COMMON DISEASES OF SHEEP - RUMINANT ANIMALS

Common diseases of sheep
Foot and mouth disease
          It is a highly communicable viral disease which affects animals. It is characterized with high fever vesicles and  blister formation around the mouth teats udders and the skin between toes and above hoofs. The vesicles later rupture into uleer. The diseases spread through direct contact with the infected animal  or through indirect contact or infected manure hay forages water rate birds and livestock attendants. There should be proper sanitation rotational grazing and annual vaccination. The only control measure is to bury and burn the infected animal.


Rinderpest
It is very destructive among cattle buffaloes sheep goats and deer caused by virus. Infected animals develop high temperature which reaches a peak in a day or two and lasts  for two to seven days. The animal become dull with congested conjunctiva dry muzzles and loss of appetite constipation and diarrhea. Lesions show on buccal mucous membrane on the lip and gum on the seventh  to ninth day. The lesions later develop into ulcer resulting in a loss of appetite servere dirarrhoea  and later the animal dies.  The animal dies. The animal should be vaccinated using tissue culture of Rinderpest. It must be noted that vaccination against rinderpest in usually necessary in Africa.

Anthrax
It is caused by bacillus antharac is (Bacteria). No symptom may be observed before the death of infected animal but black tarry exudates from the various body orifices after death. There is always an incubation period of about 1-2 weeks after which the animal dies suddenly without any sign. The animals could be treated with antibiotics. The infected animal should be burnt and buried while the premises should be thoroughly disinfected.

Peste des petits ruminant
          Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a highly contagious and infections viral disease of domestic and wild small ruminants. It is characterized by the sudden onset of depression fever discharges from the eyes and nose sores in the mouth disturbed breathing and cough foul-smelling diarrhea and  death. The virus which causes PPR the peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) belongs to the rinderpest virus of cattle and buffaloes the measles virus  of humans the distemper virus of dogs and some wild carnivores and the morbilliviruses  of aquatic mammals. To date genetic characterization of PPR virus has allowed them to be organized into four groups three from Africa and one from Asia. One of the African  groups of PPRV is also found in Asia. The epidemiological significance of these groupings is less clear at present than that rinderpest virus groups.

Chlmydia or enzootic abortion
This affects two five percent of ewes. This discase has become more prevalent in the Midwest since 1970. The ewe usually is sick and won’t cat for two or three days. The  placenta is retained and is brown in colour. The ewe usually has a vaginal discharge Abortion occurs during the last four weeks of gestation. There is now a vaccine killed bacterin). In case of an outbreak antibioties help but the low incidence lessens its practicability.

Pregnancy Disease
          Pregnancy disease is an upset or interference in the metabolism eycle of carbohydrates it is not related in any way to the amount of exercise the ewe gets. In converting fatty acids and  particularly body fat to glucose ketones accumulate in the bloodstream and blood glucose levels deeline. The ketones are very toxic to the ewe. Tesulting in death within two five days. Pregnancy disease occurs only among ewes carrying multiple fetuses and usually only during the last four-five weeks of gestation. The  ewe stops eating which reduces her source  of carbohydrate. She separates from the flock often wanders aimlessly and may press her head against-the barn-or-feedbunk. Unless a ewe is treated very soon after the first signs are noticed little can be done. Separate her from the flock drench her with ½  pint propylene glycol twice a day until she eats and offer her grain and hay. Drenching with glucose honey or molasses or injecting 40-50cc of 5 10% glucose under the skin also may be used with reasonable success. If the ewe is not treated the first day however the prognosis is poor.
          To prevent pregnancy disease keep ewes gaining weight during the last four weeks of gestation. Increase the energy intake by feeding in addition to hay 5 1.0 pound grain per ewe daily . fat ewes may be more susceptible  because they have difficulty increasing  in weight have limited feed capacity in relation to their size and have an abundant amount of fat-to-convert-to-energy.

Mastitis
Mastitis (acute pasteurella) is the major reason producers cull ewes. Mastitis is associated with lambs with sore mouth and incurred “drying up” of the ewe at weaning. The teat is too big or is near the ground and the lamb doesn’t find it. Minimize re infection by  isolating the infected ewe and her lambs. Palpate udders in the fall and cull ewes with indications of sear tissue. Mark infected ewes at lambing time. Avoid udder injury and cull ewes with pendulous udders. Treatment includes giving sulfamethazine at one grain per pound of body weight (two bolus) intramammary infusion of the udder (by a teat tube) or intramuscular injection of 8 10cc of tetracycline.

