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Old 11/19/03, 10:41 AM
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CL/CAE - Before You Buy A Goat Info

I am combining the two posts on CL and CAE.

What is CL? (this link appears to be deleted when you click on it. Even I don't see it)

What is CAE?
What is CAE??
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Old 01/21/04, 10:34 AM
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CL, CAE, & other abscesses

Some quick articles from Onion Creek Ranch;


Treating CL with Formalin -

And finally, one covering abscesses in general -
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Old 11/14/04, 11:04 AM
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my understanding from cae is that it is very similar to the human hiv. that means it is also transmitted through mating. how many does are getting cae after breeding and how long does it take to test positiv if the buck was infected? and how about the buck, can he get infected if he is getting breed to a cae positiv doe?
i got two nubian does that are breed to a fb boer. none of them were tested before. when would be the best time to test them? and if positive can i still have negative kids? i will get another doe next week and she is tested negative. since she went to a nubian buck wich was probable not tested how big is the possibiliy that she is getting cae?
if i have to bottle feed the kids with pastorised colostrum they will not get enough antibody for building a healthy imune system. also some vitamins are heat sensitive. how to deal with this problem?
there are so many articels about cae on the internet but none of them are going really in dept. i'm a little bit confused
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Old 02/07/05, 02:11 AM
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CAE is Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis Virus (aka Big Knee): A viral disease encouterned in North America and Europe. In France the disease is present in 80 to 90 percent of heards, but is much less prevalent in the British Isles. The virus is a retrovirus (lentivirus) and has a long incubation period of up to severl years. It is extremely similar to but distinct from maedi-visna in sheep. Virologists argue as to whether or not is is a different vius. In the UK, after the disease was recognized, many goatkeepers carried out blodd tests on their herds, eliminated reactors and the spread of the disease was fairly limited. Goatkeepers must remain ever diligent, however, because symptomless carriers may introduce the virus into clean herds.

SYMPTOMS: arthritis affecting many joints is the predominant features of CAE ... in mature goats. usually the front legs are involved, the carpi (knees) being most often affected. The other joints, hocks, stifles, fetlocks and hips may be involved. Symptoms can range from milkd to severe, from slight swelling of the knees to sudden severe lamenees, in which case the animals should be put odown on humanbe grounds. The reduced milk production is estimated to be 100 kg in a first lactation. Sometimes the udder is affected becoming hard and unproductive. The encephalitis part of the disease affects growing kids aged from 1-5 months, causeing nervous signs. The kids become unable to stand, the head is twisted to one disde, and when downs they may show paddling symptoms with their forelegs.

The disease process...tends to lodge in the bone marrow...activated by stress. The strain of the kidding and lactation is probably the main cause in dairy goats....

Spread of the disease
As with AIDS, it would seem that infected cells have to be transferred between goats in order to pass on the virus. The most likely time of infection is probably around kidding, when transmission occurs from the doe to the kids in the colostrum and nasal secrations. Casual contat is unlikely to result in the infection being passed on. Infection of kids in the uterus is thought to be rare. There is no evidence of transmission by semen from infected male goats to the females. It is theoretically possible to transmit the disease by needles from goat to the using the same (unsterile) needle. Use a new needle for each goat.

There is no treatment for this condition. Periodic blood testing of goats should be following by the culling of any reacting to the agar gel immuno-diffusion test (AGIDT). The ELISA test is also useful in detecting infected animals earlier than the AGIDT...more expensive. If the herd is known to be infected then kids should be removed from the doe immediately after kidding, before she can lick them...The colostrum is then milked from the udder and ... heated to 56 degrees C for one hour to destroy any virus...when at a suitable temp. the colostrum is fed to the kid. From then on the kid is fed ....(formula)....

CL is Caseous Lymphadenitis: ...worldwide problem and it affects both sheep and goats. In countries such as France and the USA, the prevalence of the disease is some infected herds half of the goats may have abscesses in the lymph nodes...front part of body is mainly affted, so the most commonly seen swelling is under the chin (the submandibular lymph node)...disease is chronic-a nuisance rather than a catastrophe.

a smear or culture from the lumph node abscess yields C. pseudontuberculosis. In countries where disease is widespread, diagnosis is often by clinical inspection, the swellings being in constant sites, always following the lymphatic system.

