Caprine arthritis and encephalitis virus infection has emerged over the last 30 yr as a major cause of disease, primarily in European breeds of dairy goats under intensive management conditions in Europe and North America. Two distinct forms of locomotor problems are seen. A neurologic form of the disease is seen in young goats, usually 2–4 mo old but up to 1 yr of age. It produces a progressive paresis with incoordination leading to paralysis, usually involving the hindlimbs but sometimes affecting the forelimbs as well. In older, adult goats, the virus infection manifests as a chronic, progressive arthritis involving one or more joints and usually involving the carpal joints. The initial sign is usually swelling of the affected joint(s), followed by progressive degeneration of articular and periarticular tissues with calcification, leading to decreased range of motion, ankylosis, and overt loss of mobility.
For a more detailed discussion, see Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis.
Last full review/revision March 2012 by David M. Sherman, DVM, MS, DACVIM