Dairy goats on high-concentrate diets attain high production levels, but at what cost? Here, ongoing lameness problems in a herd offered ad lib concentrates and roughages throughout their lifetime were investigated. Five severely affected, chronically lame animals were euthanased and examined postmortem. Foot pathology consisted of distortion of the claw shape and irregular fissures over the solar and bulbar horn with the distal phalanx rotated downwards on two claws. Rumen pH was measured between 5.26 and 5.46 with moderate rumen mucosa hyperkeratosis, and ulcerative, mild lymphocytic rumenitis. Feet showed irregular hyperplasia of the epidermal laminae with parakeratotic hyperkeratosis, especially in solar regions. Dense clusters of lymphocytes expanded the dermal laminae. Based on these findings, chronic laminitis was suspected. Ruminal hyperkeratosis was likely a result of prolonged periods of acidosis. The consequences of feeding a high-concentrate ration throughout the life of dairy goats need more research.
- dairy goats
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Presented at Preliminary results were presented as an abstract at the 10th International Conference of Lameness in Ruminants, Valdivia, Chili, 22–25 November 2015.
Contributors MG was the lead clinician on the case, collected the data on farm and selected the animals for postmortem, drafted and revised the manuscript. She is the guarantor. KA was the assisting clinician on the case and assisted with all clinical inspections and revised the manuscript. SDC was the lead pathologist on the case and performed all the histopathology examinations, drafted and revised the manuscript. NH was the pathology technician on the case, prepared all the slides and revised the manuscript. ML assisted with analyses of the nutrition and treatment plans, drafted and revised the manuscript. RGT functioned as the supervisor for MG at this time during a residency and as such supervised all the work carried out by MG as well as revising the manuscript.
Funding This work was supported by Combating Endemic Diseases of Farmed Animals for Sustainability (CEDFAS) initiative, grant number BBE01870X1 from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement No additional data are available.
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