The agent can be spread from the discharing abscess on an infected goat to other goats directly, or to the surroundings and hence to other goats. Infection can be by mouth, or through smallcuts and abrasions in the skin....

-Take care when introducing goats with unusual swellings into your herd.
-Avoid contact at shows and sales.
-Avoid all physical causes of injury that help to allow infection of the skin - sharp corners, splintered woods, etc.
-Remember transmission can occur through instructments, tatto equipment, ear tags, etc.
-Vaccines. No vaccine of proven efficacy has yet been developed (although there are vaccines on the market).

Note: Many different germs can be involved with abscess formation, but this disease is a specific type of infection.

(from The Goatskeeper's Veterinary Bood by Peter Dunn, 3rd ed).

Hope this helps.
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Old 02/20/05, 02:51 AM
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May I make a comment?

The problem is that we're putting down or not breeding does that are a-symtomatic for CAE. 50 titers they're not positive, and 51 they are. Seems to me that we're throwing out the baby with the bath water.

Controversy? I'm used to it. lol.
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Old 04/11/05, 07:27 AM
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Hi, just lurking here, but I have a question:

Is this disease species specific?

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Old 06/09/05, 07:39 PM
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my question too!
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Old 06/13/05, 08:21 PM
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Sorry didn't even notice this thread was active. Yes it's CAE in goats, and it's OPP in sheep, and yes goats can test positive for OPP and sheep can test positive for CAE. Vicki
Vicki McGaugh
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A 3 decade dairy goat farm homestead that is now a retail/wholesale soap company and construction business.
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Old 07/06/05, 07:04 PM
Slave To Many Animals
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I know that what the people above said is true, but I also herd that it can be spred from the mother to the kids by milk period, not just from the colostruel.
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Old 08/03/05, 08:29 PM
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Hi All,
New here from WVa. Having a problem with my oldest Alpine nanny. Her face swelled up and then was completely down the next day, did this 2 different times and now is doing it again. It has been very hot here but the rest of the goats seem fine. She has 1 kid still nursing. Have wormed her with an oral dose of ivermectin then gave her a shot of it as well. She is still eating and drinking as usual. Any advice. The nearest vet to us that treats goats is about 2 hours away. If I can treat this at home it will be alot less stress on everyone. Thanks
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Old 08/10/05, 04:53 PM
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Lilfarmer....I had a doe do's bottle jaw probably...caused by a high worm load....look at her inside eyelids..are they whitish? I would try a higher dose of ivermectin, or Ivermectin Plus or use valbazen (something the worms might not be resitant to). I'd give her some bcomplex, and maybe some sort of iron supplement. Once I gave my doe a strong dose of a different wormer, her face went down and she was fine. (her face looked like it had been badly stung!)
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Old 08/13/05, 07:21 PM
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How to get rid of CL?

I have a friend who is treating the CL lumps with apple cider vinegar, seems to be helping. Is there anything or anyone out there that has been successful at stopping the spread of CL?
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Old 08/14/05, 03:11 PM
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You can treat the lumps themselves in many ways. You can lance them, spray them with 7% iodine to help them dry up quickly, keeping all the exude, pus, papertowles sperate and burning all the material, while having the animal in quaranteen, since the material coming from the lump is what infects other goats, your boots and dogs and chickens even track this around. You can also remove the whole lump, stitch up the skin and then you don't need quranteen since the exude is not draining from the wound. There are folks on the boer lists who inject the lump with formaline before it ripens, it is supposed to dry it up.

And then there is the big BUT! No matter how many times you clear up those outward signs of CL, the lumps, the goats still carries the disease in her lymph gland. Most lumps are seen after the stress of the move, the stress of kidding, etc. So after the first lump you may never see again another lump on the doe, but that does not mean she is ever cured. There is no cure. You can increase the does immunity so she is not showing outward lumps anymore, but it is not a cure.

