HELP!! kids on the way and no idea what to do!?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Sara+pumpkin, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. Sara+pumpkin

    Sara+pumpkin Active Member

    Jul 21, 2015
    I just found out my pregnant nubian has Johnes disease, and we are going to have the pull the babies at birth. HELP!!! I don't know anything about bottle feeding kids, or anything about kids! this is my first pregnant goat, and first kids. I've read to use raw whole milk, and not milk replacer, but why? Wouldn't the kid milk replacer be healthier? Also, what should the feeding schedule be, and how do I Prevent scours? Any responses will be helpful, about anything!!
  2. NyGoatMom

    NyGoatMom Shady Acre Homestead Supporting Member

    I'm so sorry to hear that! This will be a bit of work for you...according to this, it can spread through the ground that has been contaminated....or through the dam to kids in utero. You will need to research on how to try and clean the grounds they live on but not sure it's possible.:(
    They will need testing when they are old enough (? not sure when) and the dam should be culled.
    Johnes is a terrible disease and if it were me, I'd consider culling them sorry :(
    I would retest mom to be sure this is accurate!

  3. NyGoatMom

    NyGoatMom Shady Acre Homestead Supporting Member

    Here is some more info....
    What is Johne’s disease?
    Johne’s is a slow, progressive, contagious and untreatable bacterial disease that ordinarily infects calves but does not show clinical signs until animals are three or more years of age. Infected animals maintain a normal temperature but exhibit weight loss and diarrhea. In the later stages of the infection, animals can become weak. Some infected animals even die.

    What causes Johne’s disease?
    Johne’s disease is caused by Mycobaterium paratuberculosis. This bacterium is a relative of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis in humans (Mycobacterium tuberculosis), cattle (Mycobacterium bovis) and birds (Mycobacterium avium).

    M. paratuberculosis can replicate only when it is in animals. It cannot multiply outside the animal in nature. But, if soil or water is contaminated with M. paratuberculosis, the bacterium can survive for more than a year because of its resistance to heat, cold and drying.

    Signs are rarely evident until two or more years after the initial infection which usually occurs at birth.

    Johne’s disease has three stages. Stage I is a silent, subclinical and non-detectable infection seen typically in calves, heifers and young stock less than two years of age and in adult animals exposed to small doses of disease-carrying organism. Infected animals at this early stage are rarely detected with currently available diagnostic tests, including fecal culture or serologic tests (ELISA). This stage progresses slowly over many months or years to Stage II.

    Stage II is subclinical infection that typically occurs in older heifers or adults. Animals at this stage appear healthy but are shedding adequate numbers of M. paratuberculosis organisms in their manure to be detected on fecal culture. Blood tests will detect some animals but not all animals at this stage. Blood test (ELISA) positive animals should be confirmed positive by fecal culture. These animals pose a major but often hidden threat for infection of other animals through contamination of the environment.

    Stage III is clinical Johne’s disease which is any animal with advanced infection, the onset which is often associated with stress such as recent calving. Cattle at this stage have intermittent, watery pea-soup manure. Animals lose weight and gradually drop in milk production but continue to have a good appetite. Some animals appear to recover but often relapse in the next stress period. Most animals in Stage III are shedding billions of organisms and are positive on culture. Most are positive on serologic tests (ELISA and AGID). Clinical signs often last several weeks to months before the animals are sent to slaughter in a thin, emaciated condition.

    In the final and terminal aspects of Stage III, animals become emaciated with fluid diarrhea and develop “bottle jaw.” The carcass may not pass meat inspection for human consumption in the later phases of Stage III.

    How is M. paratuberculosis spread among herdmates?
    Infected animals shed large numbers of bacteria in their feces, leading to contamination of feed and water sources. As a result, the most common method of infection is the ingestion of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis bacteria via manure-contaminated udders, milk, water or feed.

    Infected animals can also shed the bacteria in their colostrum and milk, and infected dams can also pass the disease in utero on to their offspring.
    Young animals are far more susceptible to infection than are adults. Ingestion of the bacterium occurs when the newborn's environment is contaminated with manure from an infected adult animal or when a young animal drinks milk from an infected animal. The milk may become contaminated from the environment—manure-stained teats—or, in the advanced stages of the infection, the bacterium is shed directly into the milk.
    Research also shows that sub-clinically infected animals are a significant hazard of maintenance and spread of infection.

