Your thoughts on CAE

Discussion in 'Goats' started by 6e, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    I'm bringing this up because I want to know where all of you stand on the issue. I've read all I can on this virus and I've heard opinions on both sides concerning keeping goats with it and culling.

    The reason I brought this up was I was just at the vets yesterday and was talking to him about getting all of our goats tested for CAE. He told me that all of the herds he has tested in our area have tested positive. That was very discouraging to me and then I got to thinking that if ours tested positive, what would be my stance on it. All of our goats except 1 have come from CAE free herds and there have been no symptoms of it here, but the vet said that most goats are A-symptomatic.

    It seems, from what I've read, that goats can live a normal life while still testing positive to the disease, the tests are not totally accurate, that a goat can test positive and not actually have the disease and that only 1/3 of the goats affected will become symptomatic.

    So, here is my question.....on which side of the fence do all of you stand? Do you test for CAE and if so, do you keep goats that test positive or do you cull every goat that is positive? How accurate do you feel the test is? What impact on the goat industry do you feel this disease has?

    I have heard that it can only be transferred from mother to baby via milk, but from reading the studies, it can be transferred by any bodily fluids, meaning feed that has been slobbered on by another goat, sneezing, coughing etc. Which means it would be nearly impossible to control unless you isolated every goat that was positive.
    Let me know what you think.
    Thanks.
     
  2. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    Bought a doe at auction that I found out was CAE positive after buying her - the barn attendant told me that was why she was there. She is a pure bred La Mancha from good lines, registered, but the gal didn't give me papers.

    I really freaked out at first. Read everthing I could. Called vets, called WSU extension. I heard that around these parts WSU is the be all end all on the subject. They say that it's a POSSIBILITY it could be spread during mating, but I don't recall anything close to definitive on saliva etc. Many of the goat folks around here have told me to just keep her kids from nursing her and I should be fine (though they do cull their CAE goats as they sell dairy does as thier business) I have also been told that there are a lot of factors that can mess up a test like pregnancy, etc so who knows - maybe my Milky doesn't even have it!

    But that goat is as good as gold. Good temperament, nice milker. No symptoms whatsoever. We plan on eating all her kids as she is being crossed with our boer buck, so even if she did nurse her kids, I'm not planning on keeping them or breeding them.

    My other goats have not been tested and I know I cannot afford to do it. And if they were positive - I don't think I could cull them.

    I think it is really irresponsible for a owner to sell a goat knowing it is CAE positive or that it had nursed a CAE positive nanny. So the responsible choices are to kill it or keep it till nature does it's thing.

    I don't know. I think it's been like AIDS was for humans - really big deal (don't kiss, don't share a soda, don't shake hands) when it was new and they are still trying to mellow out the facts and fallacies. Very controversial. There will be interesting answers to this thread.

    kids
     

  3. dbarjacres

    dbarjacres Well-Known Member Supporter

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    CAE has sooooo many ifs ands or buts and is very confusing. When we decided last fall to have only Nigerian Dwarfs and mini lamanchas, we decided to buy only from tested herds and test all individual animals as we purchased them too. We want to sell to anybody that would want one, be it a first time owner who just wants a pet or a breeder in another state that wants tested animals. We felt it would help with sales and improve marketability. I wouldn't want to take any chances, even keeping CAE+ animals seperate as there are so many "ifs" out there, I would cull the animal if just average or if I didn't like it anyway otherwise I would find it a pet home, as so often they never show symptoms. Luckily all our new animals are negative and I haven't had to go thru that, and that's the reason I only buy from known herds and goats with known backgrounds.
     
  4. livestockmom

    livestockmom Well-Known Member

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    I guess it really depends on what your bottom line is...for me, it is having a CAE, CL free herd. I test every year and I would cull. gosh, that brought tears to my eyes just typing that about my sweet girls...okay, not cull...
    I would send the doe out to the other pasture to live with the sheep :)
     
  5. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I'm with livestock mom, but tend to test every other year, and buy only from tested herds. I also ask for a copy of the latest test showing at least the parents are negative. I've never had a positive to deal with.

