Johne’s Disease

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by badnewsboers, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. badnewsboers

    badnewsboers New Member

    429
    May 9, 2008
    Newport, NC
    Does anyone have any experience with this? I was talking to a man who bought some goats from Ken a few months back. He had bought a buck that showed some promise and I was asking about him. He told me that the buck has chronic diarrhea and he couldn't seem to get rid of it. He's had his vet come out and pulled a fecal but his vet was stumped. One of the does he bought from us died before and he had he autopsied by the vet school. The results were unhelpful-all they said was there was bacteria in the intestines without specifying what kind. At the time I thought her death was something environmental since he lost two goats in the week prior to loosing her. Now I'm not so sure. But she was the biggest, most robust doe-not someone I'd contribute to a chronic wasting disease.

    I could just be freaking out now but I'm really worried. I told the man to get his buck tested. I also recommended putting him on nothing but a grass hay with probiotics, B12 shots and electrolytes in the water to be sure it was not dietary. I know he feeds his goats alfalfa which is rich, but wouldn't the buck's digestive system be used to it by now.

    I plan on testing a goat from each of our pastures as well. Thing is I don't really know much about testing. Could my vet school do it or is there a specific laboratory that should do it? Where can I get some of those vaccutainers? Am I overreacting? Is there something else that could be affecting the buck?
     
  2. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    Although I am not familiar with signs or symptoms of Johnes, I do test my herd annually for it. I test through WADDL which is the state diagnostic lab. It is $6.00 per test for you to send it to them with a $10.00 case fee. Well worth it for a state regulated lab!
     

  3. RunAround

    RunAround New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Massachusetts
    For the vacutainers you can do a google search for them. Or PBS animals health has some.

    I hope everyone comes up negative for you. :hug:
     
  4. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    Also, if you call a local vet clinic they might sell you a few. Just make sure that you tell them that you want to red top tubes.
     
  5. badnewsboers

    badnewsboers New Member

    429
    May 9, 2008
    Newport, NC
    Do I need the 10mL or the 3mL tubes?
     
  6. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    either or will work - you just want minimum 2 cc of blood - perferablly a full 3cc
     
  7. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    A very good friend and breeder of ours was not at a few shows, and we all worried about them. Well I saw them last April and they told us that they had a doe that was in good health get really thin and they could not fatten her up for anything. Well they were going to take her to the vet to be put down and see that was going on, well she died on the way to the vet. They did the nercopsy (sp) on her and she had Johnes. Well because it is SO contagious the vet had to contact the state and they put them on quarantine and they could not take any animals off their property unless they went straight to the butcher.
    Well they had another goat start the same thing, so they had her put down and again positive. So they could not take any goats to anywhere or breed them for a year and only if in a year they retested and they had a 100% clean herd.
    I really do not remember anything about what he said about the symptoms because I was in shock that it was their herd. They are SO very careful. I just remember that they loose weight and you can not do anything to get it back up. Now I am not saying a goat that a is thin, these goats were fed all the time and they were dropping weight like they were starved, but they ate all the time.
     
  8. prairiewolf

    prairiewolf New Member

    97
    Oct 17, 2007
    southeast Kansas
    I have heard CAE and internal CL abscesses can cause wasting too, there is a lot of things that can cause weight loss. The weight loss and scours together is concerning when it comes to Johne's, but the goat could have several other things going on at the same time causing it. The place to start would be with fecals and blood tests. Hope it is nothing serious.
     
  9. Muddy Creek Farm

    Muddy Creek Farm New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Keokuk, Iowa
    :shrug: Ok, first off I wouldn't start worrying too much yet. I had a doe who I bought as a two year old, and I got her in February, she started the diarreah in about march, I just couldn't get her to stay cleared up. I wormed her many times but still nothing. Then I started giving her a product I have and she completely cleared up (she tested negative for all diseases). I think it was some type of worm or something. But I guess I'll never be sure...

    Hmm, you said they had a fecal and it came up clean? What about a bacteria? Or a food allergy? Staying on Grass hay for awhile should help.....
     
  10. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Illinois
    Please keep in mind that if you are going to test for Johnes that the only accurate test you can get is a fecal test, and even then the goat has to be shedding the bacteria in order to get a positive test.

    What about minerals? Does this buck have an imbalance of minerals in his diet that he isn't properly utilizing what he's eating?
     
  11. badnewsboers

    badnewsboers New Member

    429
    May 9, 2008
    Newport, NC
    So the blood tests for Johne's aren't very accurate?

    I'll ask if he is providing minerals.

    Here is what he emailed me about the buck:
    " He has had Diarrea everyday and hes very sickly looking. I have give him scour halt multiple times, he will clear up for a day or two, then right back to it. I will get a photo to you and let you see him, he looks horrible. I had the vet look at him, he said he ???? dont know what it is, we have wormed him, gave antibiotics and everything. I was hoping he would do well, but so far not."