    If a herd has one obvious clinical case of Johne’s disease, what is the likelihood of other animals being infected?
    In the typical herd, for every animal in Stage III of Johne’s (where cattle have intermittent, watery pea-soup manure and are losing weight while having a healthy appetite), a herd owner can expect 10 to 15 cows in Stage I with subclinical and non-detectable Johne’s and 6 to 8 cows in Stage II with subclinical and shedding M. paratuberculosis organisms. In total, a herd with one obvious clinical case of Johne’s disease is likely to have 15 to 25 other animals infected. This is what the industry calls “the iceberg phenomenon.”

    Can Johne’s disease be prevented?
    The best way to avoid this chronic infectious disease is to be as certain as possible that animals brought into the herd are not infected with M. paratuberculosis. This is not always easy.

    Can Johne’s be controlled?
    Yes, management measures can be implemented and followed to help prevent and control Johne’s disease. That said, Johne's disease must be managed as a herd problem and not treated as an individual cow disease. Research shows that diagnosis of one clinically-infected animal in a herd of 100 lactating cows implies that at least 25 other animals are infected and less than eight of those can be detected by the tests currently available.

    Basic prevention/control strategies include:
    Reduce newborns’ exposure to manure from adult animals by cleaning individual calving stalls between each calving and not allowing manure to build in any calving area.
    Avoid manure contamination of feed by using feed bunks and not using the same equipment to handle feed and move manure.
    Avoid manure contamination of water sources where animals drink.
    For natural colostrum needs of newborn animals, use colostrum from Johne’s-negative animals.
    Do not pool colostrum.
    Avoid natural nursing and milk feeding whenever possible. Feed an artificial milk replacer or pasteurized milk instead of raw milk to supply the needs of newborns. Never feed pooled milk or waste milk.
    Thoroughly clean the udder and teats before collection of the colostrum to avoid manure contamination.
    Identify and remove all test-positive animals. At minimum, keep these individuals separate.
    Cull or separate the offspring of infected dams as soon as possible.
    When purchasing herd additions, buy from low-risk herds.
    Your veterinarian can help you develop a strategic plan for Johne’s prevention and control for your farm. To learn more, please go to “Quick Links” on this website and click on the “Handbook for Veterinarians and Dairy Producers’ or “Handbook for Veterinarians and Beef Producers.”

    Consult with your veterinarian about which Johne’s test is best for your situation and use a test-certified diagnostic laboratory.

    Can a herd be tested for Johne’s disease?
    Yes. The past decade has resulted in the development and commercialization of multiple accurate and cost-effective diagnostic tests for M. paratuberculosis. The three common ways to test are culture of fecal samples, DNA probe on fecal samples and blood tests for antibodies to M. paratuberculosis. Your veterinarian can help you determine which test is best for your situation.

    While some tests are simple enough to be done in a veterinary clinic or on the farm, most require sophisticated laboratory equipment and skilled laboratory technicians to perform. In addition, factors such as the amplitude of a test result (numerical value) and herd infection rate (prevalence) can influence interpretation of Johne's disease test results.

    It is recommended testing be performed by a veterinarian and interpretation be made by a qualified diagnostic laboratory.

    Which Johne’s test is best for my situation?
    Testing is a veterinarian-producer decision. The “best test” will be determined by you and your veterinarian answering the question “What is the purpose of testing?”.Brahman Influenced Cow-Calf Pair

    Testing purposes include:
    To classify herd as infected.
    To obtain a precise estimation of within herd prevalence.
    To control disease.
    For surveillance.
    To eradicate by wanting to eliminate M. paratuberculosis from the herd.
    To confirm a clinical diagnosis in a herd with no prior confirmed JD cases.
    To confirm a clinical diagnosis in a known M. paratuberculosis infected herd.
    To determine if a particular animal is Johne’s-free prior to purchase.
    How do I get my herd certified as Johne’s free?
    The first step to becoming a Johne’s-free or low-risk herd is to contact your veterinarian or state Designated Johne’s Coordinator. Your veterinarian or DJC will explain what it takes to achieve certification. To contact your DJC, click on State Contacts/Info.

    Is Johne’s disease treatable?
    Scientific review and a case study show that therapy for M. paratuberculosis in cattle produces only remission of clinical signs and does not eliminate the infection. In addition, therapy was costly, inconvenient since it requires daily medication and, once treatment stopped, the signs of the infection returned since the infection was not cured.

    As such, producers should prevent introduction of M. paratuberculosis in their herds by purchasing low-risk animals and help control Johne’s disease by culling in-herd animals that have Johne’s and initiating strategies to help prevent and control Johne’s within their herds.

