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I did this same discussion a ways back for CL and I feel like I learned a ton. So now I'm moving on to CAE. Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis.

People don't seem to be so super concerned about this one. I'm pretty sure one of the herds I looked at had rampant CAE. She never came out and admitted it but she told me that some people prefer to have milk from goats infected with CAE and that goats don't always some down with symptoms so CAE isn't all that bad.

This attitude is one I've run into more than once. CAE isn't all that bad. ok. Maybe not if one never gets symptomatic but it doesn't sound great. Especially not for the kid that gets then Encephalitis part of this.

I'm doing research but I don't see this disease as being as misunderstood as CL seems to be. People seem to really understand CAE and in many cases accept it.

Though, the more I read about it, the more I want to pull kids at birth to bottle feed. CAE can also be spread through blood but I don't usually hear of people separating their CAE positive goats from their negatives.

Do you guys have opinions? I'm really curious as to how people feel about this disease and why their practices in kidding and herding are the way they are.

Like the CL discussion, this is meant to be informative and helpful and no judginess. All goat people helping goat people form their own practices.
 

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She never came out and admitted it but she told me that some people prefer to have milk from goats infected with CAE and that goats don't always some down with symptoms so CAE isn't all that bad.
That doesn't even make any sense. Why would anyone "prefer" milk from a diseased goat? Doesn't matter to me if it "can't" be passed to humans.

I have my girls tested. I want my herd to be disease free. As far as I'm concerned, you never know when it will mutate and you be able to get it.

Plus, when they do have symptoms, they are in terrible pain. Why let a goat go through that.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Ah another subject I can speak intelligently on :) These are few and far between hehe. But really;

Some basic facts of CAE is that it is a retro virus, just like the HIV virus and effects goats much the same way. It compromises their immune systems to a much leaser degree though. A CAE positive animal can look totally healthy and never get clinical signs of the disease. The better their management, the more likely this is to happen. But also like HIV, once CAE goes clinical (AIDS equivalent), the goat will slowly go down hill and there is nothing or anything that can slow or prevent it. Most CAE positive does will go clinical and the average lifespan of a kid infected at birth is about 6 years before they are in bad enough condition that they warrant being put down. CAE is passed through milk to not just the infected does kids but any kid that might wanna take steal a few sucks as that doe has her head in the feeder. It is also passed through blood. Like when a positive doe and a negative doe are fighting and they both end up with bloody heads. Or when the victor does the blah blah blah tongue thing like a buck to show the loser she is the boss. Unlike HIV though, it is very very difficult for a doe to pass on CAE to a buck via breeding and vice versa. Unlike CL, CAE only lives a very short time outside of an infected animals body.

My experience with CAE on a commercial sized farm: As I have spoke of before about battling CL on Amy's CL post, I also did battle with CAE as well. And I can tell you that I would hands down rather have to deal with CAE then CL. CAE doesnt infect the ground, or hide in the lungs and can be coughed up, it doesnt live long outside of the positive animals body. There are no variables with CAE for the most part. So that makes it much easier to deal with. Here is how we dealt with it:

Positive animals (know via test results) were moved to a "positive" pen that was nearly 100 feet away from an clean animals. This was do to the CL. With CAE, you only need enough space between em to insure no contact. A 6 foot walk way for instance. Once move to this pen, they almost never get to come out except to get breed. Hoof trimmings and dewormings are done in their pen. Never had a buck come up positive even after years of breeding them to positive does. And this is pretty much their life. I believe the better food and management they get, the less likely the CAE is to go clinical.

Kidding: If you want to breed and kid out a positive doe, you are 95% likely to come away with CAE negative kids if done correctly. You have to be very vigilant and know how to tell when a doe is getting ready to kid. And when you are pretty sure the day is the day, you need to check often. You will want to either make a kidding pen or be in a cleaner part of the positive pen when the doe is ready. You will need towels and or tarps or blankets to put the kid(s) on when they come out.
When the time comes you do not want to go in fishing for kids if you dont have to. Let the doe do as much of the work as possible. You do this in order to keep the bubble the kid is in, intact as long as possible. This is what protects them from the CAE virus that is in the moms blood. So if the bubble breaks/pops, you want to then help and try to hurry the birth along. Once you pull the kid out (do not let it touch the dirty ground) clean off the face as best you can. If you choose to swing the kid by the back legs to clear out fluid from the mouth, do so after you have wiped the face clean. Here we will allow the mom to clean the kid of birth fluids from the neck down. No licking on the face or umbilical cord. This actually help the moms body to get another kid into the birth canal and read to be born faster. A few minutes of this and you take the kid inside and wash the kid. I like to rinse the kid from the ears down until I get all the birth fluids and goo off before I use dawn dish soap to wash the kid. This way there isnt any floaters in the sink as I am washing. For above the hears I use a no tears shamepoo if for some reason the head is nasty. but most of the time just a rinse of the head is enough.
By doing it this way we have never had a kid come up positive out of a positive mom. BUT we did have a kid come up positive after her mom tried to have two kids at once and ruptured her uterus. The mom bleed heavily inside the uterus and that in turn infected the kids.

