Hardware Disease (Traumatic Reticuloperitonitis)

Goats June 29, 2012 Print Friendly and PDF


This condition is not as common in small ruminants as in cattle but has been reported. It is is caused by the perforation of the wall of the reticulum, or fore stomach, by a swallowed sharp object, such as nails or short pieces of wire.

Clinical signs: Affected animals prefer to stand, sometimes at a slant with forequarters elevated. They may appear with an arched or rigid back and tense, tucked up abdomen. They may grunt with each respiration or movement and/or when external pressure is applied to their midline. Their respirations will be shallow and rapid, indicating pain; heartrate is often elevated. Some animals have a mild fever, poor appetite, depression and signs of colic.

Treatment: Treatment is difficult and may involve surgery. Consult a veterinarian.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.