Focal symmetrical encephalomalacia in a goat

Diego M. Oliveira, Luciano A. Pimentel, André F. Pessoa, Antônio F M Dantas, Francisco A Uzal, Franklin Riet-Correa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Focal symmetrical encephalomalacia (FSE) is the most prominent lesion seen in the chronic form of enterotoxemia caused by Clostridium perfringens type D in sheep. However, this lesion has not been reported in goats. The current paper reports a case of FSE in a goat from the state of Paraíba in the Brazilian semiarid region. As reported by the farmer, 30, 4-48-month-old animals from a flock of 150 goats died after showing nervous signs, including blindness and recumbence, for periods varying between 1 and 14 days. The flock was grazing native pasture supplemented with wheat and corn bran. Additionally, lactating goats were supplemented with soybeans. A 4-month-old goat with nervous signs was examined clinically and then necropsied 3 days after the onset of clinical signs. Bilateral, focal, and symmetrical areas of brown discoloration were observed in the internal capsule and thalamus. Histologic lesions in these areas consisted of multifocal, bilateral malacia with a few neutrophils; endothelial cell swelling; perivascular edema; and hemorrhages. The etiology of these lesions was not determined. However, FSE is considered pathognomonic for C. perfringens type D enterotoxemia in sheep, and it is speculated that this microorganism was the etiologic agent in the present case. The flock had been vaccinated against type D enterotoxemia only once, approximately 3 months before the beginning of the outbreak. Insufficient immunity due to the incorrect vaccination protocol, low efficacy of the vaccine used, and a diet including large amounts of highly fermentable carbohydrates were suspected to be predisposing factors for this outbreak.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-796
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010


  • Clostridium perfringens type D
  • Enterotoxemia
  • Epsilon toxin
  • Focal symmetrical encephalomalacia
  • Goats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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