CDT Vaccine and CL

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by showme, May 15, 2015.

  1. showme

    showme Getting Started

    Apr 28, 2015
    Western Ky
    The more I read about CL, the more confused I become. Here's what I think I know.

    Initially, I understood the disease to be highly contagious, very prevalent, and incurable. I also understood there to be no vaccine for goats, although there is a vaccine for sheep affected by the same disease.

    Now it seems some of my information is dated and in the last few years, a goat specific vaccine is on the market. The vaccine is essentially the same as the previous vaccine for sheep, but the carrier used in the vaccine has been changed to reduce large scale reactions in goats vaccinated off label with the sheep version.

    It appears to be highly controversial, but CL testing is available. However, the testing can only indicate whether or not a goat has antibodies to CL. This means similar to TB in humans, a positive initial test (skin) doesn't necessarily mean the disease exists or the person is capable of spreading TB. However, it does mean the person possesses antibodies and has been exposed to TB at some point in their lives. However, they were able to fight the disease with their own immune system and are, therefore, healthy in regards to TB. A chest X-ray is performed on individuals exhibiting skin test reactions to confirm or deny active TB.

    However, a goat that actually has CL will test positive in the same way, but there is no further testing available to differentiate infection or antibody. And false results--both positive and negative--appear to be prevalent. A goat that tests positive can test negative a few months later and vice-versa. So, there appears to be no way to truly confirm or deny a diseased goat until a lump appears and the pus can be tested. If no lump ever appears, is it safe to say your goats are not susceptible to CL or simply have not been exposed?

    This leads me to the CDT vaccine. I thought this vaccine was for tetanus and over eating (enterotoxemia or entero), but it appears now the C stands for Caseous Lymphadenitis ( commonly CLA or CL). This is where I am confused.

    If your herd has confirmed CL, you are advised to quarantine, cull etc and then vaccinate remaining. Otherwise, you are advised to test your herd for CL and vaccinate when negative, taking comfort in knowing your herd is safe according to an unreliable test. And vaccinate if positive too.

    Doesn't it all just point to vaccinating and only purchasing goats from others that vaccinate as well to eradicate the disease similar to polio and small pox in humans?

    Having just given a CDT vaccine (first dose) to my two does, I can't help but worry I've missed something important.

    I guess my questions are:

    1) is my general information accurate?
    2) have I started the CL vaccine already with giving CDT now?
    3) for those who don't vaccinate for CL, is it a "survival of the fittest" concept? i.e. I will keep a clean environment and those that survive, do so and breed other survivors passing immunity and working towards natural eradication?

    Thanks for taking the time to go through this. I hope I'm not pressing buttons with my ignorance. I'm just super confused. Most material doesn't get super specific and seems to gloss over or begin a debate over vaccinations in general. I'm hoping to avoid all that and would like to focus on facts. That being said, if question 3 is too explosive, feel free to simply ignore it to focus on the other two.

  2. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    CD&T vaccine is not for CL
    The Cl. is abreviated for (clostridium) (Perfringens), not CL Caseous Lymphadenitis
    They do have a vaccine for CL Caseous Lymphadenitis

    It is very new and goats do break out with abscesses when used, so it can be confusing

    A goat who tested positive will always be positive, even if it is a low read.
    Some may never come out with the abscesses while others will explode with them.
    Giving the vaccine, will also create a very low positive.

    I won't give the vaccine to my goats.

  3. TDG-Farms

    TDG-Farms Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State

    Jul 12, 2013
    You have a pretty good understanding of CL. A little more research and you will have a complete understanding of it. As for the C in CD/T (clostridium perfringins) that represents the bacterial strain. There are a number of different strains. A through G maybe? There are also other clostridial diseases on top of the lettered ones. The C and D types are just the most common and or are also able to protect against the other strains to a curtain degree. CD/T is considered a 3 way vaccine. If you want to protect against more of the different kinds, you can use an 8 or they do have a 9 way now. This doesnt mean it covers 9 different types, just that it vaccinates vs. 9 different things. Tetinus being one of them. You can actually replace your CD/T vaccine with an 8 or a 9 way for greater protection. But CD/T is going to be cheaper and protect you most of the time.

