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Sheep & Goat Health Common Problems and Solutions SUSAN SCHOENIAN Goat and Sheep Specialist Maryland Cooperative Extension www. sheepandgoat. com www. sheep 101. info/201/diseasesa-z. html
Health care in sheep and goats Boer x Kiko l Starts with Prevention l l l l Biosecurity Vaccination program Parasite control Good nutrition Early detection and treatment Culling Predator control
Biosecurity Security from transmission of infectious diseases, parasites, and pests l l l Buy from reputable breeders. Know the health status of the animals you are purchasing. Maintain a closed flock/herd. Limit showing/ exhibiting. Isolate new animals for at least 30 days.
Biosecurity Security from transmission of infectious diseases, parasites, and pests l l l l Don’t loan or share rams or bucks. * Don’t breed ewes or does for other producers. * Do not mix your animals with other people’s animals. * Don’t share equipment unless it is disinfected after each use. Don’t let your shearer spread disease. Limit access to your farm/animals. Control cat, dog, bird, and rodent populations. *Unless other farm/animals have equal health status.
Sound Vaccination Program è Clostridial diseases Clostridium perfringins type C & D (overeating disease/enterotoxemia) Clostridium tetani (tetanus) l l Vaccinate ewes/does 2 -6 weeks before parturition Vaccine lambs/kids at ~6 and ~10 weeks of age Vaccine rams, bucks, and wethers annually Other diseases you could vaccinate for* Some types of abortion l Soremouth l Caseous lymphadenitis (CL) l Foot rot l Pneumonia l E. coli scours l Other clostridial diseases l Rabies l *Depends on disease prevalence and risk.
Deworming Parasite Control Program l l l Good management Pasture rest/rotation Alternative forages Zero grazing Mixed species grazing Genetic selection l l between and within breeds Fecal egg counts l l Monitor pasture contamination Test for drug resistance a Selective deworming
Good nutrition Better nutrition means stronger immune systems and disease resistance. l l l Feed balanced rations. Feed according to production cycle and growth stage. Supplement pasture and forage, when necessary and economical. Provide free choice minerals. Choose proper feeds for sheep and goats.
Early detection and treatment Early diagnosis is key to the control of health problems. l Know common signs of illness l l l Loss of body condition Poor appetite Lag behind flock/herd Lethargy Ears or head down (tail down) Poor hair/wool coat Teeth grinding (pain) Dirty hocks, tail, britch (scours) Anemia (barber pole worm) Fever (infection) normal body temp is 102 -103°F Breathing (respiratory) Gait (neurological)
Culling is one of the most powerful tools in managing animal health. l Most problems have a genetic component l l l Foot rot Parasites Vaginal, rectal prolapses Inverted eye lids Most disease conditions will repeat or get worse l l l Hoof problems Mastitis Vaginal prolapse
Control predation Predation accounted for 37. 3% of sheep and goat losses in 2005. l Predator control options l l Fencing Management Livestock guardians Lethal control coyotes, dogs, bears, mountain lions, cougars, foxes, eagles, bobcats, wolves, vultures
Fencing Predator control starts with a good fence. High-tensile, electric l Woven or net wire l Electric netting l Modify existing fences a Predator-proof gates l
Management Options l l l l l Remove dead carcasses and anything else that attracts predators. Complete confinement. Lamb/kid in confinement. Night penning. Minimize use of high risk pastures. Don’t lamb or kid in remote areas or large pastures. Change lambing/kidding season. l Fall lambing/kidding tends to reduce predator losses. Repellents, frightening devices. Aversive conditioning.