    I dam raise, and would not be comfortable keeping a CAE positive doe with negative animals, as kids are known to swipe milk from any available spigot. Also, I've know of goats who picked it up at fairs from people allowing positive goats to mouth their hands, then offering those same hands to negative goats. Or accidentally feeding the wrong, positive, milk to kids at the fair, where confusion reigns. Disease prevention is a big reason I don't show my animals.

    So if I had a favorite who was positive, I guess I might keep her with another positive, or some sheep, but completely separate from the negative animals. I'd breed her for meat kids only, no breeding stock, since I don't have time to bottle feed babies. More likely, I'd either cull her or sell/give her to someone with positive goats who is bottle feeding kids.

    There's been way too much work done toward eradicating this disease for me to feel OK about getting lax with it. Plus, I do want to be able to sell breeding stock, so I'm not likely to willingly keep a positive animal.
     
  6. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    I went to a goat health seminar recently that was given by a vet who was raised on a goat farm.
    He stated that 85% of the goats in our region are CAE positive.
    I went to observe a herd of Alpines---the owner is very adamant about trying to eradicate CAE, and she tests, and her herd is closed, and supposedly CAE free.
    One of her yearling does, that she was going to ship, was down on her knees due to laminitis.
    He claimed that the most usual cause of laminitis is CAE. So who knows.
     
  7. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    that is exactly what it means. the most important thing to remember is to test your animals regularly (twice a year for the beginning) and upon the result make your decision. if you want to keep the positive because of outstanding genetics, which would mean seperate housing and everything, or culling, means destroying if "only" so so animals and for you not worth the special effort. this also means you have to have exact due dates for your positive animals and be anal about cae prevention. keep kids separated until complitly dry so they don't suckle on each other. some even recomend to give newborns a bath right after they are born. if possible get colostrum from known negative does. be absolutly sure about the status from the animnals where the milk for kid raising comes from.
    and again, it is key to know the status of your herd.
     
  8. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I tested last year and plan on testing this year. I will test my herd every year until I have been CAE-free for three years, with no new animal brought in. I've never had a posative.

    I would probably cull a posative - since I don't want to deal with it. If I had some super-spectacular goat with irreplaceable bloodlines, incredible milk/show records - I may consider isolating it - and using ai, but I certainly don't have the time, space, or lifestyle to do that at this point. If I did have a posative - after culling, I'd probably move my goat pens, and bleach all the cattle panels or clean them however they recommend. I'd probably replace waterer's too, but I'm a little OCD under normal circumstances. I don't mean to sound harsh, but realistic. I'm homeschooling three boys - and lots of other projects other than the goats. I don't have time.

    Still, I'm all for being open and honest. I would probably not have a problem buying a kid from a herd that had CAE - if CAE prevention were religiously practiced. I'd rather someone be honest with me about the status of their herd then have a 'separate' herd out back. I don't like the stigma that goes with CAE - when so little is really known.

    CL is another story - I would cull any goat that I thought had even been exposed to CL. Even without symptoms. It is an awful disease than can infect cross-species. Yikes.

    A goat with CL should be destroyed. A goat with CAE - depends on the circumstances.


    niki
     
  9. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think with CAE, it depends on what the breeder wants to do with the goats. If you want to breed and sell show quality animals and command a decent price for them, then rigorous CAE prevention is a must. This would entail culling any positive does, buying kids raised on prevention and raising all kids sold or kept for breeding on prevention. If you are simply wanting a couple of family milkers and plan to eat the offspring, or are going to be there when the does kid and raise the babies on prevention, then, if the does aren't showing symptoms, this would be a personal choice to keep or cull them. I know some commercial dairies aren't real fussy about CAE status. I have some friends who have totally CAE free herds and one who runs seperate herds and raises her babies on prevention. I tested mine a couple years ago and culled the positive ones. I liked the lines on one, so kept her buckling, hand bred him to negative does and them put him in the freezer.
    With CL, I would never buy a goat from a breeder with the disease and would destroy anything with the disease. This is not a disease I would want to mess around with.
     
