Caseous Lymphadenitis in Small Ruminants: Prevention and Control

Caseous Lymphadenitis in Small Ruminants: Prevention and Control Caseous Lymphadenitis (CLA) is a chronic, contagious disease affecting small ruminants like sheep and goats. It is caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis. This article will discuss the importance of understanding and managing this disease to ensure the health and well-being of your small ruminant livestock.

Caseous Lymphadenitis is a chronic disease that can lead to significant economic losses in the sheep and goat industry. It can cause a reduction in wool, meat, and milk production, and result in carcass condemnation at slaughter.

Key points:

  • Affects small ruminants like sheep and goats.
  • Caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis.
  • Results in economic losses for farmers.

Symptoms of Caseous Lymphadenitis

The disease presents in two forms: the external form and the internal form.

External Form

The external form of CLA is characterized by the presence of abscesses in the superficial lymph nodes, typically under the jaw, behind the shoulder, and in the inguinal area.

Signs include:

  • Swellings in the lymph nodes.
  • Ruptured abscesses, resulting in the release of thick, creamy pus.

Internal Form

The internal form of CLA affects the internal lymph nodes and organs, such as the lungs, liver, and kidneys. This form is more difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms are less evident.

Signs include:

  • Weight loss.
  • Respiratory distress.
  • Reduced milk production.

Transmission and Risk Factors

The bacterium causing CLA can spread through direct contact with infected animals or through indirect contact with contaminated objects.

Risk factors include:

  • Overcrowding of animals.
  • Mixing of animals from different sources.
  • Poor sanitation and hygiene practices.

Diagnosis of Caseous Lymphadenitis

Diagnosis of CLA is primarily based on clinical signs and laboratory testing.

Diagnostic methods:

  • Physical examination of the animal.
  • Bacteriological culture of pus samples.
  • Serological tests, such as the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA).

Prevention and Control Strategies

Effective prevention and control strategies are crucial to limit the spread of CLA in small ruminant populations.

Biosecurity Measures

Implementing strong biosecurity measures is the cornerstone of CLA prevention.

Key measures:

  • Quarantine new animals before introducing them to the main flock or herd.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect facilities.
  • Avoid sharing equipment between farms.

Vaccination

Vaccination against CLA can help in reducing the incidence and severity of the disease.

Vaccination guidelines:

  • Consult with a veterinarian for the appropriate vaccine and vaccination schedule.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for vaccine administration.

Regular Monitoring and Testing

Regular monitoring and testing of animals can help in the early identification of CLA

-infected individuals and facilitate prompt management.

Monitoring and testing strategies:

  • Conduct routine health checks on animals, looking for signs of CLA.
  • Test animals for CLA using serological tests, such as ELISA.
  • Segregate and treat infected animals as soon as they are identified.

Culling of Infected Animals

Culling of infected animals is an effective strategy to control the spread of CLA.

Culling guidelines:

  • Euthanize animals with severe or persistent infections that do not respond to treatment.
  • Dispose of carcasses properly to prevent environmental contamination.

Treatment Options

While there is no definitive cure for CLA, some treatment options may help manage the disease and improve the welfare of affected animals.

Treatment methods:

  • Surgical removal of abscesses, followed by proper wound care and antibiotic therapy.
  • Antibiotics may be prescribed by a veterinarian to manage secondary infections.

Note: It is important to consult a veterinarian before administering any treatment to ensure proper management of the disease.


Caseous Lymphadenitis is a serious disease that can significantly impact the health and productivity of small ruminants. By understanding the disease, implementing effective prevention and control strategies, and seeking timely veterinary advice, farmers can minimize the risks associated with CLA and ensure the well-being of their animals.