31 May 1996

Act fast on foot rot, advises SAC

FLOCKMASTERS must treat early signs of foot-rot immediately, says the Scottish Agricultural Colleges John Vipond.

"Treat scold immediately and you can stop it," he says. "Wait for three or four days and it can under-run the hoof is more likely to develop into full blown foot-rot.

"For each foot infected daily gain is reduced by 100g/day and if every foot is affected lambs will be loosing weight.

Dr Vipond advises putting lambs through a footbath and allowing them to stand in a dry area for an hour afterwards.

ADAS sheep specialist Lesley Stubbings warns that scold in the Midlands and south is bound to increase after the recent flush of grass. She also advises footbathing as soon as possible in a 10% zinc sulphate solution.

"When you get scour in lambs feet, formulin is not the thing to use. Its a tremendous irritant."

and if you really want to make lambs lame put them through a formulin footbath."

Lambs need to go into the footbath, and stand in it for the time that the product dictates," she says. "Repeat in one week depending on how bad the lambs are."