Livestock Guardians 45% of sheep farms employ livestock guardians. l Guardian dogs (29. 6%) Great Pyrenees, Komondor, Akbash, Anatolian Shepherd, Maremma, Mastiff l Llamas (14. 2%) (female or gelding, not alpacas) l Donkeys (11. 4%) (standard sized, gelding or jenny) l Cattle – “flerd” need to be bonded
Lethal Predator Control Last resort, but sometimes necessary. l l l Shooting Trapping (foot hold, snare) Denning Livestock protection collar* M-44 cyanide injector* l Make sure you know the laws in your state/county. *Requires assistance of USDA APHIS Wildlife Services
Health problems of sheep and goats Major health issues l Other common problems l A few other diseases l Wasting diseases l
The major health issues l l l Goats eating chicory Internal Parasites Foot rot Diarrhea Respiratory Predation
Internal Parasites # 1 health problem affecting sheep and goats in warm, moist climates. ü Stomach/round worms barber pole worm l Tapeworms l Lungworms l Liver Flukes l Meningeal worm ü Coccidiosis
Coccidiosis eimera sp. l l l Single-cell protozoa that damages the lining of the small intestines, where nutrient absorption occurs. Can permanently stunt animals. Species-specific Causes scouring, weight loss, and death in lambs/kids. Stress-induced NADIS
Coccidiosis eimera sp. Diagnosis l Fecal oocyte counts are of limited diagnostic value. l Treatment (requires extra label drug use) l Corid (Amprolium) l Sulfa drugs l Prevention l Good sanitation l Avoid overcrowding l Use of coccidiostats in feed, mineral, or water (before hand) l l l Bovatec® (lasalocid) ** Rumensin® (monensin)* Deccox® (Decoquinate) ** Corid (lower dose than treatment) * Toxic to equines. ** Do not feed to equines. http: //www. sheepandgoat. com/articles/coccidtable. html
Foot rot One of the most economically devastating diseases in the sheep/goat industry. l l Highly contagious. Caused by the interaction of two anaerobic bacteria: 1) Bacteroides nodosus in sheep/goat’s hoof (can only survive 10 -14 days) 2) l l Fusobacterium necrophorum in soil and manure (always) Most people BUY foot rot! Lameness is symptom. Gets in hoof. Has characteristic foul odor. Treat with aggressive hoof trimming, foot baths/soaks, antibiotics, moving to dry area, vaccination, and culling. http: //www. ext. vt. edu/pubs/sheep/410 -028. html
Foot Scald (is not foot rot) interdigital dermatitis, benign foot rot, non-virulent foot rot l l l Not contagious. An infection between the toes. No involvement of the hoof. Caused by Fusobacterium necrophorum, the bacteria that is always present on sheep and goat farms. Activated by damp, muddy conditions; goes away when it’s dry. Can treat/control with foot baths/soaks, moving to a dry area. Environmental
Diarrhea (scours) An increased frequency, fluidity, or volume of fecal excretion. l Infectious l -- many causes -- l Viral Bacterial E. coli, salmonella l l coccidia, cryptosporidia Non-infectious l l l Protozoa Parasites Nutrition Management Stress Often a symptom of other problems. Often self-limiting. Determine cause! Treatment: rehydration, antibiotics (if fever), antidiarrheal drugs (peptobismal, kaopectate, immodium), probiotics (yogurt). http: //www. sheepandgoat. com/articles/scours. html
Respiratory Problems l l l Respiratory complex: pasteurella sp. , mycoplasma, chlamydia, Parainfluenza type 3 virus, etc. Pasteurella sp. most common agent. Characterized by high fever (106 -108°F) May result in lung abscesses at slaughter. Poor ventilation is a leading cause of respiratory problems. Treat with antibiotics Other causes: OPP, lungworms, nasal bots, ketosis, acidosis
Other Common Problems l Nutritional l Reproductive l Skin
Nutritional / Metabolic l l l Pregnancy toxemia Milk fever Enterotoxemia Floppy kid syndrome Acidosis Urinary calculi Polioencephalomalacia Listeriosis Bloat Copper-related Selenium-related
Enterotoxemia Overeating disease, pulpy kidney disease Caused by bacteria, clostridium perfringins type C & D l Usually occurs in lambs/kids that are consuming large amounts of concentrate, but may also occur on pasture and with heavy milking dams l l Type C - 0 -30 days Type D - >30 days Usually affects fastest growing lambs/kids. It is not uncommon to find them dead, with no prior symptoms. Predisposed by abrupt change in feed. l Treatment (anti-toxin) is usually unrewarding. l Prevention l Vaccination of pregnant dams and offspring* l Avoid sudden changes in diet l don’t let creep feed run out l l Low level feeding of antibiotics Plenty of feeder space *Vaccine is not as effective in goats.
Floppy kid syndrome First documented in 1987 l Affects kids between 3 and 10 days of age (normal at birth) Most common late in kidding season. l Causes muscle weakness, ataxia. l Cause unknown, but suspected to be gastrointestinal, a metabolic acidosis. l Treat with sodium bicarbonate and supportive therapy. l
(Lactic) Acidosis Grain overload, grain poisoning Caused by excessive consumption of concentrates/grain which changes acidity of rumen. l Treat with antacids, sodium bicarbonate. l Prevent with proper feed management. l l l Introduce and increase grain slowly in diet. Feed whole grains, grains that digest slower Include forage in diet. Split grain feedings; feed forage first. Buffering agents.
Urinary Calculi Water belly, urolithiasis, calculosis, kidney stones Blockage of urethra by calculi (stones) causes retention of urine. l Wethers are most prone (early castration). l Treatment depends upon severity of condition. l Usually caused by too much phosphorus in the diet, i. e. an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus in the ration (< 1: 1). l
Urinary Calculi Water belly, urolithiasis, calculosis, kidney stones l Proper ration balancing l l Ca: P ratio should be at least 2: 1. Legumes are a good source of calcium. Cereal grains have a poor ratio of Ca: P. Commercial feeds are balanced for Ca and P. l l l Do not add anything to balanced rations. Ground limestone can be added to the ration as a source of calcium. Free choice minerals do not ensure proper intake of minerals. Adequate water intake important Salt in ration (0. 5% ammonium chloride in diet)
Polioencephalomalacia PEM, polio, cerebrocortical necrosis Affects the central nervous system. l Mimics other neurological conditions. l Caused by a thiamin (Vitamin B 1) deficiency l not insufficient thiamine, but the inability to utilize it Symptoms: blindness, star gazing. l Usually occurs in animals on high concentrate diets, but may also occur on pasture. l Treat with thiamine injections. l
Listeriois circling disease Caused by bacteria Listeria monocytogenes l l l Occurs 4 -6 weeks after bacteria is consumed. Results in neurological symptoms: depression, disorientation, head tilt, facial paralysis, walking in circles. Most commonly associated with the feeding of moldy silage. High mortality; uterine form causes abortion. Non-contagious. If recognized early, treatment with high doses of antibiotics can be effective.
Bloat Occurs when rumen gas production > rate of gas elimination. l l l Pasture/frothy – caused by consumption of legumous forages (alfalfa and clover), lush cereal grain pastures, wet grass, or finely ground grain. Treat with anti-foaming agent, mineral or vegetable oil. Prevent with good grazing management and poloxalene. Limit legume content of pastures to 50% or less. Consider non-bloating legumes (birdsfoot trefoil, lespedeza) Feedlot/free gas – associated with grain feeding l Treat by passing stomach tube; rumenotomy in life threatening situations. l
Copper-related Copper has important role in fertility and health. l Copper toxicity (more common, esp. sheep) l l Caused by too much copper in diet or not enough molybdenum (and/or sulfur). For sheep, there is a narrow range between Cu requirements and toxicity levels. Goats need and tolerate higher levels of copper in their diet. Copper deficiency l l l Anemia, ataxia Swayback Steely, stringy wool
Selenium-related Selenium and Vitamin E are interrelated. Inadequate Se can affect growth, reproduction, immunity. l White muscle disease l l l Degeneration of the skeletal and cardiac muscles Caused by a deficiency of selenium, vitamin E, or both Can be a problem wherever selenium levels in the soil are low Preventing/treating problems l l l Vitamin E/Selenium supplementation in feed, mineral mix, or via injections Treat with Vitamin E/Se injections Be careful when giving Se: it is more toxic than other trace minerals.
Reproductive Problems l l l Abortion Dystocia Metabolic: pregnancy toxemia and milk fever Mastitis Vaginal and uterine prolapses
Abortion Termination of pregnancy or birth of weak or deformed lambs or kids that die shortly after birth. l Bacterial a. Chlamydia Enzootic Abortion, EAE a. Vibriosis Vibrio campylobacter l l l Leptospirosis Salmonella Viral l Cache Valley Virus (mosquito vector) l Protozoa a. Toxoplasmosis caused by protozoa that causes coccidiosis in cats The organisms that cause abortion in ewes/does can cause abortion in women.
