You should ensure you take all available precautions to protect your sheep from disease, including vaccination and looking for any signs that their health has changed. Franklin Vets can advise you on the best disease management programme for your farm.
Pregnancy toxaemia (also known as twin-lamb disease, sleepy sickness, lambing sickness and pregnancy disease) is a disease mainly seen in twin bearing ewes in late pregnancy. The condition arises when pregnant ewes do not receive enough nutrition in the latter stages of gestation. If the signs are not picked up early and treatment is delayed, the chances of a successful outcome will rapidly decrease.
If you notice any of the early signs of pregnancy toxaemia you can begin a daily treatment with oral energy drenches such as Ketol. Contact Franklin Vets if you notice any of the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Wool pull-where the wool is easily plucked
Without treatment, they will progressively worsen with apparent blindness, aimless wandering, staggering, frothing at the mouth and champing of the jaws. If left untreated the animals will eventually become comatose before dying.
Flystrike is a disease caused by blowflies laying eggs on the skin which hatch as maggots and eat into the skin causing sores. There are several species of blowfly throughout New Zealand, the most aggressive being the Australian green blowfly. We recommend Extinosad for the effective killing of maggots and lice.
Treatment with oral energy drenches are only effective for mild cases if caught in the early stages. Franklin Vets will provide you with the best chance for a successful outcome. We can give IV dextrose solution, steroids and fluid therapy for more serious cases.
Barbers Pole (Haemonchus contortus)
Is a potentially harmful roundworm , blood sucking parasite that thrives in moist humid conditions. Anemia is the basic feature of infection due to blood loss. Deaths can occur suddenly while the sheep still appear to be in good health. Franklin Vets recommend incorporating long acting drenches that prevent the buildup of the parasite. Two actives that work well are Closantel and Moxidectin.
Pneumonia is usually contracted between January through to April. Lambs and hoggets can appear slow and listless but the identifying factor is coughing within the group. Prevention is far more effective than treatment. Reduce the amount of time the sheep are yarded to reduce dust and infection.
Facial eczema is becoming less of a concern in sheep with the widespread use of FE tolerant Coopworth and Romney rams but terminal sires without this genetic selection may deteriorate with severe liver damage. Consider using a zinc bullet when putting the ram out with the ewes.
Clostridial diseases almost always result in death and often involve a significant number in the flock. 5in1 vaccine is effective against these traditional diseases and in some situations such as specialist crops or stud stock, the more recent 6in1 or 10in1 may be more suitable.
Contagious Ecthyma (scabby mouth)
Scabby mouth is not normally a life threatening disease but will cause discomfort and reduce production in the affected animal due to their inability to graze properly. Vaccination is the best way to avoid this set back.
Franklin Vets offers a range of products online to help treat your sheep. Contact us for vaccinations and further treatment on your farm.