Of course these kids are bottle raised. We allow these babies to grow up with know negative babies. I know there is speculation can be passed through saliva and to be totally honest I dont know. We have never ended up with a positive kid to be able to test it. But as with HIV I would highly doubt it. These babies are raised on milk from negative dam (tested right before kidding season). This way we can test the kids earlier then normal. Even with negative results, when these kids are old enough to kid themselves, we still do not allow milk from these animals to be mixed with milk from other animals until 2 full years or two freshenings of negative tests have been done. This is a little extreme but its better to error on the side of caution. After that time, we know they are clean and no longer worry about it. The positive does on the other hand are never milked. They kid, we take the kids and they dry up.

So although there are some important steps to follow, its really pretty easy to contain CAE and to manage it with just a little bit of dedication and eventually, eradicate it from your herd.
 

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Always good to know this information. I havent read up on it as much as the CL because .. CL is of course the worse of the two and is very dangerous to keep or try to manage(impossible to manage well). We have a closed herd & only buy clean animals but will be getting all tested this next week for CL and CAE just to be able to say that all have been tested. So .. it is so good to bring this subject up to know how to deal with it in a herd and to encourage future goat owners to work on buying tested animals & eventually also eliminating it out of herd.
 

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Thanks Amy for raising this subject now. It's good timing because I just had a doe tested for CAE and am waiting for results.....!!

I've read lots online but thats all pretty clinical. I'd like to understand how all of you deal with it. I don't want her to be in pain unnecessarily.
 

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I have a friend who was more freaked out that her goats had CL then CAE..I didnt understand that..Im new to testing. I didnt test for ever for many of the same reasons others dont test,
#1: my goats all "looked" healthy.
#2: reports indicated testing was unreliable with false Neg/pos.
#3: fear. I was afraid to find out.
In testing I found Three were positive. 2 were sisters. I was devistated but at the same time relieved to know everyone else was clean. I was lucky and found a great home for my three as the only goats with a person who knows how to handle CAE Pos. does....
My point is...not testing didnt change the fact they Had CAE, They were not systematic...healthy otherwise..you can not tell by looking.

Although there seems to be an understanding when it comes to CAE...I fear we dont really understand CAE at all. There are still more questions than answers...
*Does it effect humans? they say no...how do we really know?
*Some wonder if drinking the milk from CAE pos. Does helps humans build immunity to HIV
*How safe is it to run Pos with Neg herd?.Some say they have done it for years and never had a problem,others say you need ten feet barrier between pos/neg herd..

We know the basics.. what it is, symptoms, how to manage it ..but we know very little more than that...I look forward to reading this thread..Maybe a few questions can be answered..maybe we will encourage testing...maybe as a group we can do our part to stop CAE from spreading..

in responding to this thread..please keep our motto

Keep it friendly keep it fun
 

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When I first started with goats 30 some off years ago, CAE was not well known. The breeder I stumbled upon was very informed about goat health, AI and all things imaginable and taught me well. My original herd was CAE-. I had a farm hand who left his herd of Saanens and a couple of Nubians, all extremely well bred, big money animals (long story why he ran out in the middle of the night) and, come to find out, most were CAE+.

I had kept that herd separate from my herd, fortunately, anyway. I had a couple of kids born with the encephalitis form of CAE, had seizures and died. Vet confirmed (as best she could way back then). Had several symptomatic does- all very sad. I vowed to NEVER have CAE+ animals again.

Fast forward to the present with a new herd. Some of my does were CAE+ but not symptomatic (because very few people practice CAE prevention around here as Amyboogie knows) so I started the prevention protocol and ended up with a CAE- herd again. After that, only tested CAE- animals on my property.

Lost that herd to a fire. Have to start all over again with some CAE+ and some CAE- animals. The + doe kids will be pulled and bottled with pasteurized milk. I have it all in my freezer waiting for the kids of 2014. The bucks go for meat, so I won't bother, they can stay on the moms.

I hear lots of people poo-poo the seriousness of CAE. Most of them are people who have + herds and don't want to bother wiht the prevention protocol. Yes, there are people who want CAE+ milk because they claim it helps their body fight AIDS/HIV. Maybe it does, maybe it is just a case of mind over matter. I believe the reasoning behind that is because HIV/AIDS and CAE are both viruses that can mutate to avoid a cure. (I forgot what that is called, I used to know) That is what makes them very hard to find a cure, but what makes people think that one can help fight the other.

CAE is also the reason that most European countries cannot import american goats. They don't have it and sure don't want it.

A simple blood test will tell you + or -. It's fairly inexpensive. Some of CAE is still a mystery simply because goats are not important enough or make enough money for the research groups to research. Someday, maybe we will have answers.

A CL animal will never be on my property. A CAE+ animal I can, and do, work with. Since my does are pets as well as livestock, I have trouble culling a healthy CAE+ doe, so she stays but will not raise her doe kids. I am not afraid of it like I am CL.
 

