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Discussion Starter #1
OK, my goat's abscess turned out to be corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis. :( Now then, I've read in the goat books that she has to be quarantined (she is), and that her kids must be removed from her, and that the whole herd (gee, all 5 others) have likely been exposed, and that kids should be raised separately to develop a disease-free herd. All that's fine and good, but I'm still not clear what you do with the infected herd. Do I have to kill the animals? Do they just keep getting these abscesses? I can't seem to find info on the long-term prognosis for this problem.

I'm assuming it would be completely unethical to try to sell off my animals, even if I was up front about the exposure.

Please help! Teach me!!

Thanks,
Mary A.
 

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When I got into registered goats in 1986 it was the beginning of understanding about CL (which before then was cancer, I even have old diagnosis from my vet with this term on it) and about CAE, which we knew was some form of arthritis that was inhereited. Now we know that they are both communicable.

There is little need to quaranteen this doe unless she is new to your herd and this is her first lump. She could have just as easily caught this from another one of your does, or your barn and grounds. All the exude from the abscess, coughing from does with it internal, is what spreads this. With the winter hair alot of goats get there is no way of diagnosing this by abscess only in your goats. A little eaiser to do with dairy goats who are shown, since they are slick shaved most of the year, their wintercoats not getting the chance to grow in like other goats do. But even then, internal abscess is only seen at butcher.

I would quaranteen the whole herd, heat treat and pasturise doe kids you want to keep, and move them into clean new quarters. Let the bucklings nurse. This is if you don't want to get rid of all your original does.

Most folks start out just like you have, perfectly happy with the goats they have, then they get an abscess and start reading the boards, they soon find out just how diseased the core of their little group is, and how they where likely sold these diseased goats by someone who found out and didn't tell them. Why unless you are selling to slaughter it isn't ethical to sell these goats to anyone else. Disclosure is fine as long as the people know what CL and CAE means. And anyone who knew what it did mean wouldn't want the goats.

It's an expensive lesson, and one you can help make sure others do not start their goat experience with, by telling your story. Especially when new folks join lists asking questions, relay your CL story to them, making them smarter purchasers.

You can do lots to alleve the goats of signs of CL, them living with you in a stress free enviornment, boosting their immune system, all will make them have CL abscess infrequently if ever again. But there is no cure, they will always be positive, coughing the exude from internal abscess in their lungs to herdmates and even other animals on the property, internal abscess in the bladder and they pee abscess material until it heals, same with the udder. In fact you walking in the pen, chickens, dogs etc.. all can pull exude material from the soil all over your property.

I did choose quaranteen, which also meant no access for my dog in their pen and corral, they where not allowed out into the pastures. I had rubber boots for their barn, extra everything for their barn. But it was how I ridded my herd of CL and also of CAE, gleaning cleaned doe kids to the new dairy barn, and only one older doe, who being born during a flood was raised on cattle colostrum and grocery store milk. All the rest of my herd was positive for one or both of these. As the does aged we put them down. When the last two where put down the barn was dismantled the ground burned, it sat fallow for 5 years.

I test annually and have not had a positive for CL goat in 10 years, no CAE for 8 years. It was a long haul and I would never purchase a goat who I did not test while in quaranteen for both of these diseases. Vicki
 

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Vicki,

In purchasing a new goat should we:

1). Take a vet with us to the seller's farm?
Can a vet spot it just by looking?

2). Run CL and CAE tests at the farm?
Is the test reaction immediate or do we have to wait for lab results to come back? If so, how can we be assured that the goat does not become infected in the mean time?

3). Are there ever "false positives" with the test that a goat seller might want to dispute or seek further testing?

4). How often should we test our own herd?

Thanks.
 

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1). Take a vet with us to the seller's farm?
Can a vet spot it just by looking?
.................................................

You would likely be better off with a seasoned breeder than a vet. And, doing your homework before the purchase is always the place to start. Don't buy a goat anywhere that you have not be recommended to purchase from. Hearing the seller say the right things, about CL, about CAE, about vaccinating, tells you if they even know what they do and don't have. It isn't a lie if you don't tell :no: It is unethical, but this is how alot of farms are ran. The biggest reason why you don't buy from auction, you have no health history, you can't see who these goats came out of (where in a herd situation you can see the swollen knees of CAE on older stock, or old scars from abscess).

