Cheesy Gland (CLA - Caseous lymphadentitis)

General description

Cheesy Gland (also known as CLA) is a contagious bacterial disease causing lymph node abscesses in sheep and goats. It can have significant economic impact at slaughter through trimming of carcases and carcase contamination.  Where multiple abscesses are present, carcases will be condemned.

On farm impacts can include reduced wool production and weight loss or reduced growth rates.

Cause

  • A bacterial (Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis) infection of sheep that causes abscesses in the lymph nodes and lungs.

Clinical signs

  • Most sheep with cheesy gland will show no obvious signs but it is readily detected in the carcase after slaughter.
  • Recently formed abscesses contain thick yellow-green pus.
  • With time the pus dries out and the abscess looks like an onion with concentric layers of solid pus.
  • The most common sites for abscesses are in the lymph nodes on the point of the shoulder, in the groin and in the lungs.

Diagnosis

  • Detected in the carcase after slaughter.

Treatment

  • No effective treatment.

Prevention

  • Vaccination – generally in combination with clostridial vaccine.
  • Don’t plunge or shower dip sheep without good reason and ensure good dipping hygiene, including time for shearing wounds to heal.
  • Keep time in the yards for recently shorn sheep to a minimum.
  • If an abscess is ruptured at shearing or crutching ensure the handpiece, floor or anything else that is contaminated is disinfected.
  • Maintain good hygiene at marking

Learn more

Fact Sheet - Cheesy Gland