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Gangrenous mastitis caused by Bacillus species in six goats

Vengai Mavangira BVSc, DACVIM1, John A. Angelos DVM, PhD, DACVIM2, Eileen M. Samitz MA3, Joan D. Rowe DVM, MPVM, PhD, DACVPM4, and Barbara A. Byrne DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVM5
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  • 1 William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 3 William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 4 Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 5 Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

Abstract

Case Description—6 lactating dairy goats were examined because of acute mastitis.

Clinical Findings—Goats were considered to have endotoxemia on the basis of physical examination and clinicopathologic findings. The affected udder halves had gangrenous discolored distal portions with sharp demarcations from grossly normal tissue proximally. Udder secretions from the affected sides were serosanguineous in all cases. A Bacillus sp was isolated in pure cultures in all cases. In 1 case, the Bacillus sp was identified as Bacillus cereus.

Treatment and Outcome—Goats were treated for mastitis and endotoxemia with polyionic IV fluid therapy, systemic and intramammary antimicrobial administration, anti-inflammatory drug administration, and other supportive treatment. All goats survived to discharge. All except 1 goat had follow-up information available. The affected udder halves sloughed in 1 to 2 months following discharge. In subsequent lactations after the mastitis episodes, milk production in 2 of 5 goats was above the mean, as determined on the basis of Dairy Herd Improvement records, and 3 of 5 goats were voluntarily withdrawn from lactation. All 5 goats had successful kiddings after the Bacillus mastitis episode.

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceBacillus sp should be considered as a causative agent in goats with gangrenous mastitis, especially when the Bacillus sp is isolated in a pure culture. Antimicrobial sensitivity testing is recommended for selection of an appropriate antimicrobial for treatment. Prognosis for survival appears to be good, although milk production may be decreased.

Abstract

Case Description—6 lactating dairy goats were examined because of acute mastitis.

Clinical Findings—Goats were considered to have endotoxemia on the basis of physical examination and clinicopathologic findings. The affected udder halves had gangrenous discolored distal portions with sharp demarcations from grossly normal tissue proximally. Udder secretions from the affected sides were serosanguineous in all cases. A Bacillus sp was isolated in pure cultures in all cases. In 1 case, the Bacillus sp was identified as Bacillus cereus.

Treatment and Outcome—Goats were treated for mastitis and endotoxemia with polyionic IV fluid therapy, systemic and intramammary antimicrobial administration, anti-inflammatory drug administration, and other supportive treatment. All goats survived to discharge. All except 1 goat had follow-up information available. The affected udder halves sloughed in 1 to 2 months following discharge. In subsequent lactations after the mastitis episodes, milk production in 2 of 5 goats was above the mean, as determined on the basis of Dairy Herd Improvement records, and 3 of 5 goats were voluntarily withdrawn from lactation. All 5 goats had successful kiddings after the Bacillus mastitis episode.

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceBacillus sp should be considered as a causative agent in goats with gangrenous mastitis, especially when the Bacillus sp is isolated in a pure culture. Antimicrobial sensitivity testing is recommended for selection of an appropriate antimicrobial for treatment. Prognosis for survival appears to be good, although milk production may be decreased.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Mavangira's present address is Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.

Address correspondence to Dr. Mavangira (mavangir@msu.edu).