Cancer- Heart (Sarcoma)
By Dr Mackie Hobson BSc(Agric),BVSc

Wednesday, 17th January 2024

A case of an Angora goat ram (>1 year old) that was a ‘poor doer’, and which underwent significant weight loss was investigated.

Initial examination and blood sample indicated an Albumin level of 26g/l (30-37). A presumptive diagnosis of Lymphocytic-Plasmacytic enteritis was made (LPE). 

The ram continued to decline and a post mortem was conducted just over a month later.


Post Mortem and Histopathology findings:


  • Lymphocytic-Plasmacytic eneteritis leading to necrotic enteritis
  • Heart tumour – sarcoma (rhabdomysarcoma/fibrosarcoma)



Lymphocytic-Plasmacytic Enteritis (LPE)

For more info on the LPE condition see



(L) Mesentric lymph nodes draining intestine (R) LPE and necrosis of small intestine

Parasitic exposure (eosinophilic infiltration on histopathology) may play role in LPE as well bacteria may lead to the superficial necrotic enteritis.

These inflammatory infiltrates in the intestine would influence absorption of nutrients contributing to the goat ram’s weight loss and ultimate demise.


Heart Tumour (Rhabdomysarcoma/fibrosarcoma)

Macroscopic white deposits visible on the muscle wall were sent for histopathology which indicated the presence of a sarcoma (possible sarcomas included: rhabdomyosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, peripheral nerve sheath tumaour)

Records suggest the occurrence of Rhabdomysarcoma in goats is rare (+/- 2% of all tumours occurring in goats) compared to Lymphoma (+/-17%), Squamous cell carcinomas (+/-10% )

Out of interest a study in the USA suggested that the number of goats carrying tumours in USA was 6.7% compared to Boer goats 1.5% and Saanan 13.3%.



The cellular infiltrates (sarcoma) would have contributed to the goats ram’s demise.


One Hundred Two Tumors in 100 Goats (1987–2011) C. V. Löhr  

Dr Adri Bumby Idexx Laboratories


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