Scours-Johnes Disease
Written by Administrator-GL   
Monday, 30 March 2009

Title: Scours-Johnes Disease (Paratuberculosis)

(USUALLY-Will not be present in goats under 2 years of age)
This is an infectious, contagious disease that affects mostly the digestive tract. The bacteria that causes this disease (Mycobacterium paratuberculosis), localizes in the intestinal wall, which in turn disrupts the digestion and absorption of nutrients because of thicken intestinal walls.
This leads to chronic progressive weight loss with eventual debilitation and death of the goat. There has not been a reported case of this disease affecting a goat under the age of 14 months.. It is a very slow developing disease. This disease is usually thought to be commonly detected between the ages of 3 and 5 years old, even though the goat would have been exposed as a young kid.

Unfortunately, by the time you see symptoms, there has been many months even years for the disease to have been present in your herd and spread to other goats. The bacteria lives in the soil for years. Goats that are perpetually thin and have been wormed and fecals are clear, have no coccidiosis, are on good diets, and yet lose weight should be possibly tested for Johnes. There is no known cure.
There are however goats who are carriers, and show no signs of the disease. This disease is transmitted through fecal - oral contact. Raised feeders and clean goat areas will help not transfer the disease, should it be in your herd. There are 2 tests available for detecting Johnes, although neither is 100% accurate! The AGID test if performed during the shedding process, can give fairly accurate results. Diarrhea as a symptom in goats is usually only present in the final stages of the disease.
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