The worst problem with CL is that you will not be able to catch all abscess all the time. Esepcially with breeds who carry alot of hair or bucks who carry alot of flesh and skin over their necks (folds) and in their brisket. Most folks find their first abscess after it has burst. Why testing and only purchasing from folks who have done away with this in their herds, or at least like with CAE purchasing from folks who have like minds about having zoonic communicable disease on their place. Because there are those who don't care. Vicki
Vicki McGaugh
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A 3 decade dairy goat farm homestead that is now a retail/wholesale soap company and construction business.
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Old 09/18/05, 08:34 AM
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How do you test for CL? When i had goats in the past my favorite Nubian was diagnosed with it. I quarantined her and the vet gave an injection of formaline into the lump and it went away..but it came back. It was oozing badly and I ended up having her put down. It was heartbreaking and at that time I decided this was Not for me. But I miss the goats so recently purchased another Nubian who will be coming home after being bred to a Boer buck. I know this breeder is Very careful about the health of her goats and tests for CAE, the doe I bought is being tested for CAE before I bring her home. How do I test for CL? Thanks.

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Old 10/12/05, 01:21 AM
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This type of infection is common as others have stated

I had a terrible experience with this typeof infection/disease. I lost my rear end on a number of goats(25) to this annoying infection. I treated my goats by lancing the "lump" and taking all of the goo/puss with me on a paper towel and burned everything to include the straw after the lump dried. It got to be a too hard for me physically to keep up with the number of quarientine goats. I learned the hard way inspect and ask questions from the person who you buy from or expose your herd to. I lost not only money but a good friend over this. I do have one question are the lumps in the neck and shoulder area or are they all over? My experience is that a good hornet can cause the same results for a day or two and then it goes away the lump haunts you in your sleep. Get a smaple to your vet so you know for sure. I was not sure if this is passed on in the milk but I think it is. Adios and be careful of who you deal with.
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Old 01/01/06, 03:15 PM
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. . . & what's Johnnes & what's Mycoplasma & what's Brucellosis & what's Type-A Clostridia & what's Staph. Aureus & . . . LOL! Ain't this goat husbandry stuff FUN to try to figure out?!


There is SO much conflicting information out there that it is difficult for even the most well-read, astute breeder to develop a seemingly educated stance on the subject. I have researched this topic endlessly & have decided that I can only refer to myself as "Agnostic", LOL. . . "I do not know & I do not believe it is possible to know."

Points to ponder while trying to derive your own conclusions . . .

- WSU (commonly considered the "End All Be All" when it comes to CAE) states "The risk of spreading CAE virus by sexual contact is considered rare if at all." Assuming they're referring to hand-breeding thus allowing us to rule out lateral transmission possibilities . . . since it's transmitted via blood cells, it'd be reasonable to assume that in order for it to be transmitted sexually, some type of "extinuating circumstance" at the time of breeding (eg: injury to both penis & vagina) would need to be present. As far as transmission via A.I., from what I've gathered, it's not carried in the semen itself but there has been discussion on old semen from "back in the day" when using milk for processing was a popular method. Either way, the extreme temperatures involved in semen storage would likely destroy any virii that might be present. (Please note: the latter statements being "2nd hand information" & not something I derived from "scientifically oriented" material. If anyone *knows* otherwise, please post & include your sources, b/c . . . I'm always seeking more solid information to add to my repertoire.)

- There are several strains of CAE - some pathogenic, some latent.

- Thanks to the conscientious & diligent husbandry practices of our "Forefathers" since the discovery of CAE, it would seem that the majority of the pathogenic strains have been "bred out". Since statistics (10 year old statistics at that) indicate that only 10% of today's CAE+ animals actually get "clinical", w/ an even fewer number of that 10% actually dying from the disease, it would be reasonable to assume that the other 90% are apparently negative &/or are carrying a natural resistance. Hence: animals testing positive for the antibody but remaining disease-free - never exhibiting a symptom & living long, healthy, normal lives. There are breeders out there striving to breed CAE-resistant animals . . . we just don't hear abt them b/c of all of the "hype" surrounding everything.

