Questions Regarding Johnes Disease

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by capriola-nd, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    I am wondering how many of you breeders test for Johnes disease or have ever suspected it in your herd? I was just reading some articles on it. I was shocked to find out that it is present in an estimated 80% of cattle herds and is now becoming a problem in goat herds. I know of one pygmy breeder who lost her entire herd to Johnes and had to start all over.

    I'm thinking next year we might test for that as well as CAE and CL. All these diseases make me nervous! Our goats are all healthy - at least they look healthy. No one in our area, that I know of tests for Johnes, so none of our goats we've purchased have been tested (that I know of). What are your thoughts??
     
  2. Muddy Creek Farm

    Muddy Creek Farm New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Keokuk, Iowa
    I test for Johnes, to me it is more of a risk then some of the other diseases, I just like to be safe and test for it :greengrin:
     

  3. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    Is that because their are not many symptoms for it? I think we will for sure test for it next year. It is better to be safe than sorry. So, you test yearly then? Can it develop in your herd or must it be brought in by an infected animal?
     
  4. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    It has to be brought in by an infected animal...I'm testing my girls for it...I would rather be safe than sorry...there is some evidence that johnes causes crohn's disease in humans...and pasturization does not always kill it...very scary...
     
  5. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    I have also heard that it is getting more prevelant in the goats. I test for all 3 yearly!
     
  6. Pam B

    Pam B New Member

    175
    Oct 15, 2007
    Southern Michigan
    I attended a seminar on Johnnes at Michigan State University during Goat Day of Ag and Natural Resources week that was specifically targeted to informing goat owners about the disease. Unfortunately testing is not accurate, so the only way to be sure that your goats have Johnnes is for them to have the advanced symptoms along with testing. CL and Johnnes are similar in some ways so that the testing can say you have one while you really have the other. And pasteurization only gets rid of 95% of the bacteria, so that doesn't really make your milk safe, it just makes it "safer" than unpasteurized - if your animals actually have Johnnes.

    They say the best ways to prevent the disease in your herd is to keep your pens clean and dry. Accumulations of wet manure that your nursing does lay in and get on their udders make a perfect environment for growing the disease. Babies can pick up the disease by nursing from dirty udders. They also suggest that you keep your goat's udders clean if you are going to let babies nurse from their moms.

    I came out of that seminar scared to death of Johnne's and feeling like there is absolutely no hope if it ever gets into my herd.
     
  7. enjoytheride

    enjoytheride New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Humboldt Co Ca
    Pam B- did they indicate at your seminar that milk replacer is not safe too?
     
  8. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Illinois
    Just a note, when you test, the only accurate(and of course more expensive test) for Johnes is the fecal test. Blood tests can have false positives show up.
     
  9. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    Pam B--Thanks for all the info...I wish I would have known about that seminar! I'm from southern MI too! Only a little more than an hour from East Lansing! Of course, I probably would have left feeling the same way you did...helpless...but I still think that learning as much as I can would make me better equipped to protect my goaties...

    I am also terrified of the chronic wasting disease they found in a deer farm recently...I live right next to one... :sigh:
     
  10. Pam B

    Pam B New Member

    175
    Oct 15, 2007
    Southern Michigan
    Any milk product at all is suspect, especially if it comes from cows. I was shocked at the high percentage of dairy cows in the State of Michigan that they are sure have the disease. It made me really determined not to consume store bought milk ever again. And I definitely won't give it to my babies if they need to be bottle fed. I'll do all I can to make sure they only get goat's milk from either my herd or from a herd that I know to be healthy.

    Funny River Farm, I'm going to PM you with my contact info. Ag Week and Goat Day at MSU is always in March. I'll be glad to let you know when I get the info for 2009.
     
  11. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    We had a cashmere breeder have a wether that was just loosing weight and no matter what they did he would not gain weight, so they went ahead and had the vet put the goat down and they did a Nircropsy (sp) and found out that he had Johnnes. They tested a couple others that were going in the same direction and they also had it. So the States came in and confined all the animals and the only way they could leave the property was if they went to the butcher. None could sold at all, other then for the meat.

    They will come check the herd every year until they come out all clean.

    I tell you we all leared really fast about how dangerous it is, and what it does to the goats.
     
  12. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    Oh, my goodness. That is really scary! Okay, well our pens are kept very clean - I hate for my goats to lay down (or even walk) on nasty, mucky, poopy stuff (I'm sure we all do). So, I feel very worried. None of our goats are showing any symptoms or signs. No breeders in our area (that I know of) have it in their herds. Anna Brown doesn't test for it.

    My grandpa does have 3-5 cows year-round on the property, they are in a separate pasture though.

    This is depressing. :(
     
  13. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    We had a cashmere breeder have a wether that was just loosing weight and no matter what they did he would not gain weight, so they went ahead and had the vet put the goat down and they did a Nircropsy (sp) and found out that he had Johnnes. They tested a couple others that were going in the same direction and they also had it. So the States came in and confined all the animals and the only way they could leave the property was if they went to the butcher. None could sold at all, other then for the meat.

    They will come check the herd every year until they come out all clean.

    I tell you we all learned really fast about how dangerous it is, and what it does to the goats.
     
  14. Pam B

    Pam B New Member

    175
    Oct 15, 2007
    Southern Michigan
    That's how I felt coming out of the seminar. It was pretty much like they had told us there was no hope at all and we may as well have gone home and slaughtered all our goats and been done with it. But, if you keep your bedding clean and dry and make sure that your goats aren't laying in wet, manure filled spots you should be OK. Spring is one of those times to be especially diligent about keeping things clean since that tends to be a really muddy season, which coincides with when most of our babies are born. They said that lime also helps cut down on the possiblity of getting the disease.
     
  15. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    thanks everyone , this has been a very helpful post.
     
  16. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    Okay, I will remember to get some more lime, I use that a lot anyways. I also clean the barn at least weekly. . . . thanks everyone for your posts. If anyone has anything further to add, please do.
     
  17. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    make sure water is always clean, thats a biggie. mine like to poop in it, turn around :roll: then they stand there looking at it and screaming "Thirsty!, Thirsty!!"
     
  18. enjoytheride

    enjoytheride New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Humboldt Co Ca
    Re: water troughs- I raise mine up 8-10 inches from the ground and put stepping places in front of it- this has kept the poops out of the water except for once for over 2 years. To poop in it, the girls would have to back up, put the back legs on the step then poop. They must not think it is worth the trouble- :leap: