Chapter 65 Diseases of the Integumentary System
Skin problems are not uncommon in sheep and goats. These conditions can lead to loss of production through decreased growth, damage to the fiber, and weight loss. History, clinical signs, and a good physical examination are critical in determining the cause of the skin problems.
Contagious ecthyma is caused by a parapoxvirus, and shows a preference for attacking epithelial tissues. The virus is present throughout the world and remains active in the environment for months, if not years. Transmission is through direct contact or contamination of skin abrasions, and morbidity is greatest in animals that are grazing course pasture plants.
Dermatophilosis is usually seen during wet or moist conditions; it is caused by the bacterium Dermatophilosis congolensis. The causative organisms become trapped in the hair or wool and reproduce in the moist environment. The condition can be passed by direct contact or transfer from inanimate objects.