Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Does Your Goat Suffer From CAE

Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis Syndrome (CAE) was first discovered and reported in 1974, the year I finished my first year as a teacher of Vocational Agriculture on the Papago (Tohono O'odham) Indian Reservation in Sells, Arizona. There is much to read about this disease, and some folks get pretty excited when they talk about the spread of this disorder. As a backyard goat rancher, you should not have to deal with it if you refrain from adding goats to your small backyard herd unless they have been recently tested negative for CAE.

Top Ten  Facts about CAE
1. Kids delivered by a CAE infected dam will be non-infected if the kids are not allowed to nurse from the mother and instead bottled fed formula or stored (CAE free) colostrum.
2. Infected goats become progressively weaker with eventual paralysis.
3. The disease affects all breeds of goats and both male and female.
4. There is no known treatment for CAE
5. CAE can be easily detected from a blood test/analysis
6. The disease infects goats (caprines) only
7. According to Washington University there is NO evidence that the CAE virus is transmissible to humans.
8. Goats can carry CAE their entire lives without showing any signs, they can test negative until it is later activated by stress or other factors in a goat’s life.
9. I think CAE infected goat milk is OK to drink by why would you.
10. I do not drink milk from infected goats.

Because I really care for the health of my little herd of goats, I have done a real study of diseases. CAE for me is simple. It should be for you also. Do not add a goat to your herd that has not been CAE tested. If you find one infected, dry it up and stop breed it. Continue to test, or have your herd tested every year. If you do not mind drawing blood from your goats, you can take and send a blood sample to one of several labs around the country or give your Vet a call.

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