johne's

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by MullersLaneFarm, May 31, 2005.

  1. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

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    One of our new cows has been diagnosed with johne's. Any one with experience with this disease? The cow is quarantined from the rest of the herd and the herd is being tested. She's been here since 4-8.

    Is the milk from a johne's positive cow okay to drink?? Only one cow is in milk and is not the affected one.

    Is the meat of a johne's positive cow safe to eat.

    We've found out we can plow and reseed the ground this cow has been on to erradicate it.

    Thankfully, we just planted 5 acres of new pasture that has seen no animals this year. Once the rest of the herd comes back negative for johne's, we'll let them on it.

    Any thoughts are highly appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    My best advice is to sell her now. They say there is a link between (sorry I am going to butcher this) Chrohns disease and Johnes tainted milk. Now they are not sure if it is even Killed through pasturization, and can definately spread from raw milk to other ruminants. The calf, if pregnant, could be inflicted in utero though usually from fecal or oral contamination. It is mainly spread thru fecal material. Many cows look and act normal but the tiniest thing sets them off and they crap themselves to death, and spread it to every other animal possible. Sell her, sell her sell her. This can devaste your homestead, just imagine all the ruminants wasting away, then down the road possibly your children or you having it. Do a search for Johnes as there is a lot of information out there. I do not know if the meat is safe, but wouldn't take any chances.
     

  3. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, we've dealt with it. Every herd in this area has and generally anyone who has claimed they haven't doesn't test.
    We drank raw milk from our tank when we still had Johne's postiive animals being put in. The problem is we don't believe the tests for the most recent four that came back positive. One of them was a 13 year old who had been tested annually for at least 8 years and negative every time.
    That being said, we did have one, Fanfare, die of Johne's here on our farm. We figure the others were exposed at that time and the test was reacting to the anitbodies they had produced from the small exposure. We sold all four though, one going into her second trimester and our 13 year old who was due to retire that year.
    It can take up to 4 years for it to leave the soil and the animals that are most susceptible to it are the under 12 month old crowd. Fanfare gave birth to a hefier calf a month before she died (back then it was much harder to get a slaughter order and we didn't get one in time). That calf was raised to 6 months and slaughtered and used for meat for us. If you consider they generally do not actively shed the disease until they are older (it lies dormant for a couple years normally, but our first positive was a 20 month old hefier calf).
    The Johne's positive animals go through the slaughterhouses just like the others.
    She will really need to go one way or another.
    AS stated there are lots of informational sites out there and if you want to PM me and ask more specific questions you are welcome to.
     
  4. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Johne's is a nightmare! You have my condolences. :waa:

    Do a Google search, there is lots of info out there.

    A key point, IMO, is limiting transmission to animals less than 1 year. They are the most susceptible. This includes not feeding the milk of an infected cow to calves.

    I drank tons of milk from my cow (before I knew she had Johne's) but always pasteurized it first. We haven't suffered any ill effects. I would not knowingly use milk/meat from a positive cow, though.

    In the future, I would not buy a cow unless it had a recent negative test.
     
  5. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How was this cow tested? Don't trust a blood test, they are not reliable, there are a lot of false positives. The most accurate way to test for Johne's is a fecal culture. Keeping her segregated is a wise decision, but I wouldn't dispose of her without a positive fecal culture. I almost sent an expensive bull to slaughter because of a false positive Johne's blood test. When he was tested for Bangs they also tested for Johne's which came back positive. My vet advised me NOT to cull him until he did a fecal culture, it was negative, did another 3 months later, negative, 3 months later another blood test and culture, both negative. The old boy is now 15 and still going strong.
     
  6. JElfering

    JElfering Dairy Dreamer

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    I agree, there are many chances for false positives. Are there any obvious symptoms? You'll note one site they commented about the false positive issue. If I saved the link, I send it.
     
