Dear Mohair Producer

To keep you updated on the prevalent diseases investigated on Post mortem and farm visits over the last two weeks of September.

  1. Heartwater deaths in Baviaans area
  2. ‘Rooiderm’ in 5 weeks old kids in excellent condition on lucerne lands, cultured as Clostridium perfringens (likely Type A but awaiting Onderstepoort results)
  3. Isolated Clostridial related deaths in kid in excellent condition after creep feed introduction- still to be confirmed by pathology (suspected Clostridium perfringens type D).
  4. Abnormal numbers of kids (>10% of kids) dying at between 7 and 13 days after birth -awaiting sample analysis.

Roundworm counts have been relatively low due to dry veld conditions but even on lands the faecal egg counts have in most cases been low due to the cool temperatures.



Heartwater outbreak on Angora farm in Baviaans (non- endemic area) was diagnosed on Post Mortem on 3 adult angoras and exam of a sick goat. The sick goat had a fever of 41.7C

Post Mortems revealed classical Heartwater lesions

  • Fluid in chest cavity and heart sac
  • Haemorrhages on outer and inner surface of heart muscle (marked with red arrows in photo below)

Interstitial oedema of lungs (dark fluid filled lines in photo ABOVE)


Isolated kid deaths (about 5 weeks old) running on lucerne lands. Kids were fat and in excellent condition.

Young goats are particularly susceptible to haemorrhagic enteritis with pre-disposing factors:

  • Young goats grazing on lush pastures
  • Fed carbohydrate and protein rich diets,
  • Can occur sporadically after weaning,
  • After deworming
  • After a stress event.

Clinical signs:  Goats are usually found dead without evidence of disease; those that are alive may show signs of abdominal pain.

Post Mortem findings:

  • Rapid decomposition of the carcass occurs (bloats quickly).
  • Blood stained fluid may ooze from the nostrils and anus.
  • Characteristic lesions are severe congestion and haemorrhage of the small intestine as in the photo of the kid on this farm (note how fat the kid is- omental fat left side of picture)
  • Some blood stained fluid in the thorax and abdomen may be present.
  • Because the lesions are not specific diagnosis is confirmed by isolation and detection of the toxin. In this case the Clostridium was Identified on slides and cultured as Clostridium perfrigens. It is now being typed and we are awaiting results but suspect Type A.

Hoping it rains soon.

When it does, remember to keep a check on faecal egg counts from 3 weeks after the first rains.



Mackie Hobson



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