2). Run CL and CAE tests at the farm?
Is the test reaction immediate or do we have to wait for lab results to come back? If so, how can we be assured that the goat does not become infected in the mean time?

You have to send blood off for CAE and CL. They are both 6$ tests. If I was really interested in purchasing the stock I would pull the blood myself, and pay for the test, then purchase the stock if the tests came back negative. I give a 2 week gurantee, in which time the person has to send in the tests, if the goats come back positive, than I take them back and refund the money. If your buying a herd, than you really have to take a chance, but if you test the oldest animals it will give you and idea of what is happening in the herd.

It is a ****er to me to have to guarantee health of my stock when a majority of the time my doe is going to live with untested stock, in cases like this I test the doe presale, I have my vet pull the blood and read tattoo's this way there is no question in the buyers mind that I pulled blood on another goats to assure a negative result. The buyer has permission to call my vet to discuss this goat. But once again, especially in dairy, it's a very tiny world, there is someone who knows who you are purchasing from!

3). Are there ever "false positives" with the test that a goat seller might want to dispute or seek further testing?
.................................................

No there isn't false positives, there are false negatives, in CAE. The reason why I want to not only purchase tested negative does, but also does who are raised on heat treating and pastuization programs, from reputable breeders. Why it's so important to know who you are buying from, and take someone with you that does know goats, is because the CL tests is so inaccurate.

4). How often should we test our own herd?

I test colostrum of my does as they freshen for CAE with Pan American Labs. I send blood in to WSU in the fall of all does who have not previously been blood tested. So the blood test is the baseline, I know going into kidding who is negative. At kidding, which is the biggest stress there is ever going to happen to a goat, is when you would see a positive test if she is positive, and the number one mode of transmission is the colostrum, so with this high concentration of CAE titer in the colostrum, I test it.

I do not do things the way others doe. I do what works for me. Others are not worried about CAE, some top name herds don't test and don't use prevention...I also would not purchase from them. I purchase my breeding stock from folks who feel the same about disease as I do, and who use basic prevention. I also don't purchase from those who let the kids nurse. Mycroplasma can wipe your herd out far quicker than CAE or CL (which would only ruin your reputation). Vicki
 

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[QUOTE I also don't purchase from those who let the kids nurse. Mycroplasma can wipe your herd out far quicker than CAE or CL (which would only ruin your reputation). Vicki[/QUOTE]

Vicki,

Thanks for all the valuable insight. Can you help me understand why giving up the immunities available in the colostrum outweighs the CL risk in nursing?

It seems if I have a clean doe that the kid would benefit from nursing.
Can the milk be frozen for later use after testing?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow, Vicki, thank you so much. That's more information than I've had anywhere. I would like your advice: I only have 6 goats and 3 sheep, also 4 calves. The sheep and goats live together but they don't normally live with the calves, however there are times when I do put them together. My goats are mainly pets and keep my fence rows clean. I WAS hoping to have kids this spring and learn to milk them because my son has some special dietary needs that goat milk would help meet . . . . but now I'm feeling like I should just eradicate the whole herd of goats and sheep. They are not high dollar animals; I paid $45 each (which is enough but not like a pure bred Boer, for example). I hate to do it; my children's hearts will be broken . . . but this sounds like a huge maintenance issue, and I got into this for fun, not for profit . . . and it's not fun anymore. :waa: I don't mean that to sound as if I'm careless or inconsiderate of the animals; they are pets we love.

If I wanted to butcher any of them myself for my personal use, would the meat be safe?

Thanks,
Mary A.
 

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Vicki, thanks for all of this information. To us who are new, it's overwhelming.

churchwidow: so sorry.........

Karen

Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians said:
When I got into registered goats in 1986 it was the beginning of understanding about CL (which before then was cancer, I even have old diagnosis from my vet with this term on it) and about CAE, which we knew was some form of arthritis that was inhereited. Now we know that they are both communicable.

There is little need to quaranteen this doe unless she is new to your herd and this is her first lump. She could have just as easily caught this from another one of your does, or your barn and grounds. All the exude from the abscess, coughing from does with it internal, is what spreads this. With the winter hair alot of goats get there is no way of diagnosing this by abscess only in your goats. A little eaiser to do with dairy goats who are shown, since they are slick shaved most of the year, their wintercoats not getting the chance to grow in like other goats do. But even then, internal abscess is only seen at butcher.

