Clostridium perfringens type D
(Pulpy Kidney or Overeating Disease)
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The word "enterotoxaemia" can be broken down into three parts that can aid in your understanding of the disease.
entero = intestine
tox = refers to toxin or poison
emia = refers to blood
entero + tox + emia = intestinal toxin in the blood

The causative organism of enterotoxemia is the bacterium Clostridium perfringens, Types C and D. Under certain conditions, the toxins produced by these bacteria will cause the clinical signs that frequently result in the death of the animal. Clostridium perfringens is a normal inhabitant of the intestinal tract of sheep and most mammals. Certain conditions appear to trigger excessive bacterial growth, and thus lethal amounts of toxin are produced. Predisposing conditions often appear to be nutritional and occur most often in the early stages of feeding in feedlot lambs. Excessive concentrate ingestion, generally exceeding 3/4 pound per head per day, is a common history in flocks of affected animals. Other management factors that allow lambs to rapidly engorge, such as irregular feeding or inadequate bunk space, also increase the risk of enterotoxemia. Consumption of large amounts of milk by nursing lambs is also thought to contribute to the occurrence of this disease.
This page was last updated on: January 6, 2008
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