Prevalence and causes of ram epididymitis in Utah.
Palpation of the testicles and epididymides was used to determine prevalence of epididymitis in Utah range flocks over 5 years (1978-1982). Of 62 flocks examined, 58 had rams with palpable lesions. No significant difference was found between right and left testicle involvement. Culling all rams with lesions progressively reduced the annual incidence, but did not eliminate epididymitis from any flock. Examination of semen and specimens of reproductive tract tissues from representative flocks revealed Brucella ovis commonly in range flocks, but not in epididymitis-affected rams in virgin, ram-producing flocks. In the ram-producing flocks, a gram-negative, pleomorphic rod-type organism was found. It was concluded that epididymitis should be considered as two disease entities, based on the finding of two causative organisms and the management systems under which those organisms are found. B. ovis was the major cause in persistently infected range flocks, whereas the gram-negative pleomorphic rod-type organism is the apparent cause of epididymitis in virgin, ram-producing flocks.