Determining the correct origin of an external mass requires a detailed history, thorough physical examination, and aspiration or biopsy. Once the correct diagnosis has been made, an appropriate therapy can be chosen and prognosis for recovery determined.
Abscesses caused by Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis spread from one animal to another and are referred to as caseous lymphadentitis (CL). Goats infected with Corynebacterium are permanently infected and shed the organism in body fluids, abscess contents and coughed aerosol droplets.
Eventually the abscesses interfere with normal organ function. CL is the most common cause of wasting or chronic weight loss in goats. The internal form of CL is the third leading cause of sheep carcass condemnation.
Read the full article, "Not all masses in goats are contagious abscesses," (page 6) in the Summer 2007 Sheep & Goat Health Report, a FREE publication of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture.