Nematodirus: a Perennial (but changing?) Problem in Lambs
Summary written by Dave Bartley BSC Phd, Fiona Kenyon BSc, PhD and Frank Jackson BSc PhD
Taken from Moredun Foundation Newsheet Volume 5 No. 9 (2011)
- The principle effect of infection with Nematodirus is scouring, although this can also be associated with other bacterial/viral/protozoal (coccidian) infections.
- Signs of heavy infection are profuse, watery yellowy-green diarrhoea which leads to severe dehydration, and mortality in some cases. The fleeces of infected animals can become dull and rough and the animals may show a “tucked up” appearance. Onset of disease can be extremely rapid and mortalities can occur before eggs appear in faeces.
- Less heavy infections reduce appetite and productivity resulting in classical ‘ill thrift’.
- The unique epidemiology of Nematodirus battus leads to synchronised hatching behaviour and consequently the highest risk of disease occurs in the spring in young lambs (4-8 weeks old).
- Although thought of as a spring disease in very young lambs, in recent years, outbreaks of the disease have been seen in older lambs later during the grazing season.
- Risk of disease forecasts can be found at www.nadis.org.uk
- Speak to your veterinary surgeon or advisor to ensure that you use a suitable anthelmintic to control nematodirosis on your farm.
More information on disease prevention can be found on the DVD 'Managing Your Flock for Peak Health' - programme 2 in the series 'Sheep on Your Smallholding'.
The full news sheet for any of the disease summaries can be ordered from the Moredun Foundation by using the following request form. The first news sheet title requested is free*, further news sheet titles are charged at £5.00 per copy (including postage).
*offer limited to one news sheet title per postal address in any one year. After that each news sheet will be charged at the standard price of £5.00 (including postage).
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