Troubleshooting reproductive failures in small ruminants


  • Charles T. Estill Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331



sheep, goats, fertility, diagnostics, abortion


As a service to our commercial clients, and with the popularity of “urban agriculture”, large and mixed animal practitioners are frequently called upon to evaluate and treat reproductive disorders of small ruminants. Often, these animals are owned by clients with no or very little previous exposure to animal ag­riculture. In many cases, it is the practitioner’s goal to simply educate these neophyte owners on normal reproductive physi­ology and basic animal husbandry.

Both sheep and goats are inherently very fertile when infec­tious diseases are controlled, proper nutrition provided, and environmental extremes mitigated. Both species typically re­produce very efficiently with little human intervention. Howev­er, as practitioners, we are called upon to investigate reproduc­tive maladies that may be commonplace or, especially as “pet” sheep and goats are kept well past traditional reproductive ages, disorders with which we may be unfamiliar.

This presentation will use a problem list as the basis for dis­cussion of how to troubleshoot a wide range of reproductive disorders of small ruminants. Because of the large depth and breadth of disorders one may encounter, a full discussion of each malady and its treatment is beyond the scope of this pre­sentation. Rather, a series of common client complaints will be listed followed by a discussion of a systematic approach to establishing a diagnosis or etiology. The specifics of treatment will not be discussed.






AASRP Small Ruminants Sessions