CL vaccine/test/treatment for goats

Asked August 23, 2014, 12:07 PM EDT

I have recently put a goat down as she was infected with the CL bacterium. This has caused an intense bout of reading up on treatments and vaccines leading to three questions. Question one: in your opinion is there a vaccine you would recommend for goats (I am specifically looking at one offered on the Jeffers website that is specifically for goats)? Question two: is there any treatment whatsoever for CL? I am seeing some talk about using formalin (formadahyde) injected into the abcess....(while this does not cure the infection it is supposed to prevent its spread). Question three: is there a reliable test that I can have done on the rest of my herd to determine who is/is not infected?

Midland County Michigan

2 Responses

CL is very contagious. Once an abscess is open the organism can be spread. Abscesses not only open through the skin, but can open in the lungs and mammary system as well. The organism is thought to survive for years in organic material. If the animal that you had "popped" an abscess on your farm it is highly likely that it was spread in your herd.

There are vaccines available for CL. It often comes with a CD-T vaccine. There is good evidence that these vaccines work well in sheep and goats (it is the same organism that causes the disease and can spread between sheep and goats). The key to elimination of the disease is to vaccinate the young animals before they become infected. Once infected and animal will be infected for life. Also vaccination must be done annually for several years after the last abscess is seen as the organism can live for years in the environment. Kids should be raised in heat treated colostrum and pasteurized milk as the abscess can also form in the udder and be passed on that way.

As far as I know injecting the abscess with formalin is not a legal treatment for CL and this should be discussed with your herd veterinarian.

There are blood tests that can be done to test animals for CL. Just remember that once an animal is vaccinated it will test positive for CL.

Thank you very much! I will begin vaccinating all of my current herd and will introduce new ones only after quarantine and sufficient time is allowed to vaccinate them. At this point I believe I can only begin vaccinating and watching diligently for any possible abcesses, have any abcesses tested and cull those that have positive tests of drainage. This has been a very sad lesson learned, I had no idea this bacteria existed let alone was a very real concern. Again thank you for your time and information, it becomes very hard to dissemminate all of the information out there!