Brucella organisms infect an animal’s placenta and udder, causing abortion and mastitis.
B. melitensis causes abortions, which is primarily seen in the last two months of gestation. The organism is transmitted by ingestion of infected aborted materials. The organism can be found in the fetus, fetal membranes and fetal fluids. B. abortus is a disease of cattle but can occasional affect goats. Although it does affect goats, it must be said that infection is extremely unlikely. B. abortus has successfully been eradicated from cattle in the USA and several other countries in the world.
There is no cure for Brucellosis. The disease is treated in herds by the slaughtering of reacting animals.
CAE (Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis)
We test annually for CAE and have tested negative with every herd test. All animals 6 months and older are tested.
CAE is caused by a retrovirus. The virus does not cross the placental barrier but is carried in milk and clostrum. This means that kids from infected does are born clean. If kids become infected, it is due to nursing or from being licked clean by the infected mothers.
The virus presents itself in two forms: Kids present symptoms of neurological signs associated with encephalitis. Weakness and un-coordination begin in the hind legs and progress to forelegs. Most do not survive the disease. Transmission in adults is less common. Casual contact is unlikely to result in the infection and there is no evidence that the disease is transmitted via semen from infected male goats to the females. Adults will develop swollen joints that can progress to lameness. The disease may progress slowly over many years or may progress very quickly. The animal just seems to “waste away”. Udder involvement has been known, causing udder edema and loss of milk production.
Currently the only tests available for CAE test only for the antibodies to the virus, not the virus itself. The most common are the AGID (agar gel immunodiffusion) and the ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). The ELISA method is both more sensitive and specific than the AGID but is generally more expensive.
There is no treatment for this condition. The culling of any positive reactors should follow periodic testing of the herd. A clean herd can be built and protected by following some basic kidding practices. Pull all kids immediately after kidding, before the dam has a chance to lick them clean. The disease can be passed through nasal secretions. The mother is then milked and the clostrum is heat treated before feeding to the kids. It’s a good idea to store heated treated clostrum in the freezer for immediate use once kids arrive. Feed only pasteurized milk or goat milk replacer. Keep kids separated from other goats and practice strict hygiene while caring for them.
Johne’s Disease (Paratuberculosis)
Our Johne’s testing is done annually on everyone in the herd over 6 months of age. Our methods of testing include culture or DNA probe on fecal samples. These are two of the most specific and sensitive tests available. Fecal culture is the most accurate test available but can take up to 14-16 weeks to complete. The DNA probe turn around time is usually with a week. (Johne’s disease continued on next page)
Herd Management Page 2
To contact us:
Greg & Barbara
Phone: 859-356-2478, Fax: 859-363-0289
1510 Bird Rd., Independence, Ky. 41051