To Vaccinate or Not: Decoding the CD&T Vaccine for Goats — Lone Feather Farm (2024)

Vaccination can play a pivotal role in safeguarding the health and well-being of your goats, preventing the spread of infectious diseases that can adversely impact productivity and overall herd vitality. Knowing which vaccines are important for your goats can sometimes be confusing, especially coupled with the fact that many goat owners choose to avoid vaccines altogether.

CD&T Vaccine

The CD&T vaccine is a crucial tool in the arsenal of goat health management. It’s been around for several years, and many goat breeders use it routinely as part of their management practices. CD&T stands for Clostridium perfringens types C and D, and Tetanus. This vaccine specifically targets these pathogens, providing effective protection against diseases that can have severe consequences for goats.

Understanding CD&T

CD&T is a combination vaccine, incorporating antigens for Clostridium perfringens types C and D and Tetanus. This comprehensive approach ensures broad-spectrum protection.

1. Clostridium perfringens Type C: Causes enterotoxemia, a rapid and often fatal condition affecting the digestive system.

2. Clostridium perfringens Type D: Also leads to enterotoxemia but is associated with overeating disease, particularly in high-grain diets.

3. Tetanus: A potentially deadly neurologic disease caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani, often entering the body through wounds or injuries.

Symptoms and Impact

1. Clostridium perfringens Type C/D: Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, and sudden death, with a significant impact on digestive functions.

2. Tetanus: Manifests as muscle stiffness, difficulty chewing, and respiratory distress, leading to a high mortality rate if untreated.

In essence, the CD&T vaccine is a proactive measure for goat owners to protect their herds from these potentially devastating diseases and maintain a thriving and resilient goat population.

Assessing the Risk

Understanding the prevalence of CD&T-related diseases in your region helps for making informed vaccination decisions. Veterinary consultation and local agricultural agencies can provide valuable insights into the frequency and intensity of outbreaks. Different areas may exhibit varying levels of risk, with some regions experiencing higher incidences due to climate, terrain, or specific husbandry practices. By gauging the local disease landscape, goat owners can tailor their vaccination strategies to address the specific challenges posed by their geographical context.

Several factors contribute to the overall risk of CD&T-related diseases in a goat herd. The type of terrain, climate conditions, and vegetation can impact the prevalence of the pathogens responsible for these diseases. Additionally, management practices such as diet, housing, and herd density play pivotal roles. High-grain diets, crowded living conditions, and environmental stressors can elevate the risk of enterotoxemia. Diligent sanitation, proper nutrition, and strategic herd management can mitigate these risks. Evaluating these factors in the context of your specific farm practices helps to formulate a targeted and effective vaccination plan.

Benefits of CD&T Vaccination

The CD&T vaccine offers a multitude of advantages in goat health management. Firstly, it provides robust protection against enterotoxemia caused by Clostridium perfringens types C and D, as well as the debilitating neurologic condition, Tetanus. The vaccine stimulates the goat's immune system to recognize and mount a defense against these pathogens, thereby significantly reducing the risk of infection. Additionally, CD&T vaccination is a time-tested and proven preventive measure, endorsed by veterinary professionals to fortify the overall health and well-being of goats.

Vaccinating goats with CD&T is instrumental in preventing illness and reducing mortality rates associated with the targeted diseases. Enterotoxemia, characterized by sudden and severe digestive disturbances, can result in rapid and often fatal outcomes. Tetanus, on the other hand, can lead to prolonged suffering and significant mortality if not promptly addressed. By vaccinating against these diseases, goat owners create a protective shield for their herds, minimizing the occurrence and severity of infections. This not only ensures the individual well-being of each goat but also contributes to the overall vitality and resilience of the entire herd.

Beyond the direct prevention of diseases, CD&T vaccination positively impacts herd health in broader terms. Healthy goats are more productive, yielding higher-quality milk and maintaining optimal weight for breeding purposes. Moreover, vaccination reduces the need for extensive veterinary interventions and treatments, easing the overall burden on both the goats and their caretakers. The positive ripple effect extends to the social dynamics within the herd, promoting a harmonious and stress-free environment conducive to growth and reproduction.

The economic benefits of CD&T vaccination are significant and multifaceted. By preventing diseases that can lead to increased veterinary costs, decreased milk production, and potential culling of valuable breeding stock, vaccination proves to be a cost-effective investment. The reduction in illness-related expenses, coupled with the positive impact on productivity, results in an overall improvement in the economic sustainability of goat farming operations. Additionally, a vaccinated herd is more likely to thrive and maintain consistent levels of production, contributing to a stable income for goat owners. In essence, the economic benefits underscore the value of CD&T vaccination as a strategic and essential component of responsible goat husbandry.