    Can I learn more about Johne’s disease in the comfort of my home or office?
    Two Johne’s courses are offered online: Online Producer Course and Online Johne’s Disease Veterinary Certificate Course.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  4. anawhitfield

    anawhitfield Active Member

    Jun 8, 2013
    Buford, Georgia
    About the baby, in the first 24-48 hrs you must give them Cholostrum. After that you can try Milk Replacer if you'd like but it will most likely cause scours. I had to switch mine from Milk Replacer to regular whole milk from the grocery store... unless you have a nanny you can milk which would be even better. Not all kids have trouble with Milk Replacer. Some of mine did just fine but this last one didn't do so well with it so we went with regular milk.
  5. melbah1

    melbah1 Member

    Just wondering how you had her tested or how got the information to pull the kids? Seems like you might have gotten some misinformation on Johnes disease or the wrong disease.
  6. catharina

    catharina Catharina

    Mar 16, 2016
    Northern California
    Hi Sarah--so sorry to hear such bad news! This will be your first kidding ever? The trickiest part might be to actually catch her in the act! You can research all the signs of impending kidding & still miss it. May I suggest keeping her as close to the house as possible, checking on her as often as you can, & getting a baby monitor at the thrift store? Some really devoted goat people have been known to set up a cot in the barn!

    It's really important to protect the newborns from the ground or stall litter. Birth also involves LOTS of liquid! Straw is a much better bedding material than shavings for the kidding stall for this reason & others. My feeling is that a large, heavy 100% wool winter coat or very thick 100% wool blanket from the thrift store is great to spread out behind the doe as the kid begins to emerge. As you know, wool stays sort dry feeling even when soaked & heavy wool fabric won't let dirt soak through from underneath, or scrunch up & not be where you need it. Don't forget lots of towels-small ones to use & toss aside when gloppy, and a few large ones to wrap the kids in.

    I hope you will have a second person that the doe is comfortable with to help during the birth. Any good goat book will list all the things to put in your birth box & keep ready by the back door. Iodine to dip the belly buttons would be extra important in this case I would think. Don't be in a huge hurry to trim the cords short-I'd try to get the kids away from mom & really dry before trimming to the right length with a second pair or sterilized scissors. We boil the scissors & put them in zip-lock bags ahead of time-you might want to have 6 pairs in case she has triplets, with all that bacteria around. Remember a lantern, as trying to hold a flashlight in your mouth doesn't work well!!

    I don't have any experience bottle feeding goats, but have worked with breastfeeding human mothers for 12 years. It would be great if you can somehow get some fresh colostrum from a healthy doe as the kids could use all the help they can get. Unless you know lots of other people with pregnant does, I know that's pretty impossible, though. My personal/professional opinion would be that fresh raw milk from a healthy doe, whenever you can manage it, is better than milk replacer for their little immune systems-just like human babies. For human babies, the second choice would be pasteurized donor milk. If your local stores don't carry goat milk, you could milk the mother & pasteurize her milk-it's not hard at all & you can find directions on the internet. It really depends on how much time & energy you have for this. Hopefully people who have actually bottle fed goat kids will give you lots of good practical advice. I do know that baby goats don't need to be fed nearly as often as baby humans, so at least there's that.
  7. Sara+pumpkin

    Sara+pumpkin Active Member

    Jul 21, 2015
    nygoatmom - thank you very much for the info! I won't be culling any of them though.
    anawhitfield - I don't have any other goats in milk, and I can't find anyone to give me colostrum. I have powdered colostrum so I'm going to have to go with that. I think I'm going to mix the whole milk and milk replacer, that way they get both.
    melbah1 - we had her blood tested, and we are going to have her fecal tested to be sure. we need to pull the kids to lower the risk of them getting it.
    Catharina - thank you so much! yes, this is my first kidding, and yes there will be another person to help me:) I am going to do everything I can to be there for the birth! thank you so much for all the info!
  8. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Make sure your colostrum is colostrum replacer and not colostrum supplement. The supplement won't help them like the replacer will.
  9. NyGoatMom

    NyGoatMom Shady Acre Homestead Supporting Member

    Well good luck with your plan!...just realize that your property now carries Johnes so any new goats you get will be infected if they are in the same pasture/area.
    I would also recommend not selling any kids/goats in the future as it could spread the disease.
    I sincerely hope all goes well for you and your goats.
  10. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    All good advice, I am sorry to hear what you have to go through. :(
  11. Sara+pumpkin

    Sara+pumpkin Active Member

    Jul 21, 2015
    hey everyone! just wanted to let you guys know that the test was a False positive! she doesn't have ot:)
  12. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California