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Fainting goats are a breed of goat within the genus Capra in the family Bovidae. They suffer from a genetic condition called myotonic congenita which makes them appear to faint when frightened or startled . This is due to their muscles stiffening up and results in them falling over.
The condition is caused by a missense mutation of the CLCN1 gene that reduces chloride ion conductance in the chloride channels of muscle fibers. This disorder is inherited and is known as myotonia congenita or Thomsen’s disease.
Fainting goats are perfectly healthy and safe despite their condition. They are also known as Tennessee Fainting Goats because they were first discovered in Tennessee.
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