Merck Manual

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Professional Version

White Muscle Disease in Goats


Evelyn MacKay

, DVM, Texas A&M University

Reviewed/Revised Sep 2022 | Modified Oct 2022

Also see Nutritional Myodegeneration Nutritional Myodegeneration Young Boer goat kid with white muscle disease. The patient can move its legs normally but is too weak to stand. CK and AST concentrations were elevated on serum biochemical evaluation. The goat... read more Nutritional Myodegeneration . Most kids affected by white muscle disease have been in good condition and are 2–3 months old (range, 1 week to 4 months). Commonly, sudden death is associated with cardiac muscle damage. Other kids are lethargic, reluctant to move, and appear stiff, with a sawhorse stance, or become recumbent. Muscles, especially of the hind limbs, are firm and painful to the touch. Treatment is with selenium and vitamin E injection in acute cases.

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