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Type C: Struck, Lamb/Kid Dysentery

Type D: Pulpy Kidney Disease, Overeating Disease


  • Type C (struck and lamb dysentery) and D (pulpy kidney disease and overeating disease) of the bacterium Clostridium perfringene are usually involved. Type C seems to affect the very young and older adult animals, with Type D affecting those from 3 to 4 weeks old to about 1 year. The organism lives in the soil and normally is found in the stomach and intestines of sheep and goats. The disease is triggered by changes in the normal rate of passage of feed through the gut. For example, a change in the type of feed or overfilling the stomach (such as a kid drinking an excessive amount of milk) may allow the organism to grow. A toxin is produced by the fast growing bacteria, and the absorption of this toxin causes the symptoms of the disease.


  • star gazing (upward lift of the head)
  • convulsions
  • tooth grinding
  • twitching and death within a few hours
  • Sometimes the goat will have diarrhea, which may or may not be blood stained
  • The rumen mobility will stop. Kids are often found dead
  • Postmortem symptoms include fluid in the heart sac, which usually contains a clot that looks like chicken fat. Blood free in the intestine is also sometimes seen. A urine test for sugar will usually be positive. Urine test strips are used by diabetics can serve for this test, but complete diagnosis should be made in a diagnostic laboratory.


  • Treatment of affected animals is not successful unless the specific antitoxin is available. Intravenous or subcutaneous administration of the antitoxin will usually reverse the seizures. Antibiotics (penicillin) will usually stop the growth of the bacteria but do not affect the toxin that has already been produced and absorbed. If antitoxin is not available, 115 to 170g (4 to 6 oz) of powdered charcoal and 15 to 30 g of baking soda given by mouth may be helpful.


  • Only well-fed animals are affected by enterotoxemia, which can be prevented easily. Two doses of the vaccine (a toxoid) should be given to the doe: one dose at 4 weeks before she kids and another dose 2 weeks before she kids. Kids should be vaccinated after weaning with two doses, 2 weeks apart. One booster shot each year thereafter will protect the doe and her subsequent kids until they are weaned


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