7 June 1996

Lush life can mean clostridia

CLOSTRIDIAL diseases such as pulpy kidney have been seen in flocks on lush pasture.

"Clostridial problems were seen in flocks where ewes were not vaccinated and so little passive protection was provided for their offspring," says Dr Tony Andrews.

He advises producers encountering clostridial disease to vaccinate stock. Lambs for finishing should be injected behind the ear to avoid localised reactions damaging carcasses.

Scottish Agricultural College vet Brian Hosie warns in Signet beef and sheep notes that lamb losses from pasteurellosis can be serious. This bacterial disease affects lambs between six and 12 weeks of age, but can also affect younger lambs. When an outbreak occurs treatment with antibiotics or vaccines or both can reduce losses.

Lambs from pasteurellosis vaccinated ewes receive protection via colostrum for up to four weeks.

Hoechst vet Simon Smith warns lambs from unvaccinated ewes will be at risk from clostridial disease and pasteurellosis.

Young lambs can be treated with products such as Ovivac-P, with two 2ml doses given at three-week intervals, he adds.

But this cannot protect them from lamb dysentery, for which immunity is only possible by ewe vaccination.

In addition, he urges producers that vaccinate ewes to also ensure lambs are still vaccinated twice in early life to start permanent immunity. Colostrum based immunity is only temporary.


&#8226 Poor milk production if feed inadequate.

&#8226 Dip or apply ectoparasiticides to prevent fly strike.

&#8226 Foot rot if wet conditions.

&#8226 Identify ewes for culling.

&#8226 Control for worms.

&#8226 Growth check in lambs at weaning.

&#8226 Vitamin E/selenium problems.


Beware clostridial diseases in ewes and lambs moved to lush pastures.