I would quaranteen the whole herd, heat treat and pasturise doe kids you want to keep, and move them into clean new quarters. Let the bucklings nurse. This is if you don't want to get rid of all your original does.

Most folks start out just like you have, perfectly happy with the goats they have, then they get an abscess and start reading the boards, they soon find out just how diseased the core of their little group is, and how they where likely sold these diseased goats by someone who found out and didn't tell them. Why unless you are selling to slaughter it isn't ethical to sell these goats to anyone else. Disclosure is fine as long as the people know what CL and CAE means. And anyone who knew what it did mean wouldn't want the goats.

It's an expensive lesson, and one you can help make sure others do not start their goat experience with, by telling your story. Especially when new folks join lists asking questions, relay your CL story to them, making them smarter purchasers.

You can do lots to alleve the goats of signs of CL, them living with you in a stress free enviornment, boosting their immune system, all will make them have CL abscess infrequently if ever again. But there is no cure, they will always be positive, coughing the exude from internal abscess in their lungs to herdmates and even other animals on the property, internal abscess in the bladder and they pee abscess material until it heals, same with the udder. In fact you walking in the pen, chickens, dogs etc.. all can pull exude material from the soil all over your property.

I did choose quaranteen, which also meant no access for my dog in their pen and corral, they where not allowed out into the pastures. I had rubber boots for their barn, extra everything for their barn. But it was how I ridded my herd of CL and also of CAE, gleaning cleaned doe kids to the new dairy barn, and only one older doe, who being born during a flood was raised on cattle colostrum and grocery store milk. All the rest of my herd was positive for one or both of these. As the does aged we put them down. When the last two where put down the barn was dismantled the ground burned, it sat fallow for 5 years.

I test annually and have not had a positive for CL goat in 10 years, no CAE for 8 years. It was a long haul and I would never purchase a goat who I did not test while in quaranteen for both of these diseases. Vicki
 

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If I wanted to butcher any of them myself for my personal use, would the meat be safe?
.........................

Yes you can butcher. The abscess if you see them internally will be on the lymph system and not touching parts of meat unless they are coming through to the outside, in which case simply cut around them without puncturing them. Wear gloves, since the disease is zoonic, meaning to all mammals including us, although we haven't really heard of cases in people, at one point trying to find it in human literature.

It isn't about profit. At sometime in your homesteading life you will have livestock to sell, you can't eat them all, you have to sell the rest (only funny to Texas folks who eat Bluebell Icecream :) With clean stock you could help someone else on this board get a nice milker or two.

I am also sorry about all this. It is much less risky to eat animals with problems like this, but to milk them? That creeps me out! Sorry.
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To us who are new, it's overwhelming.
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Yep I remember my first goat meeting. They where all talking this alphabet soup of CAE, CL, DHIR and I just wanted to learn how to trim feet! :)
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Can you help me understand why giving up the immunities available in the colostrum outweighs the CL risk in nursing?
...........................

I don't feel heat treating colostrum ruins anything. If this where true the average age of my does kidding and milking and living very healthy lives would not be 12. In fact I think a bottle fed kid gets more and better quality colostrum, because you see how much it drinks and who it comes from. It certainly retains the immunites we need to have this long lived healthy stock.

I will never stop heat treating and pastuising my goatlings milk. It's the stuff you can't test for that keeps me testing, not CL or CAE. The difference in udder texture, longevity with real quality of life, minus the swollen knees that I doubt seriously was all from CAE, is enough of a difference in the lives of my goats for me to continue. It is 12 weeks of work, for the lifetime of the goat? Add the tameness issue, and to me thats a nobrainer.

Even when I ran boers I took all doe kids (replacements) away from their dams and raised them with the dairy kids. This gave me a core herd that was tame, then I let the kids nurse so they where sold the wild heathens folks expected :) Vicki
 

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Vicki
If the absesses are in the bladder, etc., why isn't it passed on to the baby in utero? How come they come out clean of the disease?

BTW thanks for all the info. It really helps to learn from someone with experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Vicki,
It occurred to me today that before I kill all my animals I could have them tested . . . Would that be reasonable? I was not clear from the post about false negatives if that's a big problem with CL. You mentioned the inaccuracy of the test, so I'm assuming that means there very likely could be false negatives.

I do have one darling little 3/4 boer I would love to keep . . .

(Anybody out there want to buy the head of a 4 horned sheep if I have to kill him?? )

Thanks,
Mary A.
 

