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WE would like to report the results of an investigation that suggests the presence of a hereditary nephropathy in Zwartbles sheep. In August 2010, chronic nephritis with widespread deposition of oxalate crystals in renal tubules was diagnosed as the cause of death in a six-month-old Zwartbles lamb submitted to the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) regional laboratory at Thirsk for postmortem examination under Defra's small ruminant scanning surveillance programme (Fig 1). This was the third such case in this breed with similar gross and histological lesions, and we hypothesised that there might be a hereditary component to this unusual disease presentation.
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