6 June 1997

Pasteurella could be lamb killer

SUDDEN death in young lambs could be due to pasteurella, and producers are urged to get a diagnosis from their local VI Centre.

"If pasteurella is confirmed, treat with antibiotic, or an antibiotic and vaccine," advises SAC VI services Brian Hosie.

Antibiotic treatment in the face of an outbreak, vaccination with pasteurella vaccines, or a combination of both methods can reduce losses. He suggests seeking vet advice on use of these treatments .

When lambs are six to eight weeks old, consider using the pasteurellosis only vaccine Ovipast. Thats because lambs born to ewes given a combined clostridial and pasteurellosis vaccine before lambing will be protected against clostridial disease to about 12 weeks old.

Four weeks after the first vaccination, use a pasteurellosis and clostridial vaccine (Ovivac P), and vaccinate again with the Ovivac P after a further four weeks, advises Dr Hosie.

He warns that while the full course of three vaccinations will protect lambs against the main clostridial diseases, a further vaccination in the autumn is advisable for longer keep lambs.

&#8226 New vaccines offer improved pasteurella protection (turn to page 48).