February 2009 Issue



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I want to give you an update on what I am doing with my herd in terms of protection against CL.

Colorado Serum, the manufacturer of the CL sheep vaccine, has long recommended against using it with goats because of serious side effects ( leg swelling, loss of appetite) in young, old, and immune-system compromised goats. I have heeded their warnings and counseled against its use in goats. I've always understood that the organism causing CL is the same in both goats and sheep. My reservation against using CaseBac centered around its side effects.

CL continues to be a management issue of great concern to goat raisers. The CL vaccine for goats is still under development and submission testing to the USDA has been delayed multiple times for reasons beyond Colorado Serum's control. Onion Creek Ranch will be a participant in this submission testing, which should take place within the next few months.

In the meantime, I've learned that CaseBac, the Colorado Serum CL vaccine for sheep, can be used with goats safely and without serious side effects by giving it sub-cutaneously (SQ) over the ribs with a 22 gauge needle. So to protect my goats from developing CL, I have vaccinated many of my goats with CaseBac in this manner and experienced no side effects, while keeping enough goats "naive" (unvaccinated) for participation in the submission testing program.

When the CL vaccine for goats is on the market, I will boost everyone with the new vaccine. I have been told by several vets that they are going to recommend its use throughout entire herds, including goats that test positive for CL and also those who have active abscesses. The vaccine will not cure the disease, of course, but its use in conjunction with 10% buffered Formalin when necessary should allow the producer to control and utimately eradicate CL from the herd.

Here is my vaccination protocol: I will wait until kids are three months old to give the first CaseBac injection. I will give the first injection on the right side of the body SQ over the ribs with a 22 gauge needle. I will wait 30 days until the kids are four months of age and give the booster injection on the left side of the body in the same location and manner. Adults will be vaccinated 30 days apart, first on the right side of the body and then on the left side so that the immune system is not overwhelmed. CaseBac is safe to use on pregnant does but I personally would not give it to a doe in late gestation.

More information will be furnished to all of you as soon as I get it.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto
Onion Creek Ranch