Administering the Vaccine

Establishing a good vaccination schedule is essential for maximizing the effectiveness of the CD&T vaccine. The initial vaccination is typically administered to kid goats at around 8 weeks of age. However, many sources now suggest giving the vaccine to kids even earlier, starting vaccination at 5-6 weeks, especially in cases where kids may not have had adequate colostrum This early introduction allows for the development of a robust immune response before the potential exposure to the pathogens targeted by the vaccine. A follow-up booster shot is generally recommended 3 to 4 weeks after the initial vaccination to ensure sustained protection.

Timing CD&T vaccinations with kidding season helps protect both the dam and the offspring. Pregnant does should ideally be vaccinated approximately one month before kidding to passively transfer immunity to their kids through colostrum. This ensures that the newborns start life with a level of protection against CD&T-related diseases. For goats not previously vaccinated, it is advisable to administer a primary vaccination series, followed by a booster, before breeding. Additionally, if acquiring new goats, vaccination history should be verified, and necessary immunizations provided to align with the existing herd's schedule.

Considering the age of the goats is equally important. Adult goats typically require annual booster shots to maintain adequate protection. However, if the adult goat has never been vaccinated, or has gone longer than a year without vaccination, it’s suggested that they get a booster following the initial vaccination in 2-4 weeks. For young, rapidly growing goats, a booster shot within a few weeks after the initial vaccination is essential for reinforcing immunity during this critical phase of development. Goat owners should work closely with a veterinarian to customize the vaccination schedule based on individual herd needs, regional disease prevalence, and any specific health challenges within the herd.

Booster shots play a pivotal role in sustaining immunity over time. The initial vaccination primes the immune system, while booster shots act as reminders, prompting a heightened and more prolonged response. Regular vaccinations, therefore, ensure that goats maintain optimal protection against CD&T-related diseases throughout their lives. Missing booster shots can lead to a decline in immunity, leaving the herd susceptible to infections.

Consistency in vaccination is key to building a robust defense against CD&T. Annual vaccinations, along with strategic boosters for specific cohorts, contribute to the long-term health and resilience of the herd. Regular veterinary consultations are essential to evaluate the efficacy of the vaccination program, address any emerging challenges, and adapt the schedule as needed. By adhering to a well-designed and timely vaccination plan, goat owners can enhance the overall health and longevity of their herds.

Cost Considerations

Luckily, the CD&T vaccine is affordable and easy to find over the counter, either at your local feed store or Tractor Supply or ordered through several suppliers online. Most vets recommend ordering the vaccine, as it limits the risk or potential bad handling in transit to stores and the many hands it passes through along that chain.

Veterinary treatments for diseases prevented by the CD&T vaccine can be substantial, including diagnostics, medications, and professional fees. Moreover, the economic impact of diseases such as enterotoxemia and tetanus can extend beyond veterinary bills, encompassing losses in milk production, decreased breeding success, and potential culling of infected animals.

When comparing vaccination costs to potential losses, it becomes evident that the investment in preventive measures is economically sound. Vaccination serves as an insurance policy against unpredictable and potentially devastating health events. The financial benefits of disease prevention, coupled with the overall improvement in herd health and productivity, often outweigh the relatively modest costs of vaccination. Additionally, preventing diseases through vaccination contributes to the sustainability and profitability of goat farming operations, making it a prudent and cost-effective investment for responsible herd management.

Alternative Approaches

While the CD&T vaccine is widely regarded as an essential tool in goat health management, some goat owners may choose not to vaccinate their herds, citing concerns and perceived risks. One primary apprehension is the potential development of injection-site abscesses, which, though rare, can occur if the vaccine is not administered correctly. Additionally, there may be worries about adverse reactions or allergies to vaccine components, leading some goat owners to opt for alternative preventive measures.

Some individuals may also question the necessity of CD&T vaccination, especially if their herds are not exposed to high-risk environments or if they follow strict biosecurity practices. Concerns about over-vaccination and the desire for more natural or holistic approaches to animal health can also influence the decision to abstain from routine vaccinations.

