An acute outbreak of mastitis and arthritis in a herd of 700 goats required the destruction of all but the few animals that were held for observation. The milk of nearly all of about 400 lactating does contained almost pure cultures of Mycoplasma putrefaciens with counts in 150 samples up to 1 X 10(9) colony forming units/ml. At post mortem examination the joints of both the adults and kids contained a fibrinopurulent discharge. M putrefaciens was isolated in pure cultures and large numbers from joints, tissues and fluid not previously known to harbour this mycoplasma: brain, kidneys, lungs, lymph nodes, uterus and urine. The outbreak was milkborne and initiated by infusion of the pathogen into the teat canal by poor hygiene in the milking parlour and by feeding raw colostrum to kids. All but 12 of the herd of 700 goats were killed or sold for slaughter.
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