    Then I asked if he pulled a fecal and he said:

    "yes, he said the goats didnt have any worms but we wormed anyways, He said hes never really seen chronic diarrea???"
     
  12. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Illinois
    I don't know exactly if they are accurate, but I've talked to a lot of breeders about the blood tests and read a lot and I'm pretty sure the pathogens(is that the right term?) are not carried in the blood. The fecal tests are expensive and they take a lot longer, and the animal has to be shedding Johnes in order to test positive, but as far as I know that is the most accurate way of testing.

    You know, I would direct your friend to a lady I know, she's an herbalist and she can do wonders, we were having some problems this summer with the boer goats and she really helped them. Her name is Kat and her website is http://firmeadowherbs.tripod.com/
     
  13. badnewsboers

    badnewsboers New Member

    429
    May 9, 2008
    Newport, NC
    Ok, the buck does not have access to minerals currently.
     
  14. whatknott

    whatknott New Member

    256
    Feb 22, 2008
    Pennsylvania
    usually diarrhea doesn't come first with Johnne's...it's the weight loss and that is gradual too. Sometimes diarrhea doesn't even happen with the disease. So if it's been chronic diarrhea, and the goat has johnnes, I think the goat would have been dead by now.

    I just recently traded a wether lamb for a wether pygmy. Riding for about 2 hours in the van, we noticed his poop was very strong smelling and not like our normal goat smell. Found out previous owner was feeding corn instead of any grain. he had been wormed about 4 weeks previously but I wormed with valbazen day of arrival, and quarantined. Two days later he had major diarrhea. It's taken about a week but finally getting it under control. Used peptobismal and just hay. I assume the stress, plus maybe a worm overload brought on the diarrhea.

    Ask the guy if he's graining the goat? He may be giving him too much or the wrong feed, or maybe alfalfa. If the diarrhea comes back after scour halt, it seems likely that it's what he's feeding it.
     
  15. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
  16. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    Although there are lots of people and places that say that it won't show up on blood tests, I want to point out one thing...... just from talking with Vets at WADDL -

    The same thing is said about CL - that unless there is an abcess, and the prudulent matter is sent in, blood tests are deemed in accurate - this is NOT true. That is a way to confirm that the blood test is accurate, and yes, there is a slight margin of error on the blood tests where it does not detect it - however, I personally do not want to wait till the abcesses from CL or the signs are there for other diseases to blood test - as they are pretty accurate depending on who processes the blood.

    Just thought that I would let you know what I have found.

    But yes - the 100% accurate way (instead of 90%) would be through the fecal - but you can always call the Vets at WADDL - they are super helpful.
     
  17. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Illinois
    The only reason I don't trust the blood tests(if you are testing to see if the animal actually has it rather than for preventative reasons) is because I was talking with a breeder who said that she had sold a doe to a guy, the guy tested her for Johnes, the doe came up positive. This was a blood test. The breeder then tested her whole herd via fecal test and everybody came back negative, and likewise the guy who purchased the doe for her did fecal tests on all his animals and everybody including the 'positive' doe came back negative. I just feel that a blood test for Johnes might be a somewhat of a waste if you aren't getting accurate answers. Plus, if the goats are kept properly mineralized then they shouldn't be having any problems with the disease. But I do agree with you that the lab makes a huge difference. I wish my vet would realize that :roll:

    Just my two cents :wink: :)
     
  18. Pam B

    Pam B New Member

    175
    Oct 15, 2007
    Southern Michigan
    According the the Michigan State Vet who did a seminar on Johnnes at last years Michigan Dairy Goat Day, the blood test is not as accurate as the fecal test. The pathogen for Johnnes is similar to that of CL and can give a false positive for CL when you are really dealing with Johnnes. She also told us that the best way to prevent Johnnes is to keep your feed lot, bedding and pastures clean and dry! Liming your bedding area will dry up and kill off the nasties. Rotating pastures will keep manure from building up to the point where Johnnes is a danger.

    The way Johnnes is passed most often is when the bacteria from contaminated feces is picked up on the udder of a doe or cow who has laid in contaminated bedding and then the young animal nurses from the dirty udder and ingests the bacteria. The bacteria travels to the stomach and intestines where it grows and damages the lining. Scar tissue builds up in the intestines which makes it impossible for the animal to absorb the nutrients from the food they eat which in turn causes improper digestion which is what creates the related diarrhea and wasting away of the animal due to malnutrition.

    Having the proper minerals in their diet has no relationship to whether or not they will get Johnnes, although feeding a proper diet will help any animal stay healthier and have a better chance of fighting off bacteria of any sort.