5 April 2002

Pulpy kidney in lambs on rise

CASES of pulpy kidney in lambs seem to be more common this season, probably because many ewes have not been vaccinated against clostridial diseases.

Based on diagnostic records at regional Vet Lab Agencies, pulpy kidney has been seen in lambs from six weeks to 12 months old. VLA Shrewsbury have so far confirmed five cases of sudden death as pulpy kidney, says senior vet investigation officer Ian Davies.

"Not vaccinating against clostridial diseases will leave flocks susceptible. While there is a pressure to save money, it is a false economy when growing lambs die," says Mr Davies. Pulpy kidney also seems to affect those lambs in the best condition first.

Vet diagnosis is needed for cases of sudden death. "Once one lamb dies from pulpy kidney, there will probably be more. It is possible to use a clostridial vaccine on lambs in the face of an outbreak, but it takes time for protection to build up. It is much more effective to vaccinate ewes before lambing," he advises. &#42