Exploring Natural or Alternative Methods for Preventing CD&T-Related Diseases

For goat owners seeking alternative approaches to CD&T vaccination, several natural or holistic methods can be explored. Herbal supplements, such as garlic or wormwood, are often considered for their potential immune-boosting properties. Additionally, ensuring a well-balanced and nutritionally rich diet contributes to overall herd resilience. Proponents of holistic practices may incorporate practices like rotational grazing to reduce the risk of parasite exposure, ultimately aiming to fortify the goats' natural immune defenses against diseases targeted by the CD&T vaccine.

While alternative approaches have gained popularity, it's crucial to consider potential drawbacks and limitations. Alternative methods may not provide the same broad-spectrum protection as the CD&T vaccine, leaving goats susceptible to specific diseases. Furthermore, reliance solely on natural approaches may overlook the complex nature of disease prevention, potentially leading to missed opportunities for timely intervention.

Another limitation is the potential delay in addressing health issues, as natural remedies may take time to manifest their effects. This delay could result in increased vulnerability to diseases with rapid onset, such as enterotoxemia. Moreover, some goat owners may find that the perceived cost savings associated with alternative approaches may be outweighed by increased veterinary bills or losses due to untreated diseases.

In conclusion, while alternative approaches can complement a holistic approach to goat health, they should be approached with a nuanced understanding of their limitations and potential risks. A balanced strategy, possibly incorporating both alternative methods and conventional vaccination, can offer a comprehensive approach to ensuring the well-being of goat herds. It is advisable to consult with a veterinarian to strike the right balance based on the specific needs and circ*mstances of individual goat operations.

Experiencing Enterotoxaemia

We stopped vaccinating our goats with the CD&T vaccine for several years. We did this in light of herds we knew had some serious adverse reactions to the CD&T vaccines with their kids. We also wanted to maintain the most natural approach we could with our goat management, and had feedback from herds who had stopped using the CD&T vaccine with no adverse effects on their herd. We decided to stop vaccinating our own herd but would vaccinate kids when requested by their new owners. And we never had an issue. Until we did.

After a divorce that left me and my goats without a farm, I was lucky enough to find a new farm and move my goats back with me. During our first kidding season on this new farm, my goat Victoria, who was a second freshener, kidded with twins unexpectedly early. She was moved into a kidding stall with her new kids, to safely acclimate. More than a week after her kidding I was out in the kidding barn until 3 AM assisting with another doe in labor in the adjoining stall. When I went to bed, the monitors were still on in case of any distress with the new kids. I woke at 6 AM to check on everyone and to make sure the new kids were eating well. As soon as I entered the barn, I saw Victoria on her side and rushed into the stall. I picked her up in my arms and realized she was barely alive. I was stunned. Just three hours earlier she had been perfectly fine. Panicked, I called a friend for advice and ran back into the house for C&D antitoxin. By the time I got back to the barn, Victoria was gone. I was stunned and devastated - I had never lost a goat like that. With the help of another friend, I got Victoria’s body to my veterinarian for a necropsy. Luckily, her two kids were fine, and I moved them out of the stall, where I found a large puddle of dark diarrhea.

The initial necropsy didn’t have any obvious answers, so I chose to get a pathology report, which took longer, while I waited anxiously for answers. When the results finally came back, it was determined that she had died from Clostridium perfringens. I’m still crushed thinking that this could have been prevented. After kidding she was underweight and the vet suggested her body was susceptible to the Clostridium perfringens that were already in her body. Because of this heartbreaking loss, I’ve reconsidered my stance on using the CD&T vaccine with my herd. All of my does will now be getting vaccinated 30 days before they’re due to kid.

In making decisions about CD&T vaccination, you’re encouraged to consider your specific circ*mstances. Every herd is unique, and factors such as local disease prevalence, herd size, and management practices should inform the vaccination strategy.

A crucial step is consulting with a veterinarian. Veterinarians can provide tailored advice, assess individual herd needs, and guide goat owners in implementing an effective vaccination plan. Being proactive about goat health is not only a responsibility but also an investment in the longevity and productivity of the herd.

Goat owners are urged to take action, schedule consultations with veterinarians, and stay informed about advancements in goat health management. By staying proactive and making informed decisions, goat owners contribute to the well-being and sustainability of their herds, ensuring a thriving and healthy environment.

To Vaccinate or Not: Decoding the CD&T Vaccine for Goats — Lone Feather Farm (2024)


Is the CDT vaccine necessary for goats? ›

All goats should be vaccinated for tetanus and Clostridium C &D (enterotoxemia). A full 8-way clostridial vaccine is used by some but not necessary on most NY farms. When? Two doses about 4 weeks apart, then annual boosters or booster more frequently if heavily fed on grain.

