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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The conclusion to my 3 part series on discussing the "big 3". I'm sure I'll make more threads for other things as they come to mind but these are the big ones that every book says to test for.

Johnes Info Center:
http://www.johnes.org/goats/faqs.html

Johnes is a horrible horrible disease and IMO the most dreaded of the 3 we've discussed so far. Johnes is an incurable bacterial infection that lives in the small intestine, thickening the intestinal wall. This prevents the absorption of nutrients....

Here's some high points:
-Can infect any ruminant
-Pygmies seem to be particularly susceptible
-It's spread by feces. Feces to Oral.
-Kids are most susceptible and like the others. Kids can even become infected in utero or from colostrum.
-A goat can be without symptoms and be a carrier
-Goats usually don't present symptoms until they're in later stages
-It is incurable

Common symptoms:
- weight loss (where you can't explain it or get them to gain)
- loss of appetite
- depression
-diarrhea.
Goats with Johnes have a weakened immune system so they may get sick often and likely carry a heavier worm load that it's impossible to get rid of.

From TN Meat Goats:
:The timeline roughly runs from birth to age one, no signs whatsoever; from age two to four, goats may begin to show signs of some weight loss but have no decrease in appetite until the disease becomes full-blown; and goats over age four who are heavily-loaded with the bacteria begin to look wasted. The mid-stage, from approximately age two to four, is the really dangerous time, because those goats look reasonably well but are shedding the bacteria like crazy."

Getting your herd tested?
-Yes, you should test. You don't want this on your property. One might be able to make a justification for living with CL or CAE but Johnes is just downright devastating.
- Blood testing - No test is 100% accurate
AGID - Rarely has false pos. but that may be because its not a super sensitive test.
ELISA - Is a very sensitive and fairly accurate but if your goat has CL then it will come up with more false positives.
FECAL - False positives are rare - But in light shedders it might not come up as positive when they are. If your goat is already showing symptoms then this test is probably the most accurate.

Ok. More experienced goat people....
I think this one is almost surely cut and dry. This one disease because it effects all the ruminants seems to have all the studies. And there doesn't seem to be any info on "how to live with it" because there isn't any good prognosis when your goat has this. There is no living with it. Right?

Anything else?

And just like the other threads, you guys are amazing for keeping everything nice and civil and super helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The pot died down. I needed something to do :p

ha ha ha

I'm actually really interested in the diseases and I love doing the research on them. I learned so much doing the others. This one seems pretty cut and dry though. So much less opinion. But I could be wrong. ;)
 

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Goatless goat momma
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yea, I hear you. I like seeing personal experiences, b/c there is always a chance that I may have to deal with one of these big 3 one day...good to be armed with knowledge!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Now that you're moving back to the mainland, yup, these are a general concern. Though it seems like CL and CAE are the more prevalent ones. Maybe because a goat can live with those for a longer time and aren't necessarily terminal.
 

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well, I bet you there are cases here, but there's no testing, and APPARENTLY the only case of CAE was when the gov't imported some goats from the US (so said the vet....). anything else, like if a lump was found around a CL site or suspected Johnes would be culled.
 

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In my mind this is by far the worst disease of the three, and maybe even one of the worst that infects ruminants altogether. From what I've learned and read about it I definitely feel that there is no living with it. You cull that animal as quickly as possible and hope that no one else in your herd has it (though by the time you catch it chances are they will). Some people have tried to manage it with lots of daily antibiotics, and though it helps the symptoms it obviously doesn't cure it, and it's really expensive.

What I do find interesting about this disease is that they are now thinking it is related to Crohns disease in humans. They ruled it out a long time ago, but now they are finding that MAP (Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis) - the bacteria that causes Johnes, is usually found in Crohns patients. And though there isn't currently a cure for Crohns it is manageable, so I wonder if one day they do find a way to more effectively treat Crohns if they can then apply those same methods to Johnes infected animals (though it probably still would not be cost effective).
 

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I am oh too familiar with Johne's and managed a 300 cow dairy with positive cows within it.

It's far more dangerous than people think. It also survives years in the soil, can be transferred in feed as well, and can be brought in by vets, milk men, feed consultants, visitors, friends, family, anyone who has contact with ANY other ruminant.

