Sunday, March 24, 2013

Caseus Lymphadenitis (CLA) by Pat Colby

This article is from Pat Colby's book, Natural Goat Care, Copyright 2001. Although some of this information is obviously outdated, it is interesting that the injectable vitamin C worked on the CL. We do not have CL in our herd, but someone asked for this article so I figured I'd post it.

Caseus Lymphadenitis (CLA), Cheesy Gland.

This is quite different from a grass seed abscess, although it may take a vet to tell the difference. The latter has been covered at the beginning of this section. CLA is due to an organism - corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis - which gains entry though a wound, often invisible, or even from a grass seed. The abscesses are located on the lymph system and usually start at the back of the jaw. They then follow the lymph system down via the shoulder and underarm to the stifle from whence they will form inside the animal, usually resulting in debility and death. If the goat's immune system is in good order, one abscess is usually the only result, but should the goat be CAE positive, with no natural immunity, the abscesses will, in my experience, become endemic.

The abscess starts as a flat hardening at the back of the jaw, developing into a boil varying from the size of a dime to that of a tennis ball, depending on the goat's natural immunity. The treatment is the same as described earlier in the section on abscesses, but extra care must be taken in the handling of the pus from the abscess. Rubber gloves must be worn if there is any likelihood of a skin break in the hands and all material from the cleaning must be burnt. A British Veterinary Society meeting in April 1990 classifies CLA as a zoonoses, in other words, an animal disease that can be contracted by man, often in a form more unpleasant than the original.

I had an experience with an outbreak of this disease many years before CAE became a problem. Every goat in the herd, about 15, produced an abscess of some kind (often very small). From then on, even if a new goat came with an abscess, my herd appeared to have been built up a natural immunity that lasted for years. The organism responds to no known antibiotic; exhaustive tests were done at the time of that outbreak by veterinary researchers. They established that it could be sometimes halted if measures were taken before the swelling started - an obvious impossibility.

The only measures I have taken have involved using megadoses of vitamin C when the abscesses are internal. This does not stop them, but it detoxifies the material from the abscess so it does not affect the system - this, of course, only applies to CAE-free animals.

Many years ago a woman rang me about a goat in the last stages of debility. About three boils had burst on the exterior of her doe and then started through the interior lymph system. The vet had diagnosed them as being in the lungs and liver and advised putting her down and I felt the same. The owner believed that while there was life there was hope, so we decided to try vitamin C. The doe was given 10 grams intramuscularly daily for 10 days, with several injections of two cc of B12 and good supportive nursing. I did not hear any more and assumed the doe had succumbed until several months later when I opened a letter and a picture of an absolutely blooming Saanen doe fell out - she had made a full recovery.

In some countries, the United Kingdom included, CLA is a notifiable disease. It most often emanates from sheep, among which it causes havoc because the abscesses cannot be dealt with or seen in the wool. Exporters of goats may have to produce certificates of freedom from the disease.

Several attempts, mostly in South Africa where it has been a scourge to fleece goat breeders, have been made to produce a vaccine. These apparently have not been very successful. It was found that good husbandry, such as avoiding deep litter situations and making sure that the kidding yards were never on the same ground for two years running, were found to be far more effective.