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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Needless to say, I am very stressed about this situation. I almost didn't post because it's super embarassing but nobody else understands the possible implications of this and I need your support.

A 2.5 year old doe that was bred and born on our farm began scouring several weeks ago. All the typical avenues have not resulted in a cause or solution and the scouring is severe. (Without going into every detail, her FAMACHA is perfect, appetite good, no fever, and I have used pepto bismol, scourcheck, toltrazuril, and dewormer combinations to no avail just in case they were sneaky winter worms that didn't show eggs in the fecal analysis.) I strongly suspect that Johne's disease blood test will come back positive. She is the right age. And obviously I will regret every biosecurity decision I've made the past 3 years! The herd last tested clean of CAE, Johne's, and CL in 2014. But I have not been as rigorous with new goat additions in recent years (not bringing in any obviously diseased goats, but the risk is still there.)

If the test is positive, I will need to decide whether to proceed with testing & culling the entire herd numerous times over the next few years until our vet helps me declare the herd free of Johne's or just auctioning the entire herd marked for meat only.

Are Johne's positive animals safe for human consumption? I know there is some link to Crohn's disease in humans but I wasn't sure if that was milk consumption only.

Our vet comes Monday for the blood draw. Planning to use UBRL in CA for the testing.

The implications, including possibly needing to contact buyers I have sold kids to the past few years, are all overwhelming.

I'm trying to stay a little hopeful that maybe it's some freak bacterial issue with only 1 goat of 16 in the doe herd presenting.

Photo is Burrata (the doe in question) and her 2018 single doe kid this past spring, her first kidding.
Sky Tree Plant Cloud Natural landscape
 

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Hopefully the test will be negative and the veterinarian can help with the scours. Prayers.
 
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Well my friend there is not much you can do till it shows she has or doesn’t have it. So try and take a deep breath. I would be freaking out too but I would be trying not to. Try to read up on it the best you can, it won’t hurt to do so even if she does come back negative. I should even take my own advise since I admit I don’t know a whole lot about the disease.
I have never heard that you can not eat the meat though. I am very sorry you are going threw this and I hope that it comes back negative. (Hugs)
 

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This is a scary thing to have to face. I truly hope she turns out negative. Are you going to have a fecal exam as well, or only the blood test? I was thinking a fecal would be more accurate in a case like this where a goat is actually scouring, but it's been awhile since I researched Johne's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is a scary thing to have to face. I truly hope she turns out negative. Are you going to have a fecal exam as well, or only the blood test? I was thinking a fecal would be more accurate in a case like this where a goat is actually scouring, but it's been awhile since I researched Johne's.
I have been doing a lot of reading and am going to get my vet's opinion Monday on sending both a fecal and a blood sample at the same time. I think you are correct, the fecal test is more accurate once they have presented symptoms. BUT it can take 3-4 months to get the results from it! It's a very long test and obviously more costly than the blood test.
 

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Having watched a friend go through this with her dairy cattle I feel for you. Hoping for a negative result.
Please take the extra time and money to get the fecal test done, the blood test is not very accurate. What lab are you sending the tests to? Some are better than others.
 

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Wow. I didn't realize a fecal would take so long! Seems odd doesn't it. It seems if they were doing a fecal exam they could look not only for Johne's bacteria but also for other bacterias that might cause her to scour. I guess it's always more complicated than it seems.

I read up extensively on Johne's when I first started breeding goats five years ago, so my memory is a little shaky, but it seems that Johne's mostly thrives in overcrowded pens with filthy bedding and they pick it up as kids but don't present symptoms until 2-3 years old. If I recall correctly, it's more difficult for adults to contract it (can they?). I imagine as with most bacterias, healthy kids kept in clean pens should be more capable of resisting the bacteria even if it's present in small amounts. I know we hear a lot of gloom and doom with diseases like this, but I'm starting to feel more and more that if we avoid overcrowding, keep our pens clean, and do our best to avoid feeding from the ground, even if we do get a sick animal through, it is unlikely to doom our entire herd and their offspring. There is a lot to be said for good herd management practices, which I'm sure you maintain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was planning to use UBRL in California for blood tests. I don't see a lot of labs offering the fecal tests for goats (they have to grow both the sheep and cow strains). WADDL reports a reporting time of 6 months for goat fecal but I'm not clear they offer it. I'll have to discuss with my vet.
 

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I think that fecal is worth it for sure. I was talking with our state vet and she was telling me its just the gold standard and so much more accurate. That false negatives and false positive are just too common with the blood test.

Big hugs and I hope you get a negative result and can relax.
 

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How scary! I sure hope it turns out negative. What percentage of goats do they estimate have Johnes?

Sending good thoughts and prayers your way!
 

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This is from the OCR article on Johne's

"The good news is that Johne's Disease is not believed to be transmittable from goats to people but this has not yet been established scientifically. Much of the literature used in the preparation of this article was furnished by Bob Glass, President of Pan American Vet Labs, in Hutto, Texas (near Austin). Pan American tests for CAE and CL, in addition to providing Johne's testing. Contact him at 1-800-856-9655 for further information or email [email protected]."

Here is the link to her entire article.
http://www.tennesseemeatgoats.com/articles2/johne'sdisease.html
Katey, I am so sorry. You must be frantic.
:crazy: We'll be here.
 

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https://johnes.org/goats/diagnosis/ seems very authoritative. I'm not sure I understand it all, but you have a vet that could help you if you needed more explanation.
This was very informative! Looks like the PCR test is a lot faster than the culture and it's just as accurate. The blood tests only catch an infected goat 30-50% of the time because the animal doesn't make antibodies until the later stages of the disease. So basically it will go undetected by blood test in the beginning stages. However, if you get a positive, there's only a 1% chance that it was a false positive.

I'm thinking since your goat is in the later stages of the disease (if in fact it is Johne's) then you have a better chance of the blood test finding the antibodies.

I'm so sorry for what you're going through. HUGS!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you all. I am reading the links. I am counting down the hours until the vet arrives Monday and will go straight to the post office to mail it so I can at very least have the blood results before Christmas. I think I will ask my vet to draw blood on her dam and full sister 2 years younger since it most likely to be contracted by newborn goats.
 
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