For feed, I mean the plants grow in infected soil and carry the disease as well in low numbers. With goats your chances are higher than with cattle to grab this disease, but just as much awareness is needed with all ruminants.

It is NOT a death sentence with proper management. Culling CLINICAL animals are what will do your herd good. Once you introduce a
positive animal that is shedding, introduce positive feed, introduce positive fecal material on tires, equipment, shoes, trimming chutes, etc, it's already there. You need proper management, prevention, and precautionary measures to ensure a healthy herd from that point out. They can live a happy, normal, long life without becoming clinical as well.

I have not had a case, nor have heard of a case of an in-utero fetus ending up with Johne's in the future. Once the sac is popped, you must cover the baby's face, you should also have created a border from fecal material already once you see labor signs. You hopefully will prepare for your positive animal to birth by upping her vitamin intake, cleansing the area well, and providing fresh clean bedding. These animals should not raise their own young. You should birth on a clean surface (blanket, towel, plastic), and do not let the baby touch the bedding. Remove the baby and immediately start prevention raising. You can raise negative babies from positive mothers. Feed negative milk, pasteurized milk ( some question here as well, so we didn't even bother keeping any positive milk for anything ), or replacer.

Once your herd is positive you may never once again acclaim Johne's Free. You may acclaim Johne's Negative. Stay current. You should test 2x during lactation, and test all goats once a year minimum. For lactating mothers, testing once month into lactation, and at dry off will give you most accurate samples using ELISA. Fecal samples are best taken if you're noticing signs of distress, or loose stool for days. I do not believe in using the blood samples. We've had too many "falsies".

Another thing with testing is that once your animal teats positive, it should never sink back into negative zone. Ever. If your animal has tested negative for 5 years then all the sudden tests positive, always immediately start prevention with them.

Your first symptom will typically be losing weight. They will eat everything as normal, and never gain anything. It takes a while to notice most of the time. The next symptom that appears, would be your loose stool. Followed closely by health issues, then depression, then dragging of the feet and back (exhaustion), and followed up with sunken eyes and death.

Realistically you should always raise your babies on prevention regardless anyway as best you can. Sometimes your animal if properly managed may never show any Johne's signs at all until you have a weak doe fresh kidded 5 weeks test positive in 15 years. Proper management and stress reducers all aid in Johne's work.

I could go on for years...

Hopefully should be able to answer any other questions? Let me know!
 

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Another thing to think of is Johne's positive meat:

I can PROMISE you that Johne's positive dairy cows are being slaughtered for our consumption. I would much rather not knowingly drink milk from, or eat any meat from a positive animal. Then another thing to think of is, how many of the annual beef industry (dairy/beef alike) have Johne's? Scary numbers...

Yet another thing is: realistically how many people will shoot (euthanize/kill/put down, whatever you want to call killing livestock) and pay to have an animal hauled away (rendering companies feed these animals to dogs, cats, and mink) when they can turn around and make some cash? For example: clinical cow weighing 1150# showing early signs. No dramatic weight (yet) loss, but noticeably losing weight fast, sudden decreased production, etc. Instead of paying $50 for the truck to come out, and the. Pay an addition fee (here) over 1000#, you're looking at $60-75 down. Not to mention her feed consumption she wasted. Someone would rather financially send her to market and get $800-1250 for a trip to slaughter. I mean really, how many people have that "morally correctness" about them anymore? That sounds rude, but it's the cold hard truth.

There's another symptom that people don't catch right away sometimes-sudden decreased milk production.
 

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Wow, you really don't think about that. I haven't bought store bought meat in a long time but I do eat out sometimes. Definitely something to think about.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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My input on "The Herd Killer" as I call it, as most of typical things have been covered ill just add a few notes.

Johne's is a bacteria that shed through feces which we all know. But thats just the start. It can contaminate anything that it comes in contact with. The longest I know of it staying alive on a surface is 55 weeks. And that was in water scum on a drinking trough. But lots of test show it surviving on any surface for upwards of a year. Even stainless steel, plastic and concrete. In soil it can live just as long but can find it a more hostile environment. Factors such as soil moisture and shade can aid to the longevity of its lifespan.