    Here is how my understanding of how it all works. These different strains of bacteria are in the ground. Vaccinating against them protects the goat. The over eating part isnt actually over eating in the literal sense. When a goat isnt vaccinated and it gets these bacteria in its gut, the introduction of a large quantity of milk (over eating) to the gut gives these bacteria a perfect place rapidly multiply. The do so at such a rate to become toxic very fast. Damaging the intestines as they move through them. Causing small vein hemorrhaging. Not only in the gut but in any number of locations where small blood vessels are. Along the inside of the back of the rib cage is one of these locations. This is why its good to have the CD/T antitoxin handy.

    Now it is still possible to get a strain that isnt covered by a vaccine. My vet said its like winning the lotto in reverse.
  4. showme

    showme Getting Started

    Apr 28, 2015
    Western Ky
    Thanks for setting me clear on the CDT! I think the Jeffers product Pam pointed out is what got me confused. I was trying to find all the items to put together a little emergency med kit. I can see why the antitoxin for entero needs to be I there.

    I was afraid I had vaccinated for CL without testing first and then wasn't sure why it would matter either way if the recommended protocol was to vaccinate anyway. Then I started finding intense anti-vaccination things online, but none of them seemed to spell out the argument for or against but tended to be more holistic and natural vs. modern medicine on principle.

    Now it seems I need to dig a little deeper into research findings of the vaccine to make an informed decision. Colorado Serum and Texas Vet Lab are the only two I've found and I believe one or both came out in 2012.

    Does anyone have a source for journal quality research studies on the vaccine or are they as yet unpublished?
  5. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I think I can add some info here. I recently began vaccinating my goats for CL because my next door neighbor runs a lot of brush goats and I needed some way to protect my herd. Colorado Serum does not currently make a CL vaccination for goats, but I spoke to a researcher at their lab just this week and he says they've got a very promising one in the pipeline. The CL vaccine they currently make (CaseBac) is labeled for sheep only, and while it has been used for goats, the reactions tend to be pretty severe and protection is not great. Naturally I'm eager to see how Colorado Serum's goat vaccine does when it comes on the market.

    Currently, the only company in the U.S. that manufactures a CL vaccine specifically for goats is Texas Vet Labs. That is the vaccine I used this year, and you're right that it only came out in 2012. Supposedly it has about an 80% effectiveness rate, which I'm not thrilled about, but it's a darned sight better than nothing if you know your goats will be exposed to CL.

    I have completed vaccinations in only two goats so far--first vaccination on April 20th, and booster on May 4th. I gave first injections to four other goats on May 4th and one more on May 11th.

    Reactions have mostly been in the form of lumps that start anywhere from the next day up to more than a week later. Overall, the reactions are delayed, with lumps appearing after 3-7 days (even more in two cases), and then usually going down with a day or two of reaching full size. The two goats who got boosters had greater reactions to the second shot, with a lump appearing the next day on one goat and in two days on the other. These lumps were larger than the first ones.

    None of the lumps have been hot but all are sore if I squeeze them. They don't appear to bother the goats if I leave them alone, except for one goat whose neck became very painful. She had almost no reaction for two weeks and then suddenly became very stiff and sore on the left side to the point where she could hardly turn her head sideways for a few days. I gave the second shot higher up on the neck, and while she still had a large lump that grew almost immediately, it has not inconvenienced her like the first one. Because of this doe's reaction, I vaccinated all the other goats high on the neck over that pad of muscle behind the head. This seems to have kept the reactions from interfering with their neck movement. I did have one goat who was sore the next day so that it was uncomfortable for him to reach grain on the ground, but I think that might have been user error and not the fault of the vaccine. He was fine the next day.
  6. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    Continuing on... I spoke to a researcher at Texas Vet Labs this week as well. I wanted to let him know that all of my goats had at least some reaction to the vaccine and I wanted to ask if this is typical. He said it is not, but that all of their research was done on Boers, and most of the feedback they've gotten has been from Boer herds. He also said that dairy breeds seem to react to CL vaccines at a much higher rate than Boers, and he even gave me an interesting reason behind this.