  10. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    We vaccinate for CL. So, I'm not too worried about that one, but I will agree, if I get any goat with CL I will cull it. It's the CAE that bothers me because we brought in that one goat from a farm in this area and if she gives it to all the others and I decide to get rid of them.....I'm out a lot of money, and effort and time! I wanted to keep my goats CAE free and I'm afraid I may have made a HUGE mistake taking in that goat that wasn't from a certified CAE free herd. She coughs and the vet said that the main sign he sees of CAE is lung related. I'm like, "Yeah, Great!"
    They're all Boer goats, along with a couple of dairy goats. I've been trying to get going in the Boer goats with no help from my husband and now this. Has anyone heard if CAE can be given to sheep? My husband has thousands of dollars wrapped up in his sheep and if one of my goats gives CAE to his sheep, well.......let's just say it's not going to be pretty! :Bawling:
     
  11. livestockmom

    livestockmom Well-Known Member

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    No CAE is goats ,and OPP is what we test for in sheep...I hope I didn't give you something else to worry about!
     
  12. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    How come you never hear of OPP being tested for in sheep? It's always "we have scrapies resistant sheep" not "we have an OPP free flock"? Well, when we get the test done I'll let you know how it turns out. The vet suggested that we test all of them, but we decided we're only going to test the adults since if the dams have it then you know the babies have it, so there's no sense in paying to test the babies.
    Keep your fingers crossed. I think I want to shoot for a CAE free herd, I think that would be the responsible thing to do. I just wish I hadn't brought in that one doe. Oh well, hind sight is always 20/20.
     
  13. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    I have a CAE negative herd and aim to keep it that way. I buy from negative herds and test my goats anyway just to make sure. I raise my kids on CAE prevention just to make sure. I don't like taking the kids away from their moms, I don't like the time it takes to bottle feed and heat treat the colostrum and pasteurize the milk, but it is worth it. That is the only way to stay competitive and be able to sell your goats for the higher prices to those buyers who want CAE negative animals. It insures that your animals don't suffer from the disease, which is ultimately what this is all about. The babies grow up and are very tame and the time passes quickly. I am aiming for a completely closed herd, I rarely buy outside animals, but when i do, I am very picky. I do need to occasionally bring new bucks in, not often, but when i do, they are tested first and come only from clean herds from people I trust. I do not buy from strangers and NEVER from an auction. If for some strange reason, hypothetically, i did have a goat with a positive CAE test result, it would immediately be isolated from the other goats and it's herdmates retested and retested. The positive goat would be culled, either by butchering or by selling to an individual who does not care that the goat is positive for CAE....there are those who do not care and only want a goat to milk and will butcher the offspring.

    My herd is also negative for CL. If a goat was positive, it would be destroyed, not passed on to someone else.
     
  14. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

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    My M.O. used to be to butcher or sell it for meat only if a doe tested positive. At that time, my herd was entirely CAE negative and I dam raised everything. I bought a doe (who was supposedly CAE-), she tested postive, it broke our hearts, but we butchered her. The next doe, purchased as a pet for my young son, was guaranteed to be negative. Her trained her to lead, worked with her extensively, and showed her at the fair's goat show himself- he must have been about 4 at the time. He was so proud of his ribbon! :) Then, when I tested the entire herd, she was positive...the *only* positive, and not milking yet, thank goodness (too young). We sold her for meat. :Bawling: My son was really, really upset, because this was an extremely sweet, gentle, and loving doeling- his special pet. When I called up the sellers about their guarantee, they claimed that this doe had come from somewhere else, and "could have anything". They didn't care. :grump: My friend who had also purchased from the same people also had does that subsequntly tested positive....so much for the guarantee.

    The rest of my herd was still negative. I became very, very leery of purchasing from anyone at all.

    Then I purchased a number of does from a fairly well known breeder who prcaticed the CAE prevention program, tested all her stock, etc. The kids were raised on pasteurized milk and all that. By this time I was getting pretty gung ho about testing. I tested my whole herd after this large purchase. They were all still negative, including the purchased does. I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy an extremely special, promising young doe from an aged dam who had been famous in her time. The dam was positive, but the doeling had been born via C section and raised on pasteurized milk. With this in mind, and having just tested everyone else, I didn't test that doeling. She turned out to be positive, but by the time I found that out, all the best animals in my herd had been infected, too, because of the dam raising.

