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CAE in goats

Australian situation

Caprine arthritis encephalitis (CAE) is present in Australia.

For general information on managing animal health in Australia (including goats), please consult the latest edition of ‘Animal Health in Australia‘.

Disease summary

CAE is a disease of goats caused by a lentivirus. This disease is also called chronic arthritis-synovitis, big-knee, viral leukoencephalomyelitis, progressive interstitial pneumonia and caprine retrovirus disease (CRD).

CAE causes chronic arthritis and occasionally progressive interstitial pneumonia or chronic mastitis in adult goats and leukoencephalomyelitis in young kids.

Clinical signs include swelling of the carpal joints and lameness in adults. Other joints become involved as the disease progresses. Kids show nervous signs, such as lameness, ataxia, hindlimb placing deficits, hypertonia and hyperreflexia.

Transmission generally occurs through ingestion of colostrum, but can also occur through respiratory and other routes, such as exposure to fomites when feeding. The disease probably occurs worldwide.

World distribution

CAE infections have been reported in North America, Australia, New Zealand and parts of South America, Europe and Africa.

More information on this OIE-listed disease, including worldwide disease status and distribution maps, is available on the World Animal Health Information Database (WAHID).

Management of CAE

AHA and the Goat Industry Council of Australia have developed Guidelines for the Voluntary Control and Eradication of CAE from Individual Herds for the use of veterinarians in partnership with their goat producer clients to achieve effective CAE control. These guidelines used in conjunction with the National Kid Rearing Plan will help producers to reduce the risk of CAE and Johne’s disease spread in their herd.

CAE fact sheets

CAE FS image                                    aha_cae-voluntary-guidelines-document_web

Related links


Page reviewed: 29/11/2019