    Boer goats only recently came over from South Africa, and there is no CL in South Africa. Since the breed had never before been exposed to this bacteria, they had no natural resistance to the disease and are therefore terribly affected by it. Our European dairy goats, of course, have lived with this disease for hundreds of years or more and are therefore more resistant (although obviously still susceptible). Goats with a strong immune response to CL have a greater reaction to the vaccine than ones who have little or no natural immune response. This is why he believes the dairy goats react more often and more strongly than the Boers. This is also why older goats are more likely to react than younger ones. They have probably been exposed to the bacteria more often in their lifetimes and their bodies are programmed to react against it.

    Interestingly, the few people I've spoken to who used the CaseBac sheep vaccine on their Boers reported few reactions, whereas the dairy people who used CaseBac seemed to have a lot more of a problem. When I spoke to the researcher at Colorado Serum, I asked him to please make sure they do research on dairy breeds and not just the Boers. It would be wonderful if someone could develop this vaccine to the point where goats are 95% protected with reactions being the rare exception rather than the norm.
  7. showme

    showme Getting Started

    Apr 28, 2015
    Western Ky

    Thanks for your feedback. Had you tested your herd for CL or just opted to vaccinate? I'd be interested to follow your herd's progress and I appreciate the up to date info.

    I see a lot of people referencing and most of what I can find about CL is from Their website and their experiences at Onion Creek Ranch. I know they have been testing vaccines there for probably a decade, but at least as far back as 2008.

    Until today, I hadn't actually visited their site's homepage but mostly navigated their wealth of articles. After reading everything I could find on CL there, a trip to their homepage made me a bit nervous: the ranch is up for sale....

    I will keep watching for published research and check with my local extension to encourage research if there is not presently enough info.
  8. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I tested my herd for CL last year and this year (blood tests done through WADDL). All my goats tested negative except one doe who came up positive this year. She tested negative last year, but I know that false negatives are not uncommon so I had her tested again, hoping that the titer would remain the same or drop, indicating that she had come in contact with the bacteria but was not actively fighting an infection. Unfortunately, further testing showed the titer doubling so we opted to cull her. She never showed any outward sign of the disease and neither have any of my other goats. I know that some goats will test positive and never have abscesses, but I did not want to wait and see since I have no means of quarantining in the event that she ever did become clinical.

    After having one goat turn positive, I realized that the almost certain source of her infection was my neighbor's goats. They own property on three sides of mine and we all use the same roads. I have to drive through their ranch headquarters to get to my house, which means driving over a road where their goats walk and graze on a daily basis. Their goat pen also overflows onto the road after a heavy storm, which means I'm probably bringing mud from their pen right into my own driveway. Since CL lives in the soil for a very long time, I realized that vaccinating is really the best option given my situation.

    I'd also like to mention that when I spoke to one of the researchers at WADDL, he said that the CL test is 95% accurate, with about 5% of tests being false negatives. False positives are rare but do happen.
  9. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
  10. showme

    showme Getting Started

    Apr 28, 2015
    Western Ky
    FAQ answered from Washington State University Disease Diagnostic Lab

    So far, this is the most current information I've been able to find on CL and the vaccine in general. It is very informative for those looking for more information on CL including testing available, what results mean, and the vaccine. References are from current year; Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Disease Diagnosis Lab (WADDL):

    For those not nearly as interested in reading, to paraphrase: Testing should be considering a screening only and should be performed on an entire herd or a minimum of 10 animals. It can provide peace of mind to goat owners or jump start quarantine procedures/culling/preventative measures allowing goat owners to remain proactive as opposed to reactive in regards to CL. Testing measures the amount of antibody to CL present in the blood through titer levels. As antibodies are created when vaccines are administered, all vaccinated animals will show a positive CL result. For this reason, WADDL recommends only using vaccines in herds known to be CL positive or for herds a high risk at becoming CL positive. Which is why, Damfino chose to vaccinate his herd.

    Interesting: CL has been known to remain in soil for 8 months.

    If you are interested in more detailed paraphrases, read on.

    CL testing on individual goats is not necessarily conclusive (more in the link). There are false negatives due to the delayed immune response. False positives do occur but the incidence is very small as Damfino stated.

