Clostridial and Pasteurellosis disease in sheep are the two major factors of death in unvaccinated sheep. The pattern for vaccination is for two treatments approximately 4 to 6 weeks apart. For breeding ewes a single dose at least 4 weeks pre-lambing is advised (providing they have received the two initial doses) to give cover for the lamb at birth via the colostrum. New born lambs need to be vaccinated so that they are covered by the second dose by 6 to 8 weeks. CLOSTRIDIAL DISEASES Many of the clostridial diseases are fatal. The main diseases caused by clostridial bacteria, are: LAMB DYSENTERY Affects lambs in the first few days of life, but could follow in lambs up to 2 weeks of age. Lambs stop sucking, become listless and diarrhoea sometimes tinged with blood develops. Lambs may only survive for 1 to 2 days. PULPY KIDNEY The infection comes from bacteria in soil or from sucking udders contaminated with faeces. The disease is caused by toxins that are formed by the organism after it has gained entry into the body. Symptoms are salivation, grinding of teeth, muscle tremors and bending the head backwards towards the spine. The name is derived from the appearance of the kidneys, that are ‘pulpy’ and have lost the normal structure of kidney tissues. STRUCK Struck is a disease of mature sheep (over 1 year). Affected animals become listless, display acute colic, such as straining and kicking of the abdomen. BRAXY Characteristically seen in unvaccinated weaned lambs during the winter months and associated with the ingestion of frosted root crops. The bacterium multiplies only in the absence of oxygen and is found in rich humus soils. The infection enters through the mouth and is confined to the digestive canal. VACCINE PROGRAMMES: ✚ Lamb Dysentery ✚ Pulpy Kidney ✚ Struck ✚ Braxy ✚ Black Disease ✚ Tetanus ✚ Blackleg ✚ Pasteurellosis MEET THE TEAM “I’m based in the Ludlow Depot and can advise on all aspects of animal medicines and nutrition. I also focus on the Agrii premises in Welshpool Market and the surrounding area, with the majority of my time spent on farm visits. Please get in touch with any queries or pop in to our Ludlow Shop or Welshpool Market.” OLLIE JAMES Animal Health Specialist, Ludlow BLACK DISEASE Associated with the migration of immature liver fluke during late summer/early autumn and can affect unvaccinated sheep of all ages. The immature flukes migrating through the liver create a favourable medium for development of spores and later production of toxins. The disease is most prevalent in 2 to 4 year old sheep and is restricted to animals infected with liver fluke. TETANUS Can affect sheep and cattle of all ages. Tetanus is a highly fatal disease caused by toxins produced by bacterium Clostridium tetani. The bacteria are found in the soil and in the gut of the animal (and humans). The disease starts when the organism gets into wounded or damaged tissue as a result of contamination. In the absence of oxygen the bacteria multiply and produce local infection. As they grow the bacteria produce poisons (toxins) which spread along the nerves to the brain and cause the clinical signs of tetanus. BLACKLEG A fatal disease of the muscle in sheep and cattle caused by the bacterium Clostridium chauvoei. Infection begins when the bacterial spores are eaten, usually as a result of eating soil, but occasionally from contaminated feed. The spores enter the blood stream and travel to the organs and tissues throughout the body, particularly muscle. They remain dormant until a trigger, usually an injury, stimulates them. The trigger reduces blood flow, and thus supply of oxygen to the tissue. In the absence of oxygen, the bacteria multiply and produce localised infection. As they grow the bacteria produce poisons and destroy the surrounding tissue. The damage shows as the characteristic black muscle. The poisons do not stay in the muscle but enter the bloodstream, resulting in rapid deterioration and death. Vaccine programmes Please contact customer services: e: livestock@agrii.co.uk t: 0845 6073322 Please contact customer services: e: livestock@agrii.co.uk t: 0845 6073322 19 LIVESTOCK HEALTH & NUTRITION 18 LIVESTOCK HEALTH & NUTRITION