Eye troubles hit flocks nationwide

EYE TROUBLES are causing problems for sheep flocks across the country, with vets reporting an increased incidence of contagious opthalmia – eye inflammation – in recent weeks.

Independent vet consultant Tony Andrews says the condition often prevails when sheep are grouped, as it spreads more easily when animals are in close contact. “It may have spread because ewes have been fed concentrate to flush them before tupping.

“But it may also have been caused by sheep being bought from markets and sales where they have been in contact with infected animals, or from contact during transport.”

Antibiotics Needed

This year’s damp and mild autumn could also have helped the condition thrive. “However, treating infected sheep with antibiotics should clear the problem.

 “There is a difference between a clinical cure and a bacteriological cure,” he warns. “The condition may appear to have cleared up, but the causal bugs may still be there in the flock.”