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Goat Health
Disseminated Rhodococcus equi infection in goats in the UK
  1. S. Jeckel1,
  2. P. Holmes2,
  3. S. King3,
  4. A. M. Whatmore4 and
  5. I. Kirkwood5
  1. AHVLA – RVC Surveillance Centre, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA
  2. AHVLA – Shrewsbury, Kendal Road, Harlescott, Shrewsbury SY1 4HD
  3. AHVLA – Winchester, Itchen Abbas, Hampshire SO21 1BX
  4. AHVLA – Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB
  5. Hampden Veterinary Hospital, Anchor Lane, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP20 1AJ
  1. e-mail sonja.jeckel{at}

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WE wish to report the isolation of Rhodococcus equi from two separate goat premises in the UK. There have been sporadic reports of similar infections in individual goats from India, the USA, Australia, Botswana, Trinidad, the Netherlands, Canada, Spain and South Africa (Tkachuk-Saad and others 1998, Rodriguez and others 2000, Kabongo and others 2005) but, as far as we are aware, there have been no previous reports from goats in the UK.

In the first case, a 10-month-old female Boer cross goat from a meat farm was submitted to the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) – RVC surveillance centre for euthanasia and postmortem examination. The goat had lost condition over several weeks and developed paresis of the hindlegs, although remained bright and maintained its appetite. Biochemistry and haematology results suggested a chronic inflammatory process, but the animal was unresponsive to treatment with antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs and vitamins. The owner reported that over the past few years more than 10 goats less than one year of age had died following similar …

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