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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! We have recently purchased 4 babies (2 months old) for my daughter's 4-H and for future packers. The babies are purchased from a 4-H member who probably has 75-100 goats (all breeds, but mostly meat and dairy/meat crosses). We requested the usual dehorns, registration, castration, etc.. However, when we asked about the CAE, the member said she doesn't test for it. She doesn't have a problem (if it were in her herd, she would notice the cracking of the joints, etc...).

If she isn't having a problem in her herd, does that mean that we have a good chance of buying CAE free goats? OR should we ask for the tests before we continue with the purchase?

Thanks for all the great info (love the site).

Tonia
 

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Thats the first red flag. Ask for a test even if you have to pay for it your self. We have bought a lot of goats over the years and I can say with confidence that breeders who aren't testing usually have CAE positive animals. Just because they aren't seeing symptoms does not mean they don't have the disease.

Is she heat treating the milk or anything?
 

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Unfortunately you are looking at a series of tests. CAE doesn't show up in kids until they have developed a titer which takes time. You will want to test them at 6 months and again at a year. At one year anyone who tests positive or suspicious positive has CAE. Now many goats with CAE don't show symptoms but many do, and usually about the age or 3-4 when you have done a lot of work and are finally ready to have some fun with them. It can be devastating.

Use the ELISA tst that WSU offers. The AGID test has lots of false result. The ELISA is very accurate and very sensitive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the information. I was already calculating and figuring how to test 4 babies. I have looked at WSU's information and understand the process. I am at the point where I'm not sure I want the babies if they are CAE so I would rather know in the next month than wait until they are 6 months old.

Could I test both mom's since the babies are drinking straight from the mom's?

Tonia
 

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Hello,

you can test the moms but if they are positive you have a 50:50 chance if they passed the virus to their kids or not (and that you won't know until you test and retest the kids).
 

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The doe test will be more reliable than testing the kids. And I agree with Rex, if the does are positive the kids will almost certainly be. Don't set yourself up for a later problem.
 

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I agree with what others have said about testing the moms. Even if the mom’s test negative there is still a very slight chance the kids will have CAE. Although the primary means of transmission is from mom’s milk, some people believe it can be transmitted laterally. You can’t be certain in any of this; for example, the WSU tests are very good, but not perfect. I hope this does not sound too negative…if the mom’s do test negative you have a pretty good chance the kids will not have CAE.

I think that because the breeder “isn't having a problem in her herd†does not really mean a great deal. For example, we bought a 3 year old packgoat who had originally come from a breeder who had a “CAE prevention program†(not the same thing as a CAE free herd, based on testing). He had a couple of different homes before we got him.

While we were on a pack trip when he was 4 years old he had trouble getting up after a rest stop. After we got home we had him tested for CAE…he was positive. Until he had trouble on that hike, there was no indication that we observed that would indicate that he had CAE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Can you eat goats that have CAE?

I'm talking to the lady tomorrow. My thoughts are that I've already made a verbal agreement. If she has already castrated and de-horned then I'm not sure I feel comfortable backing out. If we still got the 4 goats and then tested when they were 6 months old, we could sell them as meat goats. It is sort of a sticky situation.
Tonia
 

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In the case of the negative mom with positive kids, the test was either the AGID which is not very sensitive and has lots of false results or the doe's titer wasn't high enough to read yet. Sometimes they test negative for a few years before they show on a test.
 
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