Clostridium Perfringens Type A

Clostridium perfringens type A ‘enterotoxeamia’ ‘haemorrhagic enteritis’

Clostridium perfringens type A has been associated with Angora kids that die from an enterotoxeamic condition and a form of haemorrhagic enteritis.

Type A is considered a minor cause of deaths but can be a problem on individual farms.   C.perfringens type A occurs naturally in the intestinal tract.

Excessive amounts of protein and carbohydrate reaching the small intestine  leads to an overgrowth of Clostridium perfringens  Type A and production of the alpha toxin.

It has a generation time of 8-10 minutes which is one of the fastest known for bacteria.

Young are particularly susceptible to haemorrhagic enteritis with pre-disposing factors:

  • Young goats grazing on lush pastures
  • Fed carbohydrate and protein rich diets,
  • Can occur sporadically after weaning,
  • After deworming
  • After a stress event. 

Clinical signs:

 Goats are usually found dead without evidence of disease; those that are alive may show signs of abdominal pain. 


  • Rapid decomposition occurs in the carcasses.
  •  Blood stained fluid may ooze from the nostrils and anus.
  •  Characteristic lesions are severe congestion and haemorrhage of the small intestine.
  • Some blood stained fluid in the thorax and abdomen may be present.
  • Because the lesions are not specific diagnosis is confirmed by isolation and detection of the toxin.

Vaccines are available which provide partial protection.

Mackie Hobson

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