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Georgia Dairy Goat Breeders Association

Promoting Dairy Goats ~ Since 1976

Disease and Pregnancy Testing

There are a few options to have your herd testing. Some of the most common tests for goats include:

  • CAE
  • CL
  • Johnes
  • Tuberculosis (TB)
  • Brucellosis
  • Q-Fever
  • Biopryn (pregnancy)

Here is why we test for each of these:
  1. CAE
    1. Caprine arthritis-encephalitis  is caused by a lentivirus. In goats it causes: arthritis, pneumonia, mastitis and weight loss in adults, and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain and brain stem) in kids. Goats become infected through drinking colostrum or milk from an infected goat. It is not transmitted to humans. 
  2. Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL)
    1. is a highly contagious disease of goats and sheep caused by a bacterium called Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis. CL causes external pus-filled abscesses on your goats following the lymph nodes and typically seen on the head and neck and sometimes on legs and torso. However, some of the abscesses can form internally causing problems with the body system where they are. This is transmitted through direct contact between animals from ruptured abscesses and can be transmitted to other species of animals such as horses, cattle, lamas, alpacas and buffalo. It is also possibly transmitted to humans so wear protective gear when handling infected animals.
  3. Johnes
    1.  is a contagious, chronic, and usually fatal infection that affects primarily the small intestine of ruminants. Johne's disease is caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis), a hardy bacterium related to the agents of leprosy and TB. 
  4. Tuberculosis (TB)
    1. is a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but they can also damage other parts of the body. TB spreads through the air when a person with TB of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, or talks. Some strains are zoonotic and can be transmitted to humans. If you plan to drink or sell your milk then it is important to test for this. 
  5. Brucellosis
    1. is a highly contagious zoonotic infection that is typically transmitted through eating or drinking unpasteurized/raw dairy products of infected animals. It can also be transmitted to humans through breathing in the bacteria or having it come in contact with a skin wound or mucus membrane. Infected goats will show signs of: abortions in the herd, swollen udders due to infection of the mammary glands, swollen testicles, nervousness and fever. If you plan to consume your milk products it is important to test for this. 
  6. Q-fever
    1. is an infection caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii. It is transmitted to humans by inhaling barnyard dust of infected animals. It results in flu-like symptoms or no symptoms at all. In a small percentage of people this bacteria can resurface years later and cause damage your heart, liver, brain and lungs. 
  7. Biopryn (pregnancy)
    1. After 30 days of being bred to a buck, you can do a blood test to check to see if your doe is pregnant.

How do I test for these???
CAE- blood test: can be done by goat herd owner and shipped to lab and processed for a nominal fee.
CL- blood test or culture from a wound. wound culture is more accurate. 
Johnes- blood test: can be done by goat herd owner and shipped to lab and processed for a nominal fee.
TB: done by a vet. *special note: livestock TB tests will typically consist of both fowl/bovine TB and if your farm also has chickens that have access to your goats you may have a false positive test from goats consuming feed or hay contaminated by the chickens. At this point a vet can come out and do individual bovine vs fowl TB tests to determine which it is, or both. Fowl TB doesn't affect the goats, but bovine does. 
Brucellosis: must be tested by a vet. 
Q-fever: blood test that can be submitted by goat owner or through fetal/placental remains of an aborted kid.
Biopryn (pregnancy): blood test: can be done by goat herd owner and shipped to lab and processed for a nominal fee.

What labs can I send my samples to that I can test myself??
  1. Sage labs tests for CAE, CL, Johnes and pregnancy tests in goats. $6/goat CAE, $7 CL, $5 Johnes, $6.50 pregnancy test. They also offer a combo test of CAE/CL/Johnes for $17/sample ($1/sample savings).  Click the link for details: https://sageaglab.com/sites/sageaglab.com/files/Fillable%20Goat%20Form.pdf
  2. Central Florida Large Animal Veterinary Services tests for CAE, Johnes and pregnancy in goats: $5/goat for CAE, $4.50 for Johnes and $6.50 for pregnancy test. http://www.centralfloridalargeanimal.com/index.html
  3. PMI Biopharma. Will test for CAE and pregnancy in goats. $6/goat for CAE, $6.50 for pregnancy tests. They test every day of the week and you will typically get your results the next day from when they receive your sample. https://www.pmibio.com/additional-services/cae-opp-testing/
  4. Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. Will test for CAE, CL, Johnes, Q-fever, Pregnancy, Brucella and Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae (pneumonia causing bacteria). See website for details and pricing: https://waddl.vetmed.wsu.edu/animal-disease-faq

There are numerous other labs as well. These are just a few options.