Where to give goats a CDT shot? ›

Subcutaneously injections can be given high in the neck, in the axilla (arm pit) region, or over the ribs. Sometimes, an abscess will develop at the injection site. For this reason, the axilla is usually the best injection site, especially for market lambs and goats and show animals.

What is the CD&T vaccine? ›

The CDT vaccine protects all small ruminants against clostridium perfringens type C and D, as well as clostridium tetani (tetanus). These organisms are commonly found in the environment including soil. A lamb found dead of clostridium perfringens type D. A kid affected by tetanus. How to Administer the Vaccine.

What are the protocols for goat vaccinations? ›

Basic Goat Vaccination Program
  • Immunize kids from immunized dams at 1-2 months of age for Clostridium perfringens type C and D and C. tetani; repeat immunization in 3-4 weeks.
  • Immunize kids from non-immunized dams at 1-2 weeks of age for Clostridium perfringens type C and D and C.

When to give kid goats a CDT shot? ›

At about six weeks these kids and lambs will begin to lose the immunity that they received from this colostrum. These kids and lambs should receive their first CDT vaccination by the time they are six to eight weeks of age, followed by a booster three to four weeks later.

Does the CDT vaccine need to be refrigerated? ›

Temperature. Store diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines refrigerated between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F). Do not freeze vaccine or expose to freezing temperatures.

How much does CDT vaccine cost? ›

Essential 3+T (CD&T) Cattle, Sheep, Goat & Swine Vaccine
Item: 40273Size: 10 ds$9.95
Item: 40274 **Size: 50 ds$39.95
Item: 40275Size: 125 ds$65.95

What is the 3 way vaccine for goats? ›

The 3-way vaccine called CD&T protects against Clostridium perfringens types C & D and Clostridium tetani. The 7-way and 8-way vaccines include additional protection from other clostridial strains, such as blackleg and malignant edema, which is considered less common for sheep in North America.

How much CD&T do you give goats? ›

CASEOUS D-T (CDT) Colorado Serum

Adults: 2cc 4-6 wks before kidding, Booster 30 days later, then each following year the annual booster 30-35 days prior to kidding. All adults need booster every 12 months. Kids: give 2 cc at 2-4 weeks and again 3-4 weeks later and again at 6 months; annual booster.

How often should I give goats CDT shots? ›

CDT vaccines are commonly accepted as being necessary annually to keep goats healthy.

How much bar vac cdt for goats? ›

Cattle: Using aseptic technique, inject 5 mL subcutaneously. Repeat in 21 to 28 days. Sheep and Goats: Using aseptic technique, inject 2 mL subcutaneously.

How often do goats need to be dewormed? ›

If their MMs are nice and pink, you do not need to deworm them. If their MMs are pale pink or white (anemic), you need to deworm them. It is good practice to inspect your goats every two weeks and only deworm those that need it. Consult with your veterinarian on various deworming products.

What shots do goats need before banding? ›

Tetanus protection is advised when applying either the banding or surgical technique. A dose of tetanus toxoid followed 3 weeks later by a second dose of tetanus toxoid at the time of castration is sufficient. Administration of tetanus toxoid results in a sustained immunity to tetanus.

What are the different types of injections for goats? ›

The three most common injection methods are subcutaneous (SC, under the skin), intramuscular (IM, in the muscle), and intravenous (IV, into a blood vessel, usually the jugular vein). Subcutaneous injections are the easiest to give and intravenous the most difficult.

What is CDT used for in goats? ›

Recommended Vaccination

The vaccine commonly known as “CDT” or “CD&T” is a vaccination for Clostridium perfringens type C + D and tetanus. This is the vaccine that everyone raising goats should use. The label directions should be followed closely, including those for handling and storage.

What causes CDT in goats? ›

Grains, silage or haylage, lush pasture, milk or milk replacer, and protein supplements, and even complete feeds (pellets designed to be fed to induce gain in lambs or kids) all can trigger this disease if fed in excess. If you do feed the above, feed your animals roughage first.

What is the vaccine for coccidiosis in goats? ›

Immunization with Eimeria ninakohlyakimovae-live attenuated oocysts protect goat kids from clinical coccidiosis. Vet Parasitol.

How to treat overeating disease in goats? ›

Treatment of enterotoxemia may not be successful in severe cases. Many veterinarians treat mild cases with analgesics, probiotics (gels or pastes with “good bacteria), oral electrolyte solutions, and antisera, which is a solution of concentrated antibodies that neutralize the toxins that these bacteria produce.

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