Foot rot
          Footrot is a grievous disease that almost defies curing. For a small flock of grade ewes selling out and starting over is the wisest decision. Footrot is eaused by two bacteria. Fusobacterium necrophorum and Bacteroides nodosus that act synergistically. F necrophorum is common in most manure it is very hardy and can live for years in manure. It contributs to footrot in cattle and  causes thrush in horses. B. nodosus-apparently lives only in sheep hooves. It dies out in soil in two weeks it grows very slowly so the incubation period may be long. Foot abscess may be caused by B. nodosus but footrot requires the presence of both B. nodosus and F. necrophorum. Moist soil conditions contribute greatly to the cause and spread of footrot.
          To-control-and-treat-footrot:Trim the hoof wall to the quick in all sheep. Soak affected hooves for five minutes in a foot bath containing 90% water and 10% formalin (37% formaldehyde) or 10% zine sulfate. Zine sulfate is as effective as formalin and is safer to-use. Isolate limpers and repeat one week later. Turn apparently cured sheep into an uncontamainated area. Doing so does create a problem however because some sheep thought to be clean actually still are finfected. With time and moist conditions. They will reinfect other sheep. Re-examine all sheep and remove any limpers you initially thought were clean. Force sheep to move through a 10% zine sulfate solution daily for 30 days. This has become the most-successful-treatment-scheme. Sell-persistent-limpers. If you sell all sheep wait three weeks-before-bringing-in-new-sheep.

Sore-Mouth
          Sore mouth (contagious ecthyma) is caused by a virus. Herpes uleers develop on the lip and tongue of the lamb and on the udder of the ewe. An abrasion on the lips seems to contribute to its incidence. It is more prevalent in lambs on rubber nipples. Vaccinate if you have infected sheep running with susceptible sheep (young lambs). If you show sheep vaccination is a must. For most sheep it is of little concern. Other than with baby lambs let it run its course. It is a virus so antibioties are ineffective. Vaccinate at two three days if you have had previous problems and have brought in unexposed sheep.

Sore-Mouth
The ewe can’t feed two lambs (mastitis too little feed etc). joint-injury-or-illness. Pneumonia which often is associated with lambs that received no colostrums-and-thereby-lack-immune-bodies.

Pneumonia
          Pneumonia the number one lamb disease occurs because of a lak of colostrums because of “mastitis milk.” Or because ewes are heavily infected with pasteurella (99% are infected so the organism is always present). A lamb contracts pneumonia because it can’t stand such stresses as too little milk draft dampness and ammonia off a manure pack. Diagnosis of sick unthrifty young lambs is relatively simple because 9% of the time they are either starving or have pneumonia. Strive for early detection and start antibiotic treatment before the lungs have been permanently damaged.
          Treatment for pneumonia is to inject the lamb with antibiotics (tracycline penicillin or streptomycin)plus one grain sultamethazine per pound of body weight. Adequate selenium and vitamin E help the lamb withstand pneumonia. Keep the lamb strong.

Baby-Lamb Scours
          Scours are due to one of many bacteria. To minimize the problem an adequate intake of colostrum (eight to 12 ounces of either ewe or cow colostrums) is absolutely essential. Scours may hit the lamb the first day of life. The lamb succumbs due to added stress (draft ammonia poor ventilation). Clostridium perfringens type C may be the cause of baby lamb scours. Vaccinate the ewe four weeks prelambing to prevent it. Treat scours with a 250 mg letracycline capsule orally injection of 1 cc penicillin or tetracy line (IM) E coli salmonella often is the cause. 

Coccidiosis
Coccidiosis usually occurs in lambs four weeks or elder it is caused by protozoa. Treat it with amprolin or sulfamethazine (one grain per pound of body weighty weight). Rmensin isapproved for cattle but not sheep)Bovatee. 40g ton of feed is also effective. I lectrolyt baking soda or consomine soup are supportive treatments. Lambs usually show blacklist blood-tinged diarrhea and are reluctant to eat.

Tetanus: Tetanus is caused by clostridium tetani which persists in the soil most farms.
          Next to horses sheep are the most suseeptible farm animal. The beteria are  anacrobic so wounds in which air contact is limited are most susceptible to tetanus. Docking and castrating with rubber rings in tense the incidence of infection. Disinfecting docking and castrating wounds will minimize  it. Infected sheep become stiff move with a  straddled gait and usually die. Vaccinating with tetanus toxoid and anti-toxin prior to docking is effective.
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