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If the absesses are in the bladder, etc., why isn't it passed on to the baby in utero? How come they come out clean of the disease?
.......................................

CL is not a virus of the bloodstream, so there would be no way a fetus could be infected with the CL bacteria. The dams system and the fetus system are not connected in this way. A kid would then become infected if the dam had a burst abscess in her udder, or enviornmental.

In CAE we have long held the belief, that like in humans a very small percentage of babies are born HIV positive from HIV positive moms. We feel the same about CAE. The only difference is that no immunity is passed from dam to kid in a goat, where we pass through the placenta immunity to our children in utero and in our colostrum. So perhaps the chance of passing a virus because of this exchange in humans is more likely?
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Mary you will have to make all of this decision for yourself, everyones comfort level is very different. You may want to just manage the disease, it is done in meat goat herd everyday. On Chevon Talk they will tell you about injecting the abscess with formalin, yes it will kill that one abscess. Having each abscess surgically removed is another option, and so is the slash and clean method, which just further infects your property. The idea that even with a small herd that each and every abscess will be found and cleaned is simply not going to happen. The abscess ripen very quickly. And with the internal information, it simply isn't anything I would do anymore. But I did start where you are with CAE, with only a few does with CL, which where quaranteened even from the CAE positive does. You can find another list on Yahoo that is an herbalist gal who touts having cured does of CL with her stuff. It's simply not true, and goes to the fact that a doe without and active abscess can have a negative bloodtest.

Another problem with the tests are the meat folks who vaccinate for CL. It will leave your goat forever positive.

Alot like scrapie, I bet the next big governmental control in our small livestock will be CL. It is a big concern in the sheep industry. Being classified zooic, I am suprised it hasn't been dealt with before now.

Of course you can test, you can also choose to then only butcher the positive ones, then as you get other abscess from those who did test negative, than butcher them. I would rather get rid of them now, let the property lay fallow with the barn cleaned really well, during this cold winter we are going to have, and then start fresh in the spring. There are excellent disinfectants you can spray on all wooden surfaces, with the stock gone and the barn clean of manure and urine, you could even use bleach. Good luck with this. Vicki
 

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Vicki,
Thanks a million. You've really helped me -- you've educated me and you've given me comfort that I had a reliable source of information. I appreciate your time so much.

Two final questions, and then I won't bother you anymore (I promise!). I just want to confirm what you said . . . you said let the land lie fallow until the spring. Is that a pretty "sure" time period? We are in Kentucky and definitely have good solid freezes. Of course, in food, freezing doesn't kill bacteria . . . but does it help in the soil?

If, in fact, my little meat goat, my boer, was vaccinated, then I assume it would be safe to keep her even if I eradicate the others?

Thank you, thank you.

Mary A.
 

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I don't have time to look it up in Goat Medicine, but I think it was something horrible like 5 years? that CL bacteria was still found on wood? Why I would think if you mowed the area short, went through a hard freeze, and cleaned the barn spic and span with a good disenfectant that kills HIV and Parvo, that this would be your best chance. I know we used to burn the barn walls in the kids pen with a torch, back before I understood what cocci was all about. Now I know all that was just plain stupid :)

I actually fenced off the pen and closed the gate, nothing went into this pen for about 5 years, it's about 1 acre, I needed it badly, we tore down the barn, and sold it to someone else who wanted it (full disclosure, but I think they thought I was this crazy woman in the woods :) and ran our boers in there. I was actually worried even after all that for the first several months, that someone was going to have an abscess pop up. I even disenfected my fence posts, and burnt the pasture since we have no freezes.

It does nothing if you vaccinate a positive goat for CL. You would have to test her first, then if she is negative keep her, perhaps keeping her and one of her penmates that tests negative, it would be very sad to be alone. Watch them for the next 6 months or for at least after kidding (when you will see an absess creep in), then if you want more stock, add clean stock. Arm yourself with information, and purchase from someone we all know.

Techtrol is a great disinfectant, also look in Jefferspet.com there are good ones in the pet catalog part for kennels, and also in the livestock one.

And you aren't bothering me. I do these lists because of the way you started out, it is how I started, with a beautiful group of girls that I loved that where diseased, someone knowingly sold most of them to me....one of those when it is too good to be true things. I don't want anyone else who meets me first to get taken like this. Vicki
 
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