Clinical, microbiological and histological findings in lambs affected by 'salivary abomasum disease'

The Veterinary Record
G ChristodoulopoulosS H Smith


'Salivary abomasum disease' is a common syndrome in Greece affecting lambs and kids from three to 17 days of age. In this case series, we present clinical and laboratory findings from 37 affected lambs presented alive and subsequently euthanased for welfare reasons and necropsied, and also from 24 other lambs submitted dead that were also necropsied. The clinical signs in the 37 lambs presented alive included lethargy (100 per cent), absence of sucking (83.8 per cent), weakness (37.8 per cent), abdominal distension (40.5 per cent) and increased frequency of urination (24.3 per cent). Diarrhoea was not observed in any affected lambs. At necropsy of these 37 lambs, the abomasum was distended with gas (70.3 per cent), saliva (43.2 per cent) along with mixed milk clots and gastric secretions; while multiple small mucosal and serosal haemorrhages with blood clots ('coffee grains') were recorded (91.9 per cent). Eight of 37 lambs that were examined alive, had elevated blood urea nitrogen concentrations (21.6 per cent). The pH of the abomasal contents ranged from 1.0 to 2.8; Escherichia coli was cultured from six of 37 (16.2 per cent) abomasal fluid samples. A mild to moderate inflammatory cell infiltrate was present in the mucosal la...Continue Reading


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