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I'm going to put this here because it's interesting and it offers hope for a group of people. This research is having to be done in Mexico and Europe because the US wants nothing to do with this research. I'm not saying anything good CAE nor do I think that it should be in the normal persons herd. It also shows that there are different strains of CAE. The disease is interesting, so easy to prevent yet impossible to cure.

http://www.mail-archive.com/[email protected]/msg14378.html
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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I think it would be outstanding for them to find a true cure for HIV through the a goats CAE virus. Not only the most versatile livestock animal out there but a saver of lives as well :) BUT this is absolutely the worse justification for someone to have CAE positive goats. Am glad that most goat owners are fanatics and would rather protect their goaties.

Clinical signs of CAE: As mentioned, a weaking of the immune system results is easier worm and parasite infestation. A general deterioration of the animals over all appearance. But most obvious is the swollen front knees. As the arthritis start to set in and grow, the knees will grow more and more pronounced. Walking will be come painful. More often then not, one leg will hurt more then the other and they will often left the worse leg off the ground to take the weight off of it. Winters will bring significantly more pain then warmer months. And if left long enough, the knees often fuse together making it impossible for the goat to bend them anymore. Which is kind of a blessing as once they are fused, they dont seem to suffer nearly as much pain. Eventually though, they will lay down one day and just not be able to get up.
 

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Weird, I don't see anything in that post that justifies owning a CAE+ goat. People in a lab don't own goats. They have a freezer full of vials of viruses.
It would be kind of hard for the normal person to tell whether their goat had the right strain of CAE anyway.
 

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So they start showing symptoms at about 6 years? I'm so scared of diseases popping up, haha :/ Even though I test, it is scary!
 

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They can show symptoms sooner. I had a doe who was four years old. After kidding I noticed her knee was swollen. She didn't limp not act I'll, had her tested and she was CaE pos. it depends on the does immune system I think. Also in Hinds. sight, I realize she was never a heavy milker. She had the udder but it was never full...
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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The 6 years thing was the lifespan you could expect for a heavily infected new born kid to when it dies. That is not to say that all kids would be that way. That was just the typical age babies who nursed off positive moms, living their entire lives with CAE, would typically need to be put down on the commercial farm I started out on.

Now with that being said, you could have a CAE positive animal never show any clinical signs and live to be just as old as a negative goat. In fact. When we left the commercial farm and started our own, we brought with us 6 older foundation does who were CAE positive. No CL though, that was were we drew the line. In any event, there are still 3 of the old ladies still alive and without a single sign of being CAE positive. Being foundation animals and of course beloved pets, and with the knowledge we had of an effective CAE prevention program, we had no concerns about bring them with us. A living testament to a CAE prevention program that works you might say. And until last year, they were still being bred and giving us health kids. We decided to stop kidding them out for 2 reasons. At ages of 10-12 years old (granted the 12 year hast been breed for 2 years) they all reached their cut off age and just simply get to enjoy (as much as they can) living out the rest of their days in retirement. The second reason was the youngest of the lot, last year tried to pass two kids at once. It tore her uterus and promptly infected both kids with CAE from the bleeding and their birth sacks having already popped due to the odd attempted delivery. The buck was of course sold for meat but the doe, a bald faced beautiful little girl is still here. Their mama bleed out and died within the hour.

So now here we are stuck with this beautiful yearling doe that is CAE positive with only two choices. Keep her and potentially have to deal with her CAE prevention for the next 12+ years if she never goes clinical like 5 outta the original 6 never did. OR sell at the nasty livestock auction. Which of course her being just as sweet as sugar we would never do. But its near impossible to find a quality home for a CAE positive animal with owers who know the disease and would still be interested in taking her. So, we have decided to suspend anymore positive breedings. Even with the young one. And she will stay here until the right person comes along and is willing to take her. The crap thing is, in a few more years when the old positive does die of old age, she will be by herself unless we end up with a non breeder maybe that would go in with her.

Thats a little off topic but it does give body to it with what to expect and secondary issues that can come about.
 

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That doesn't even make any sense. Why would anyone "prefer" milk from a diseased goat? Doesn't matter to me if it "can't" be passed to humans.

I have my girls tested. I want my herd to be disease free. As far as I'm concerned, you never know when it will mutate and you be able to get it.

Plus, when they do have symptoms, they are in terrible pain. Why let a goat go through that.
I agree with you 100%, but you would be surprised at how many people don't care if their goats have CAE or not. I know I was dumbfounded - especially when these same people freaked out over CL.
 

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CL is of course the worse of the two and is very dangerous to keep or try to manage(impossible to manage well).
I have to disagree with you on this point. CAE will kill your kids faster than CL will because of the encephalitis. CAE will also destroy your does productive life because of the hard udder and arthritis. CAE causes terrific pain, makes it very difficult for a doe affected by it to get to feed, water, pasture, or even walk. I don't understand why you think that CL is the worst of the two?
 

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So they start showing symptoms at about 6 years? I'm so scared of diseases popping up, haha :/ Even though I test, it is scary!
They can show symptoms much sooner than that. I've had does start showing symptoms as early as 2-3 years of age.
 
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