- There is a myriad of conflicting information going around regarding transmission - direct vs. lateral. To add to the confusion, veteran breeders personally experienced in the disease provide information that directly conflicts w/ the so-called "scientific findings" on the disease. WSU states that, aside from the obvious colostrum/milk mode we're all aware of, that it's oftentimes directly transmitted due to "operator error", specifically mentioning things like: using new needles/syringes for each animal when vaccinating, cleaning tattoo equipment between animals, etc. I'd be inclined to add to that: improper "biosecurity measures" when it comes to milking procedures, especially machine milking without flushing inflations/hoses between each doe. They also state that lateral transmission usually involves some type of "repeated, direct contact", since the virus can only live inside blood cells &, once outside the body, only survives for a very short time. . . indicating that it isn't quite as readily transmitted laterally as is often touted. Something that I was particularly interested to learn is that water causes the blood cells to burst, rendering the virus non-infectious. This would support instituting the practice of flushing inflations/hoses between milkers & would somewhat allow us to rule out the common belief that community water receptacles are a main source of transmission - as far as from the drinking water itself. Since WSU also states that "CAE can be spread via nasal secretions and saliva if there are blood cells in the secretion" - it'd be reasonable to assume that we could consider other "secretions" that could contain blood cells as a source, too. Perhaps that is where the "repeated, direct contact" statement would apply as far as lateral transmission, due to animals coming into immediate contact w/ those secretions (eg: via a dry part of a water receptacle, feed receptacle, etc.; lounging in the "piles" they like to congregate in, etc.).

We don't test. If the virus were better understood, the information more "scientifically solid" & the tests more reliable, we might consider it just for curiosity's sake, so we'd know where we stood & be able to utilize that information accordingly. We would not cull an otherwise healthy animal merely for a positive test result. To us, that'd be indicative of a good, strong immune system & . . . hardiness is an important factor in our breeding program. On this farm (aside from faults or things of that nature that any breeder would cull for), animals are culled for ill-thrift &/or based upon symptoms of something we don't wish to waste time/energy/etc. dealing with. We do however "Practice Prevention" strictly . . . as far as flushing inflations/hoses in between each milker & taking great care in the handling of raw milk; catching breed-stock kids at birth, 'pasteurize-raising' them away from the adult herd, etc. That's done not just for CAE purposes but, since we show & who knows what you get exposed to when you take your animals off-farm & intermingle w/ other herds & all of their cooties . . . do what we can to protect our animals from all of the other disease possibilities lurking around out there. . . many of which are much nastier & more frightening than CAE, IMO!

= = = = = =

Re: Caseous Lymphadenitis - I don't have any what I'd consider "hands on" experience with the disease but I have been seriously contemplating vaccinating for it since realizing how prevalent it is in our community's herds. Breeders around here are frighteningly ignorant abt disease just in general, not just in goats but in ALL livestock. Worse, our area vets imply that most of the issues are merely "normal goat stuff" - & when it comes to C.L., actually tell people that "it's more of an inconvenience than anything else" & not all that worrisome. & yes, I actually had a vet say those very words to me when I'd taken a goat into him for examination a few years ago . . . a goat that I'd paid a pretty penny for AND shipped cross-country. Naturally, only to discover "a suspicious lump" on her that her seller told me was nothing to worry abt. "Probably just a splinter that got infected." Thankfully, she'd been kept in quarantine here b/c that vet looked at the lump & said "Yep, looks like a C.L. abscess", informed me that he had it in his sheep & gave me the "more of an inconvenience than . . ." line - but said he wanted to get a sample to send off for analysis to be sure. I told him no WAY was he poking that thing & then expecting me to bring her possibly-cootie-spewing self back to MY farm, jeopardizing the rest of my healthy herd I've worked so hard on! I asked him where the nearest meat auction was being conducted that day. He thought I was out of my mind for being that quick to meat out a valuable, quality animal. But I did just that - left his office & headed straight for the nearest meat sale (50 miles one way) & got a whopping $28-something bucks for that goat. Not even enough to cover my vet bill, much less the gas involved in traipsing around all day. & nope, the jerk I bought her from didn't feel it was necessary to "make right" on the situation, either, so . . . $500-something bucks out the window, there. But . . . at least had the peace of mind that I'd "done the right thing" for my herd's well-being.

That being said, I'm not sure what I'd do if I ended up w/ it in my herd to be honest. The longer I'm in goats & the more veterans' brains I pick the more unsure I get on how I'D react, LOL. I was talking to an extremely well-respected, lonnnnnng-time breeder a couple of months ago & this topic came up. I was very surprised to finally get some honest insight, esp. since we all know that so many things are kept "hush hush". He said that it's definitely out there & probably more prevalent than I think - even in real popular show herds who tout otherwise. Further, that no matter HOW careful you are that eventually, "everyone" ends up w/ things of this nature at one time or another. He said that nobody would admit it but that most would NOT cull a valuable animal for C.L.. When I asked how the heck you'd handle something like that, he said that he personally just keeps a completely separate area on his farm, away from "regular traffic", that they're very careful abt, "biosecurity-wise" & . . . that's how you handle something like that.

