Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, Texas Suzanne W. Gasparotto 300 Happy Ridge
Lohn, Texas
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Arcanobacterium pyogenes, also known as Actinomyces Pyogenes, is an abcess-causing bacteria commonly found in the muscous membranes of goats where it is kept kept in check until something happens that unleashes its infective capabilities. A. Pyogenes is often the bacteria present in thorn, barbed wire, horn, and other externally-caused injuries that develop into abscesses. But there are other life-threatening infections that A. Pyogenes is responsible for that are not readily recognizable to the producer. A. Pyogenes can cause lung abscesses that develop in conjunction with and secondary to pasteurella pneumonia. It can also cause chronic mastitis, post-kidding uterine infections, liver abscesses, footrot, and weight loss. There are no effective vaccines available against A. Pyogenes in goats or other animals.

A. Pyogenes flourishes in the environment under wet and cool weather conditions. It has a foul odor, flies are excellent transmitters of the bacteria, and high dry temperatures can kill it. It can develop into very large abscesses in locations such as the chest wall and flank. A. Pyogenes abscesses must be cleaned out thoroughly, and if the cause is a thorn or stick, that object must be removed or it will fill again with pus. When lanced, A. Pyogenes abscesses flow like syrup, with a leading and trailing edge, are hot to the touch, are greenish-whitish in color. Unlike Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL), A. Pyogenes exudate (pus) can be aspirated from the goat's body with a 16- or 18-gauge needle.

item15Udder abscesses caused by A. Pyogenes are large, nodular, visible from the outside of the udder, and are often mistaken for Caseous Lymphadenitis abscesses. (A culture is required to distinguish the two infections) Photo courtesy of Dr. Sherman. Goat Medicine / Sherman & Smith. At the present time, there is no antibiotic that will kill A. Pyogenes abscesses in the udder, making the animal affected both unproductive and terminal. When accompanying pneumonia, A. Pyogenes is necrotizing, i.e. it causes lung tissue death before the abscess forms.

This bacteria is resistant to many antibiotics, especially the tylosins, the sulfonamides, and the tetracyclines. Occasionally it is responsive to treatment with penicillin, most specifically amoxicillin.

In 2007, some research on the use of the enzyme Relaxase to kill A. Pyogenes was begun. The transfer of DNA is involved in bacterial infections and the use of biophosphates is hoped to be of some use in A. Pyogenes elimination. Until that or other research is completed, the only course now is to treat with penicillin.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto

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All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers.

In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Suzanne Gasparotto is not a veterinarian.Neither tennesseemeatgoats.com nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.

The author, Suzanne Gasparotto, hereby grants to local goat publications and club newsletters, permission to reprint articles published on the Onion Creek Ranch website under these conditions: THE ARTICLE MUST BE REPRODUCED IN ITS ENTIRETY AND THE AUTHOR'S NAME, ADDRESS, AND CONTACT INFORMATION MUST BE INCLUDED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE REPRINT. We would appreciate notification from any clubs or publications when the articles are used. (A copy of the newsletter or publication would also be a welcome addition to our growing library of goat related information!)

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