Prevention

  • Avoid sudden changes in feed or feed routine
  • Do not turnout goats in lush pastures
  • Do not feed bran/molasses mash to recently fresh does
  • Ensure goats don't gain access to where feed is stored
  • Do not feed goats bread or other bakery goods

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