CAE (Caprine Arthritis Encephilitis) This is a disease that can be transferred from goat to goat, but is commonly passed form doe to her kids through milk. Most kids are not affected, but those that are suffer from encephalitis seizures. Adults who have CAE can have a range of symptoms, most being arthritis in joints, swollen knees, and hard udders with low production. Pasteurization kills the CAE virus, so you can pasteurize the milk and feed it to the kids. As far as I know it is not dangerous to humans.
CL (Caseous Lymphadenitis) CL is a serious disease. Any goat that is found to have CL should be culled. CL causes both external and internal abcesses. If an abcess ruptures the exudate contaminates anything it comes in contact with. This is zoonotic in nature, and can be contagious to humans.
Johnes disease is similar to Chrones disease in humans. This causes weight loss, and wasting in animals. It is important to test your herd for this as it may also be zoonotic.
As you can see, herd health is extremely important. And the other important thing to remember is that these diseases are NOT TREATABLE. Once a goat has these they will always have them, and in some cases your land may be contaminated for years.
In conclusion, getting goats isn't something that should be done quickly, or without proper thought or preparation. However, you can only read and research so much before you have to just take the plunge. When I started reading and researching I had second thoughts bout getting goats. People make them seem very fragile and very frustrating. The other end of that is that they are quite charming creatures. Each and every time they see me, I am greeted by bleats, both soft and murderously loud. They follow nearly like dogs when we go on walks and rub along my legs to be petted.
So to summarize...read, research, prepare...and get a goat.
Do you raise goats? Have any questions not addressed in this article? Leave it in the comment section!
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