Domestic small ruminants and bighorn sheep
Domestic small ruminants and bighorn sheep Power Point slides from the Rendy 2015.

Provided by 
M. A. Highland, DVM, PhDc, Dipl. ACVP
PhD Veterinary Training Program
Morris Animal Foundation -Pfizer Animal Health Fellow
Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology
Washington State University
Pullman, WA

Attached Files
.pdf   Pack Goat presentation-June2015.pdf (Size: 575.05 KB / Downloads: 6)
I did get my 3 Oberhasli packgoats tested at WAADL for the MOVI pathogen. The nasal swabs are negative. The blood test looking for antibodies will be done in 12/4. Antibodies presence would prove exposure at some point. Not sure what it would mean in a practice.
Dr Tom Besser the lead author in the published study Pneumonia of Bighorn Sheep following Experimental Exposure to Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae sent me a note wanting to know how a packgoat is managed differently from other goats. He wants to learn more.

His presentation to the NFS at the Pendlton, OR meeting stated that "Most (90%) of domestic sheep and goat herds/flocks are infected with MOVI". I have 3 goats from 3 different farms and they are all negative as yet. Curious about that 90% and the fact that MOVI is highly transmissible. He did tell us at the meeting that MOVI was not common in small herds.
That's awesome that the nasal swabs came back negative! In my opinion if they test negative for active MOVI in the nostril they would present no risk of transmitting MOVI to bighorn.

I am really happy to hear Dr. Besser is interested in learning more. That is a step in the right direction to the powers that be packgoats are their own group and they should not be lumped in with domestic grazing sheep or grazing/feral goats.
Goatberries Happen!
Message from Dr Besser:
I wonder if I could give you a ring some time so I can learn more about how you have managed your goats (resulting in their negative PCR test results for Mycloplasma ovipneumoniae) – as I said at that meeting, (in Pendlton, OR) I need to learn more about pack goats and how they are managed differently from other goats.
Thanks, Tom
Thomas E Besser, DVM PhD
Professor of Microbiology
Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology
Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine Phone: 509-335-6075

Response from me
Our packgoat online community did a poll regarding how many packgoats most of us keep. The majority of us keep 3 or 4. My husband and I have 3 goats. We live on the edge of town with very few other goats or sheep. I have never had my goats at the county fair or any other large public gatherings. When at our annual gathering of packgoats called the North American Packgoat Rendezvous I keep my weathers isolated behind a portable electric fence and camp on a far edge of the gathering. This is the largest exposure to other goats my animals have. This gathering is for 3 days. During this gathering we hike with other packgoats but what typically happens on the trail is each goat stays with their own human pack.
Our baby packgoats are bottle fed at home by us. Typically they are removed from their herd of origin at 1 month of age, a couple of breeder sell them at 3 months old. It is rare to have a packgoat fed by its mother at all, most are removed at birth and bond early to humans.
My goats live a low stress life, predator free, ample clean water that is heated in the winter, clean hay with a variety of supplements, regular exercise, a dry insulated but not heated barn, and of course some toys to play with. Hay is supplemented with black oil sunflower seeds, flax seed, kelp meal and loose minerals made for goats. During some of our exercise hikes there is different browse for them to eat. They have an annual check with a mobile large animal vet. At this visit they get CD&T vaccinations and an oral worm medication.

Dr Besser Response:
Thanks much for your email. Very interesting information, and it seems likely that many or most pack goat ‘herds’ may also, like yours, turn out to be Movi negative, which would mean they pose a significantly lower risk for transmitting this pneumonia pathogen to bighorn sheep even if contact occurs.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Tom
I'm so glad Dr. Besser is interested in this topic and appears to really be listening. It would be wonderful if we could get real science on our side!
I wish more of the "powers that be" would take the time to understand packgoats are a different animal. The interaction IdahoNancy is having with Dr. Besser is priceless.
Goatberries Happen!
As a producer of pack goats, I will have to look into this test and see if the costs are something we can cover. Having a significantly higher head count then the typical pack goat owner, might be able to just show its not as difficult to keep a clean herd as they might think.
Pack Goat Prospects For Sale.

S.E. Washington (Benton City)
Dave, take a look at the presentation in the beginning of this thread. Maggie Highland wrote me an email when she gave me permission to post the presentation see below attached note sent 11/16/2015. Her contact is on the last slide.

As I offered at the pack goat meeting (Rendy 2015), if you would like an initial screening performed on  your goats, I would be happy to send you nasal swabs and a box with a return label and I will test them in my lab.  Once we get a swab or two to verify whether or not they are shedding/carrying Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae, you may then want to have WADDL perform the PCR on swabs that you have your veterinarian collect.  But if you are just curious initially, I am happy to run the assay which we do all the time in my lab. The only upside of then having WADDL do it on swabs collected by your veterinarian would be that there would be an “official” paper trail with results……perhaps this will come in handy in the future if this becomes a “best management” practice that the Forrest Service implements.
Let me know if you would like for my lab to perform the testing and how many swabs you would like to obtain and I will send the supplies and instructions to you on how to collect the swabs. 
If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
The Semasko's 7 packgoats, their friends 5 and my 3 have all tested negative for MOVI. That is 15 out of 15 packgoats that are negative. I am posting Dr Besser's note he presented to the Blue Mountain Forest Revision Team at our meeting in Pendleton, OR on 11/10/2015. The 2nd point is that 90% of domestic goat herds are infected with MOVI. 
Data on our packgoats may really help the scientist get a better picture. The Forest Revision Team brought Dr Besser to this Packgoat Forest Service meeting and they listened to him intensely.

Attached Files
.pdf   Dr Besser MOVI.pdf (Size: 844.68 KB / Downloads: 0)
I think it would be worth the time, effort and cost for all of us to have our goats tested. I'm having mine tested shortly. If we can provide hard scientific evidence it will be invaluable.
Goatberries Happen!

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