Malignant Edema

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Malignant Edema

Gas Gangrene


  • Malignant Edema (Gas Gangrene) usually caused by the bacterium Clostridium septicum, other forms of Clostridium spp. could possibly, cause the same kind of would infection in goats.


  • The disease starts when a cut or some other type of wound is contaminated with the bacteria. The bacteria grow and produce a poison that kills the muscles and tissues around the infection site. Death of the animal can occur very rapidly or over 2 to 3 days depending on how much tissue is killed and where the infection is located.


  • Treatment with penicillin, tetracycline, or most any antibiotic or sulfa drug will kill the bacteria if started very early in the disease. However, many animals infected with malignant edema die because of delay in treatment.


  • The best prevention is care and cleanliness when castrating or dehorning goats. Any other injury should be carefully cleaned and antibiotic or sulfa applied to the wound.

Human Health Concern:

Human wounds can become infected with Clostrdium septicum. Wash your hands very well after handling infected wounds and apply a small amount of antibiotic or sulfa powder to any cuts or scratches on your hands.


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