CAE catastrophe continues : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

We just lost two more goats to CAE. One was a kid, dam raised on a doe that did NOT have CAE. How did the kid get it? Her dam was a first freshener. I'd intended to snatch the kids at birth, but was busy birthing another doe, didn't even know that Orchid was in labor. Orchid had her babies sneakily, secretly, before I could take them. Then she wanted nothing to do with nursing them!! I should have taken them and bottle fed them with the other pasteurized kids, but couldn't be sure that they hadn't nursed, so I didn't. I forced her to nurse them, and in time she decided that she loved one of the doelings. I had to restrain her twice a day and make her nurse the other one, hoping she'd eventually get to like that one too. She never did. Meanwhile, nursing twice a day just was not cutting it for this kid, and her mother was consistent about rejecting her. I had to tie the kid up or hold her while the other does were on the milking stands or 'Teeny Tiny' would run up and try to nurse. One day my son was with me while I was milking, I was busy and asked him to hold Teeny Tiny while the positive does were on the stands. I don't know whether he didn't hold her tightly enough or if she struggled so hard that he couldn't hang on to her. Either way, she ran up in the twinkling of an eye and nursed on the positive doe.

Over time, Teeny's twin grew well, and Teeny did not. Her belly became large and the rest of her was thin. She was very friendly and loving and had better conformation than her twin. She just gradually grew quieter and seemed to lose spunk. A few days ago she laid down and died quietly.

The other kid was also rejected at birth. His dam had a horrible labor and was in too much pain to mother the kid, the result of a very special A.I. breeding. He was getting frostbitten so I brought him up to the house and bottle raised him. Unfortunately, I didn't pasteurize the milk, and I gave him other doe's milk besides his dam, which included a doe that was subsequently positive. It was hard to accept that this long awaited kid was infected, but having a buyer who wanted him regardless helped. Prince Charming seemed to do really well until I moved him to the barn with the other goats. Then he became depressed. He didn't get thin like Teeny, he just held his head low all the time and swung it from side to side a lot. He was always quiet and friendly.

Yesterday morning I was milkng, and heard a kid hollering out on the pasture. I went out to see what was wrong as soon as I'd finished milking the does that were on the stands. Prince Charming had just died.

All this suffering is because I bought one doe, and didn't have her tested right after I bought her. The seller was reputable and I figured the doe had already been tested. Several other valuable animals are also now infected, and I guess it's just a matter of time before they die like this,too. If you don't have this in your herd already, please test every single animal you buy, or better yet, don't buy unless the seller can provide current negative test results and has them for severla years back, and has an ongoing CAE prevention program.

-- Rebekah (, July 14, 2001


Rebekah, I am so sorry for your losses. How sad.

You know my first doe rejected one of her kids the first time she freshened here. I wonder if that could be a trait?

The only one I have who is CAE- out of my original goats is a wether. I pasteurized and snatched him. However, I still don't think we know as much as we should about this virus. It shows up in goats after stress, so I don't know if there is anyway to get any real guarantee of having neg animals. There is definitely a way to get lots of pos, but even with snatching and heat treating, and pasteurizing and being tested and showing neg some animals will come up pos after a heavy duty stress.

I am really sad for you, you must be so heartbroken. {{{{{hugs}}}}

-- Dreen (, July 15, 2001.

Dear Rebekah, Two weeks ago, I lost twin girls at birth, and just buried their mother on Saturday. I share in your loss. This is a debilitating disease. If only I would have known. I also bought my nanny from a reputable breeder and thought I was home free also. I only have two little 4-H nubian male goats now and am taking every precaution I can to keep them alive and safe. My heart goes out to you. I know how you feel. Candace

-- Candace Zenni (, October 30, 2001.

Thank you Candace. I'm so sorry about your losing the doe and her babies too.

Since this has come up in my herd, I have heard a lot of other breeders saying that CAE prevention is a waste of time, that it doesn't matter if a goat is positive, and that it's impossible to keep out of your herd. I don't believe that (not yet anyway), but I do think that this mind set is a big part of the problem. I wish that ADGA would start some kind of a program to reward those with positive herds, to give some kind of status to those who can prove that the herd is positive and has been for so many years. CAE positive goats are still being shown and infecting other goats at shows. Just my opinion, I think it would be a good thing if CAE+ does were barred from some shows, and you had to present negative test results with the doe's tattoo on them, and the blood drawn by a vet, before that doe could be shown. Other than sales, and some are not honest, there isn't a whole lot of incentive to keep the herd CAE-.

I also wonder whether the practice of taping a does teats is really effective in preventing thew kid from being infected. Milk cannot leak through the tape when the doe has a letdown reflex? A lot of herds say that they are there at every single birth. Having had goats and been very diligent about being there at kidding time, I find it hard to believe that there is never a doe who pops her babies out before the herdsman gets there!! Some does make very little noise and are practically silent throughout the birth, so a baby moniter would not help with hearing them.

Anyway (rant mode off!)in short I think there is a lot still to be done about CAE and I really hope that in the future it will have been eradicated.

-- Rebekah (, October 31, 2001.

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