    In unvaccinated herds, the most accurate method is to test the entire herd or a random sampling of a minimum of 10 goats in an individual herd. (*From my readings of other studies, goats older than 1 year are more prone to show antibodies presumably due to the aforementioned delays in immune response and/or more opportunity for exposure due to age. Testing only kids or a majority of kids may give inaccurate results. *this will not be found in the above link, but I have found repeated indications in other studies. This may be important information to know when purchasing goats from other tested herds i.e. how representative was their sampling?)

    These tests should be considered a SCREEN more so than a diagnosis of CL in a herd. A prevalence of positive animals generally points to the presence of CL in the herd. The prevalence of none or one positives general points to less risk of CL. However, retesting is advised even in a closed herd after initial testing shows negative (due to the delayed immune response). Those individuals with high positives, would then look to make plans should abscesses occur. Primarily, determining whether they would quarantine or cull positive animals and proceeding accordingly.

    Please note there is not currently a way to determine if or when individual goats may form visible abscesses. Even an individual's titer levels cannot predict the formations of any abscesses. It is worth noting that while visible abscesses have been found likely to appear first and primarily on the anterior half of goats, that has not always been the case. Internal abdominal and lung abscesses have formed which, when rupture occurs, will spread contagion of CL through nasal secretions (snot) and cough as well as potentially feces/urine/etc.

    In regards to vaccine, using it as a preventative measure in a CL screened negative herd is not advised. This will prevent future screenings from identifying an increased number of positives which would point to a CL problem within the herd. However, for confirmed CL positive herds, continued screenings are not indicated at this time as there is not currently a way to predict which animals will present abscesses or at which time an abscess can be expected. Therefore, no benefit is apparent to continue to test for CL in a known positive herd at this time.

    When bringing new animals into your herd, prolonged quarantine is recommended. The quarantine should continue until either the herd of origin tests negative for CL or the individual goat tests negative in two separate screenings 30 days apart. Frequency of testing will be determined by prior test results and the level of biosecurity in the herd. It should be more frequent for open herds and goats traveling to outside events. Testing frequency should be scrutinized when purchasing goats.

    As an adjunct: I had read statements indicating CL can be transmitted from flies & mosquitoes. However, I have not found any studies which concentrated on this particular transmission method. For this reason, I would consider fly/mosquito control measures in quarantine areas as other studies have suggested.

    And that's all I know about CL for, I am not planning on vaccinating but will be testing my very small number of animals before I consider getting anymore and will definitely be particular in where I purchase any future animals.
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
  11. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    CD&T is now called essential 3+T (colorado serum company) AND they have one called CASEOUS D-T (Enterotoxemia, Caseous Lymphandenitis and Tetanus) This can be very confusing for folks....Personally I would not vaccinate for CL...
  12. TDG-Farms

    TDG-Farms Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State

    Jul 12, 2013
    ^^^ All good info. Thanks for posting it.
  13. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    Wow, you guys did a bunch of research! Thanks for posting it.
    It is really interesting about how dairy goats react differently than the Boers. I wonder
    if Nubians would be more or less reactive to the CL vaccine than a Swiss breed?

    I think the animal drug companies are slowly realizing that there are a lot more goats in the USA than previously and maybe it would behoove them to develop medications specifically for goats. (we can all hope, anyway!)
  14. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I actually wondered this exact same thing. I have Alpines and Alpine/Nubian crosses. There is absolutely no way to draw conclusions from my tiny herd, but anecdotally, the doe that had by far the worst reaction was the pure Alpine. I have one more Alpine who hasn't been vaccinated yet (waiting for her to kid first), and I'll be interested to see how she does. My Alpine/Nubian crosses have all gotten lumps, but none of them got depressed or sore or went off feed like the Alpine doe. (I'm happy to report that this morning she was finally back to her playful old self after two weeks of acting "off"!) Of course, Nubians have been in Europe and the U.S. a lot longer than Boers and have also been crossed quite a bit with the Swiss breeds, so it also wouldn't surprise me if Alpine's experience is nothing more than pure coincidence.