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Overview of Posthitis and Vulvitis in Sheep and Goats

By Paula I. Menzies, DVM, MPVM, DECS-RHM, Professor, Ruminant Health Management Group, Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph

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Two common and distinct forms of posthitis and vulvitis are recognized in small ruminants. The first, referred to as enzootic posthitis and vulvitis, is associated with high-protein diets, infection with Corynebacterium renale or other urease-producing organisms, locally high concentrations of ammonia, and severe posthitis. The second is referred to as necrotic or ulcerative balanoposthitis and vulvitis. Its cause is unclear, but Mycoplasma mycoides mycoides is implicated, as are other Mycoplasma spp organisms of the Histophilus/Haemophilus group, and potentially viruses, such as caprine herpesvirus 1.