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Navel Ill, Omphalitis, Joint Ill, Pyemic Arthritis, Polyarthritis


  • Numerous kinds of bacteria may enter the navel stump soon after the kid is born. The arthritic form can also be caused by bacteria that enter castration or dehorning wounds.


  • Symptoms of omphalophlebitis are high fever, depression, refusal to nurse, sometimes hot, painful joints, swollen and tender navel, and convulsions or fits.
  • Symptoms usually occur quickly but may be delayed for more than a month. When delayed, the symptoms are usually seen as swelling and soreness of all joints, unwillingness to stand, some mild fever, and occasionally convulsive seizures (fits).
  • The most common symptom observed is an enlarged and hard navel stump in a very young animal.


  • The organism grows and enters the blood stream (septicemia).


  • If the condition is long-standing or the kid is 1 to 2 months old, treatment is of little benefit.
  • Infections in the very young (under 2 weeks) will usually respond to injections of antibiotics—penicillin, chloramphenicol, tetracyclines, and sulfa drugs.
  • If the joints are involved, or the kid is having fits, chances of full recovery are poor.


  • Prevention is the best procedure. Clean surroundings, clean hands when delivering the newborn, and dipping the navel stump in 7% iodine work very well.


  • Thedford, Thomas R. Goat Health Handbook: A Field Guide for Producers with Limited Veterinary Services. Morrilton, AR: Winrock International, 1983. Print.

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