Objective—To compare the effectiveness of 3 treatment regimens for small ruminants with caseous lymphadenitis.
Design—Randomized clinical trial.
Animals—44 client-owned sheep and goats.
Procedures—Aspirates were obtained from 48 lesions of 44 enrolled animals and submitted for bacterial culture. Animals were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups. Treatment for group A (n = 15 lesions) consisted of opening, draining, and flushing the lesions and SC administration of procaine penicillin G. Treatment for group B (n = 15 lesions) consisted of closed-system lavage and intralesional administration of tulathromycin. Treatment for group C (n = 18 lesions) consisted of closed-system lavage and SC administration of tulathromycin. All animals were reexamined approximately 1 month after treatment, unless treatment failure was detected prior to that time.
Results—43 animals with lesions had positive results (Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis) for bacterial culture. Proportions of lesions that had resolution of infection by 1 month after treatment did not differ significantly among the treatment groups (group A, 13/14 [92.9%]; 95% confidence interval [CI], 69.5% to 99.6%; group B, 10/12 [83.3%]; 95% CI, 54.9% to 97.1%; and group C, 14/17 [82.4%]; 95% CI, 59.1% to 95.3%).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Acceptable alternatives to opening, draining, and flushing of lesions may exist for treatment of sheep and goats with caseous lymphadenitis. Use of tulathromycin and penicillin in this study constituted extralabel drug use, which would require extended withholding times before milk or meat of treated sheep and goats can be sold for human consumption.