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Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL)

Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL)

Volumes have been written about Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL), a chronic bacterial infection that results in both internal and external abscesses.


External abscesses are highly contagious and can infect other animals by both direct (goat to goat) and indirect (goat to surface to goat) contact. There is also some degree of danger to humans as this is a zoonotic disease. Topical treatment involves keeping the disease controlled by lancing and cleaning out the abscesses when they are ‘ripe’ and covering the site with antibacterial ointment.


In fact, only a small percentage of lumps are CL, so don’t automatically panic if you see one.


There are options for vaccinating against CL, but you should be aware that the company that produces the sheep CL vaccine, Caseous D-T, strongly advises against its use with goats because it is not effective and is very crippling. If you are interested in vaccinating against CL, several laboratories make custom CL vaccine that is safe and effective for goats. A number of our customers have gone this route and report excellent results.


University of Arkansas – Caseous Lymphadenitis in Small Ruminents

The Merck Veterinary Manual – Caseous Lymphadenitis

Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory – Caseous Lymphadenitis of Sheep and Goats

Colorado Serum Company – CLA in Goats (and their vaccine)

Alabama Cooperative Extension System – Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) in Goats and Sheep