Whew, scary stuff, huh? I kinda liked being ignorant better, LOL.

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Old 01/02/06, 06:32 PM
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I don't believe that disease is in the large show herds, like most would like folks to think. I think as a whole we have done really well as a group to rid ourselves of CAE and CL. I do know of someone who has chronic CAE and CL in his herd, but we openly kept our animals away from his at shows, to the point of being very glad his stock was at the end of the line, least our does weren't touched before his....and we carry wetones with bleach on them to shows he frequents, if a judge touches his goats than comes to ours (he has moved into Lousiana so dealing with him for us is over). But we all see private herds with CAE and CL, the miss managment that goes right along with it and usually filth keeps most folks from purchasing from them anyway, especially when they have the chance to see a well maintained herd first and expect farms visited after that to live up to at least part of what they saw at so and so's.

CL is nearly impossible to get rid of without the highest of biosecurity which includes no stock dogs or free range hens in the pens. Extra boots and a totally seperate stock of supplies in their barn. No feet from anyone can visit from that pen to anywhere else on the property, least the exude in the bedding is spread. All bedding has to be composted on their own property and only perfectly composted material can ever make it's way onto the clean barn. It's nearly an impossible feat.

I would never even consider vaccinating my healthy stock for this disease, I spray down pens before my goats go in them at shows, and their feet are cleaned before they come home. They are also not allowed to lay down before they are milked out after showing, until they have had their feet cleaned, and their teats sealed shut.

I wish I had the extra stalls to keep my showstock seperate on my farm. With all the pnemonia at shows this late summer and early winter, showing was crazy scarry! We dodged the bullet but alot of herds didn't.

CAE chornic disease and the abscess of CL would put a larger breeder and someone who showed alot out of business. Win very much and most other breeders would be none to happy to blast you all over the internet and grapevine. But also, shave for a show in the spring and a CL abscess would make the doe stay home the rest of the year...who could afford that? Swollen knees from CAE or the harm it does to the udder would also ruin the doe for a show home.

Those who say a doe with CAE is just as healthy as her negative herdmate is not telling the whole truth. Less milk, severly congested udders at kidding, less quality of life, especially if they are chronic which most does eventully do go there, only one doe in the years back when we battled CAE (along with everyone else) was positive yet never went chronic and was put down at 12 as a very lovely doe still, she simply would just not settle anymore.

Although folks on this list state they aren't looking for showstock, I think the very best place to find good stock to start with is a show home. Our reputation rides on all the goats we sell, no matter if it is to a show home or a private person looking for a family milker.

I know for myself I have purchased only one doe who went on, in quaranteen to test positive for CAE in at least 10 years. I also don't purchase from those with bad reputations, and I also don't purchase from those who I don't trust their managment or who do not at the very least, test and use CAE prevention. Now we will be adding those who are not part of the ID registry Add that to they have to be Nubian, Purebred, test negative for disease once here, be tattooed and registered with ADGA...the list is getting longer each year

All disease has to be managed, some simply choose to ignore it, at least eithically they need to let folks know this is their choice. It is very mainstream in boards to slice and dice and vaccinate for CL. Both in my old boer herd and in my dairy herd, I could never manage a disease like this. In many ways the way in which disease is allowed to be handled in the US is really the reason why we need federal guidelines to handle animal tracking. We all want all these rights to do everything just as we will, but when dealing with communicable disease, most turn a blind eye. Now nobody will be able to deny the animal came from their farm. The part I am looking forward to seeing is the list of diseases tract, will be curious if CL will be on this list. Vicki
Vicki McGaugh
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Old 10/12/06, 12:26 AM
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Omitted answer - as it was already covered in an earlier post.

Last edited by manygoatsnmore; 02/02/07 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 03/16/07, 12:16 PM
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Old 05/09/07, 08:07 PM
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so, I have a question. people cant get these can they?
and what if you have a milk goat that ends up being cae or cl positive and you have been drinking raw. gonna die? knees gonna explode? what happens to people?
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