Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) 

CAE is another "hush, hush" disease among Boer breeders!

We began CAE testing in February 2013, when customers from Ohio requested it prior to picking up goats they purchased from us. All 6 goats tested Negative. I did not realize the disease was quickly spreading through some "big name" herds that were using non tested Dairy cross does as recips in their flush programs. I am not writing this to bash flush programs, Dairy Goats, or those that responsibly test their recips prior to using them. I just feel that folks new to the Boer Industry need to be aware of the potential transmission modes of the disease.

Early in 2013, we made the unfortunate mistake of purchasing goat milk from a local Amish dairy to save a 2 week old doeling that broke her leg and refused powdered milk replacer.  A good friend of mine questioned me about the milk.........which we assumed was safe.  We tested her when she was old enough and she was positive.  It was heartbreaking to cull her from our herd and suffer a loss of over $1,000.00 from the vet bills to set and fix her leg.  She was & still is asymptomatic, as many CAE carriers are.  She is living her life as a pampered pet on a horse farm, with no chance of breeding. 

After realizing the threat of CAE in Boer herds was substantial, we went on to test our entire herd....approximately 75 at the time. Every goat was NEGATIVE. We are confident in having a clean & tested foundation herd and will continue to test every new goat we add to the herd.  The CAE blood test is very easy to do, inexpensive and best of all..........very accurate. 

We use the following facility for both pregnancy & CAE testing:

Precision Diagnostics, LLC

Submission Sheet pdf


The article below was written by me, Sherrie Losch, and then proof read and corrected by Sara Beth Routh @ the NC Cooperative Extension.  



 Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL)

Producers do not like to talk about this common goat disease.  If you raise goats long enough, you will eventually have to deal with CL.  In my opinion, any goat disease that can be prevented by a simple vaccination is a much better alternative than treating or culling infected goats.

We are extremely cautious when purchasing new goats.  I ask a lot of questions and prefer to purchase from producers that have a vaccination program, or at the very least a CL management program already in place.  If a producer tells me he/she never has had any throws a red flag.  Goats get lumps from bacterial infections, injury,  etc.....not necessarily CL lumps.  Either they have not been raising goats for a very long period of time or they are simply not being truthful.  

We do not recommend the blood test for CL as a determination of individual exposure to or active infection of CL. The blood test is highly inaccurate at best.  I have known many producers who have blood tested goats, getting NEGATIVE results, only to have them pop a CL positive lump shortly thereafter.  Adversely, I have had 2 different producers purchase mature does that I had vaccinated multiple times for CL.  They blood tested them & the test came back negative....not picking up the presence of antibodies produced in response to the vaccine as it should have.  There is value in herd wide blood testing for CL to determine prevalence of infection within a herd. 

Washington State University ~ CL explains what I am referring to when answering: "What tests are available for CL?"

"There are two testing methods for CL offered at WADDL: bacterial culture to detect the bacterial organism in abscess material, and serology to detect C. pseudotuberculosis-specific antibodies in sheep and goat blood samples. For animals with visible subcutaneous abscesses, it is best to submit abscess material for culture since this is the most direct and definitive method to diagnose CL in an individual animal. It is recommended that all abscesses be cultured regardless of serology test results.

The serological test is the best method of “herd-level diagnosis” (screening herds).  WADDL runs the Synergistic Hemolysin Inhibition (SHI) test, which measures the antibody response to an exotoxin produced by the organism. No CL serological test is sufficiently reliable to confidently detect infection in individual sheep or goats, therefore the serology results for an individual animal test should be interpreted with caution. Furthermore, although a positive serologic test result alone may indicate active infection, it also may indicate past infection that has resolved.  The SHI test specificity and sensitivity for individual animals may not be high in some herds, however, the prevalence of positive tests within a herd usually reflects the herd prevalence of infection reasonably well."

We VACCINATE.  It is NO sales gimmick. We have been vaccinating our entire herd for CL, including any goats purchased and added to our herd, since July of 2007.   Additionally, we have a vet collect a sample from any lump that shows up on our goats and send it away for biopsy and identification.  This has been done on a regular basis, since June of 2011.  Yes........goats get lumps, that does not mean they are CL lumps.  The ONLY way to tell for sure is to biopsy them.  All biopsies done on our own stock from that time frame forward have tested NEGATIVE for CL.  

The article below was written by Sara Beth Routh @ the NC Cooperative Extension.  It is informative and worthwhile reading!