  7. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    The fecal culture is the most accurate and the rest are a bit skeptical. It also can have a lot of false negatives! However the fecal takes a long time till you get results ( 3 months??) so unless you want to risk spreading the disease around the farmstead or the animal is very expensive, why bother. Many commercial dairies keep them around till they quit milking, recalve, or get full blown case. BY then it has spread around and is a bit of a bugger to get rid off since it takes awhile to show up.
     
  8. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    With the fecal if positive it will generally show up in the first four months, if you don't hear back by then the animal is usually going to come back negative.
    The only times we have shipped positive animals and their offspring was the ones that were positive to fecal, but like I said,w e don't beleive the four fecal positives for the group of four exposed to Fanfare. It takes a huge amount of bacteria to infect an older healthy animal (but it is doable, they've done it with steers).

    Our 20 month old, Twink, who was the fist one we had show up positive around fsix years ago or so. They found one colony and tried to repeat their findigns three times without success. We still had to send her to slaughter. Now they have an option where you can appeal a positive. Would have saved quite a few here most likely.
     
  9. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Roseanna, are you REQUIRED to cull Johne's cows in your state? Yikes!
     
  10. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    To continue to have our tests paid for we signed an agreement that we would cull all cows that tested positive for fecal and all offpsring born to them after the positive test. We went further with Fanfare because we know she had it. We culled her daughter Blessing (into her second trimester already) and she never did test positive, though always had loose manure. We know Fanfare died of it and it was horrible to see it happen, but they didn't get us the slaughter order in time to ship her adn she was into her third trimester when we found out. We also killed Davina (her purebred Jersey hefier calf she had a month before she died). That was the time we had three Jersey heifer calves born in two years and we had to kill one of them. :bash:
    We did, however, retain Libertad. Freedom (the 13 year old) was pregnant with Libertad when she was tested. Libertad is pregnant and we are hoping for a bull calf and then we will decide what we do with her. The biggest concern we had was she is a healthy thriving Jersey heifer and we don't trust people at sales to follow the slaughter order. I still worry that Moulan ended up in another herd. She was a fantastic cow and one of our best producers. No clinical signs on any of those animals. I realize they may not be shedding when tested...but eight years in a row negative only to test positive at 13 years old? C'mon.

    We were negative last year and doing fecal in August of this year. We also have to find a vet certified by the state to write up some plan of some sort. New hoops to jump through but with that appeal process. Probably would have saved Moulan, Sirius, Listeth (though not for long, she wasn't producing much) and Freedom.
    I need to get on the ball about that. The change over takes affect this month. It also takes a year before the lab is open for fecal testing so scheduling is a pain. We were supposed to have been done last month but couldn't get in for fecal before August.

    We've made quite a few adjustments, expensive adjustments, in our management.
     
  11. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

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    The positive cow was sent to slaughter and the other 3 are being tested (blood & fecal). We have a 2 yo, 7 yo and one that is 6-7 yo. The cows are the only ruminants on the place.

    Vet told Paul it is okay to drink the milk but after reading up on the U of Wisconsin site and the Chrone's site, I'm going to wait before I start selling milk again or keeping it for the house. On one site it stated that up to 37% of dairy cows have johne's, which in turn means that it is getting into our food system all ready, especially if it is impervious to pasteurization.

    I saw where they are trying to link it to Chrone's since the symptons are so very similar. But feel this may be a bit of a stretch since Chrone's is so mysterious anyway and the researchers may be wanting to find a cause, any cause, right or wrong. Still, I won't chance it.

    Up to 4 years to eradicate from the soil?? Yikes! Is this in pasture that has been plowed up and reseeded or in pasture left alone??

    I'm heartsick.
     
  12. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It needs to leach pretty far into the soil.
    Not sure what tilling and working the soil does. Of course, the four year thing was what we were told awhile ago. They are still learning about the disease and how it is transmitted. We just figure on four years to be on the safer side.
    We go out of our way to buy hay from land that hasn't had cattle run on it and our 12 month and under group gets hay from fields we know are clean on our farm or more likely from our outside source.
    They are sporadic shedders and usually shed under stress.