    I tried testing and quarantining, but the cat was already out of the bag. Every time I tested, more does were positive, and I couldn't figure out how in the heck they could have been exposed if milk was the only transmitter, because many of them were mature does. Now I don't test at all- they've all been exposed, and it'd be pointless at this stage.

    None of my animals are symptomatic or show any ill effects of the virus, even the older ones. Their udders and joints are fine. You'd never know by looking at them. I do tell people when I sell stock, or otherwise, send them to the sale barn, but to be honest, I hardly bother selling stock anymore. Noone wants to buy potentially CAE positive animals. I tried taking kids at birth and raising them on pasteurized milk, and I know it was pasteurized well, because I always brought it to a boil. Those kids didn't grow out well, and some of them still tested positive.......

    If you don't have it yet, or only in one or two animals that haven't been milking in your herd, then do your best not to get it. Ask to see test results even if the breeder seems ultra professional and above it all. If most of your herd alreayd has it and seems fine then.... :shrug:
     
  15. livestockmom

    livestockmom Well-Known Member

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    Chamoisee, I want to commend you on your honesty and willing to share...so many people feel they have something to be ashamed of when talking about CAE.
    After reading that it spread to some of your does despite your best efforts, i'm concerned about what Laura said about not liking to show because of spread through contact - In your opinion, do you think that is how it spread to your does?
    We show alot and i'm rethinking it as I read more...
     
  16. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    this is exactly how it is spread. shows can be a dangerous place because lot of breeder either don't test because they don't care, don't have enough money or using a bad lab where wrong test results mulls them in. cae is also transmitted through saliva. if your goat is in a penn next to a positive doe it is possible that your doe can get infected.
    in very rare cases it seems that a kid get infected in utero. i don't know why there was a c-section? i also would have thought that this kid had to be negative. how long did she stay with the breeder?
    chamoise i can see why you gave up. very sad. there are some breeder that had won the battle and are indeed negative.
    btw in england only 2% of the goat population is cae infected. you have to have a negative test result in order to go to shows. i don't see anything like this happen in the land of the free. :rolleyes:
     
  17. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    I started in goats before we had testing, we knew that some herds were 'infected' with some sort of problem that manifested itself in arthritic knees, even in the young. Once testing started, some folks killed their positive animals. I was about 99% positive here from pooling raw colostrum and raw milk and feeding it to the kids. WE had only a small handful of symptomatic does. Ironically most herds who dam raised were also in the same boat, you don't have to be around goats long to see that lots of kids sneak sips of milk from other does, especially your herd bosses who actually steal others kids.

    I don't believe CAE is passed in saliva, casual contact or mating. We had a buck who at age 10, on his last test, not only bred my CAE positive does but other folks, and lived with mine for months at a time, he never tested positive.

    I was fortunate that at the same time I started testing, a large broker came through and I was able to make a large profit on a group of animals to Mexico. My dairy barn was built and I started my CAE prevention program. All kids delivered by me at birth were raised in the dairy barn, along with the lone CAE negative doe we had, because she was raised on cattle colostrum and grocery store milk (being rescued from a flood when I was not yet in milk at the farm). All other does lived their lives out in the old barn, we didn't milk them, they kidded 3 times in 2 years and were not milked, letting them absorb their colostrum. Any kids who were not caught at birth (and with the use of lutelyse) we rarely missed a kidding even showing 2 to 3 weekends a month, kids not caught were killed at birth. The old barn had sperate everything, nothing was used from one barn to the other. We were also erraticating CL.