Things that can be used to help clean up infected areas are: Bleach water with a higher then normal bleach to water mixture, Ammonia and Lime in powder form used to after cleaning pens and shelters. The bleach water is self explanatory. The reason ammonia and lime work is because of the higher ph level. The Johne's bacterial has a harder time surviving a higher ph environment. BUT non of this should be used in expectation of shortening the length of time an infected area should be left vacant. Instead these things should be used together with a minimum of 1 full year vacancy to help insure a clean area is the result. You can also maximize your efforts by keeing the area dry and in sunlight. If there is vegetation, keeping it mowed down (putting trimming in the trash. Clean the mower ofter each use on the infected area or if possible, use a separate mower altogether.)

A common overlooked source of contamination is through hay bought from unknown places. This is why one of the most important questions you can ask a hay grower is: Do you use manure as a fertilizer OR do you allow livestock to winter on your hay fields? Most growers that use ruminate manure as fertilizer, get it from cow dairies. I dont know about other states but Washington State put Johne's infection rate as high as 80% of all dairy cows in the state. Granted this is associated with those daires that are certified grade A and can be tested.

I also have never heard of a baby being born with Johne's and Id even go so far as to say this is one of those hysterical reaction Amy has posted about. Much in the same way a CAE new born can be kept negative, so the same should work for a new born outta a Johne's positive mom.

I dont know if this is much worse the CL other then that you cant see this disease coming until its much to late.

Oh and as for the meat you buy in the store. I say at least 50% of it is diary cow meat. In higher priced stores they will actually state its Angus. Stores like Walmart, dont give a crap.
 

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Very interesting and informative. Makes me glad we raise our own meat and drink our own milk !!!
 

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Oh and as for the meat you buy in the store. I say at least 50% of it is diary cow meat. In higher priced stores they will actually state its Angus. Stores like Walmart, dont give a crap.
Holstein can qualify as certified Angus beef. :D As long as an animal is primarily "black hided" and the carcass grades out at a certain quality level, you've got yourself an Angus. Granted, the vast majority of cull cows are cutter/canner quality and aren't going to end up as CAB steaks, but I'm guessing there are more than a few Holstein steers that make the grade (we've still got a few pounds of hamburger left from one in the deep freeze actually. He's been pretty darn tasty too.)

As far as Johne's in meat goes, I think you're much more likely to pick it up from milk/dairy products than from meat- especially if you're cooking things to the proper temperature. To me it makes more sense that since it's a gut bacteria it's going to be shed in the milk/fecal material/etc., so it can continue to perpetuate itself vs migrating into the muscle tissues. I would bet meat that shows a heavy concentration of the bacteria was most likely not butchered properly and contaminated during the slaughter process.

This is just my minimally educated guess though- I decided I already owed enough to the dept of Ed without putting a phD behind my name. :rolleyes:
 

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I also missed a very important piece of info to cover...
Deer. Elk. Moose.

They're everywhere. Guess what? They get it and die from it as well. So all those cute deer eating from your open feed supply (bags, hay, bunks, whatever) could openly be dropping pebbles into their food.

Just another reason to worry of course. Lol ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
So much information.
Thank you all for this.

I had no idea it could be "managed". It sounds extremely difficult to do so though.

And I still stand by CL seems less bad because most goats don't get internal and they can live with the CL external. Johnes positive animals seem like they have a much shorter life. Not that I want to get into an argument over which disease is worse, they're all pretty horrible from the animals standpoint.
 

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So much information.
Thank you all for this.

I had no idea it could be "managed". It sounds extremely difficult to do so though.

And I still stand by CL seems less bad because most goats don't get internal and they can live with the CL external. Johnes positive animals seem like they have a much shorter life. Not that I want to get into an argument over which disease is worse, they're all pretty horrible from the animals standpoint.
Completely agree. I don't feel as if it is fair to "rank" diseases either. Just because every animal responds differently. It is very time consuming and sometimes downright exhausting to constantly keep bio security measures in place as well as maintain sanity and function day to day. Lol
 
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