    Now negative, would I ever dam raise? No. Because I know that testing is not all there is to it. Until you stress an animal with a move, you will never have an accurate test from blood on a homegrown animal. I test yearly with PAVL with colostrum, I test all doelings on blood as they come to the farm when purchased...any rise in titer on an infant means that the herd you purchased from is not CAE negative, they are heat treating and pasturising cae positive milk or colostrum. I do the same for my own herd. I blood test a handful of goatlings each year to double check my own negative blood and colostrum tests. I also am lucky that I sell to folks who also blood test, not only for CAE but G6S, CL and Johnnes, it further gives me confidence in my herds overall health. And alot of breeders won't do forums like these, because when you sell alot of goats to internet folks, they had better be clean or they would like nothing more than to trash your good name. I am very proud of my herd and my reputation. The only way to keep it that way is to heat treat and pasteurise, attend all births, and even with negative tests, treat each of your goats as if they were positive.

    I quaranteen for 90 days all incoming stock. No contact period. I test, I vaccinate, I worm. Any positive test results...CL, CAE, abortion screening, subclinical staph, and the doe does not gain entrance into the barn.

    If I was new and just starting out I would purchase quality and not quantity like so many folks do. Each goat would be here for a reason, no pitty goats, not for color, and would be here to fullfill my reaching a goal. I would keep the core of the herd and one or two bucks as my starter herd. I would glean kids off these does and test the dams every 6 months. The first test after kidding at your house should contain your colostrum test, by that point I would be comforatble saying they are negative. Any does showing symptoms...hard udders, swollen knees, would be killed, alot because it's not just CAE in some cases but mycroplsma. I would keep the core of the herd in quaranteen from all younger stock. I would from that point forward only purchase infants, and only from folks who had the same philosophy about CAE as I do. The infants would be quaranteened and I would test them accordingly before they came into the herd. Positive and I would never buy from them again.

    We have volumes written on the site about CAE, spend sometime and read the posts. Long gone are the gals on here who were a wealth of knowledge about this, but their words are still here in the archives.

    There is no end all in testing, no gold standard test or facility. Dont' waste your time with old AGID testing unless in conjuntion with other tests for Johnnes. Those of us who have been doing this a very long time know this. Just like HIV, it's a very very smart virus. Vicki
     
  18. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How accurate is the blood test for Johnnes? A long time breeder I know says the test is not reliable and the only way to know for sure is to do a necropsy on a dead goat.
     
  19. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    I want to thank all of you for your thoughts. I think since I started in goats CAE and CL have been the most confusing. And, not knowing all this when we started, well.....we just didn't know what to ask or what to stay away from.
    We're going to go ahead and test when the weather cools down a bit. I'm just praying they're negative. We have had no symptoms whatsoever of any diseases, not in the older goats and not in the babies born here. It's funny to me that all the herds my vet has tested around here have been positive, but no one talks about it. In fact, of all the people around here we've talked goats to have never even mentioned CAE. I didn't hear about it until I joined this board. I had heard of CL. It's like no one cares or else they are unaware of it. I just got done talking to a woman the other day that I was interested in using one of her bucks and she doesn't test for CAE or CL and just deals with the symptoms of CL if she sees it. So I guess that's a dead end. :shrug:
    The sad part is they do a lot of showing and sell a lot of show stock. Even the woman that we bought our dairy goats from never mentioned CAE, although she may test for it, but she never mentioned it. I don't think our vet is even that interested in testing as his view is, don't treat things until you see signs that you have it.
    If the test does come out negative, do I need to test again in the spring after the does have their kids? Do I need to test the kids? Since all of our kids are dam raised, I would suppose that if the does are positive, then the kids are also.
    We vaccinate for CL, so I can't test for that can I? I've heard the vaccine makes the test come out positive. We have had no goats come down with any lumps of any sort, which is encouraging. We bought all the goats from people that vaccinate for CL.
    Awwww.....the joys of goat raising! LOL
     
  20. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    if your goats are vaccinated for cl than you are right and the test will most likely come up positive. you have the possibility to leave your kids un vaccinated.
    the problem or "ignorance" you can see a lot of people have about cae is the frustration about this disease. there is plain not enough known about it and not near as much money invested in research as in HIV. the other point is if "only" 30% animals getting symptomatic, so what? this means the rest of us has to take the battle on and it is a very hard fight. always need a friend who tells you not to give up.
    i keep my fingers crossed for you that you will have a good test results.
    and yes i would test in spring again.