Dealing with an abortion storm Over 5% of herd/flock – seek veterinary assistance Prevent spread of infectious agents. l l l Strict sanitation. Disposal of infective material. Isolation of aborting females. Submit proper samples to a diagnostic lab. l Blood sampling. l Immediate vaccination. l Use of antibiotics. l The organisms that cause abortion in ewes/does can cause abortion in women.
Preventing abortion storms l l l l Maintain a closed flock/herd. Vaccination Low level feeding of antibiotics. Prevent contamination of feed and water. Control cat population. Avoid stressful, overcrowded, and/or unsanitary conditions. Feed Rumensin® or Deccox®. The organisms that cause abortion in ewes/does can cause abortion in women.
Dystocia (difficult births) New Zealand study showed that dystocia accounted for 50% of newborn lamb deaths. l l l l Abortion – dead or dewormed babies Abnormal presentation of fetus(es) Unusually large fetus Small pelvic area Fat mama Vaginal prolapse Ring womb – failure of cervix to dilate
Dystocia (difficult births) New Zealand study showed that dystocia accounted for 50% of newborn lamb deaths. Know when to assist l Straining for over an hour with no progress. l Know how to assist l Be clean and gentle. l Use plenty of lubricant. l Determine presentation/ problem. l Have ewe/doe stand or elevate her hindquarters. l Use antibiotic on any ewe/doe you assist. a Call a veterinarian or experienced shepherd if you have worked on a ewe/doe for more then 30 minutes with no progress. l
Pregnancy toxemia ketosis, twin lamb disease, lambing paralysis, hypoglycemia l l l Low blood sugar caused by an inadequate intake of energy during late gestation. Breakdown of fat produces toxic ketone bodies. Mostly commonly affects fat, thin, old, and/or females carrying multiple births. Symptoms: lethargy, sluggishness, lack of appetite, poor muscle control, inability to rise. Treatment is to increase blood sugar by giving glucose orally, sub -Q, or IV. C-section in extreme cases. Prevent by providing enough energy in diet and providing adequate feeder space.
Milk Fever hypocalcemia, parturient paresis l l l l Low blood calcium Caused by inadequate intake of calcium during late pregnancy or inability to mobilize calcium reserves prior to or after parturition. Similar symptoms as pregnancy toxemia. Can occur before or after parturition. Treat with commercial calcium solutions sub-Q or IV. Prevent by providing proper amount of calcium in diet. Don’t under or overfeed calcium. Save alfalfa hay for lactation. Feed mixed hay in late gestation.
Prolapses More common in sheep than goats. l Three kinds l Vaginal tends to repeat genetic component l Uterine l Rectal not genetic **life-threatening (not usually reproductive) Risk factors: sex, diet, genetics, health, and length of tail dock. Uterine http: //www. sheepandgoat. com/articles/rectalprolapse. html Prolapses have many predisposing factors/causes.
Mastitis A major reason for culling ewes (46%) Inflammation of the udder Usually caused by bacteria Streptococcus sp. , Staphylococcus sp. , Pasteurella sp. , and coliforms, such as E. coli. l Acute, chronic, or sub-clinical. l Both halves - could be OPP. l Treat with antibiotics l l l Systemic Intramammary Prevention l l l Good sanitation Proper management at weaning. Dry cow treatment Later weaning Cull females with “lumpy” udders.
Diseases affecting the skin l Soremouth l Ringworm l External parasites
Soremouth contagious ecthyma, contagious pustular dermatitis, scabby mouth, orf l l l l Most common skin disease of sheep and goats. Caused by a virus from the pox family. Causes lesions on mouth, lips, nostrils (teats, scrotum). Problematic during lambing/ kidding season and if you show/exhibit. Normally runs its course in 1 to 4 weeks. Very contagious, including to people (orf). There is a live vaccine for it. (don’t vaccinate if you’ve never had it).
Ringworm club lamb fungus, lumpy wool, wool rot l l l Fungal disease Usually occurs in show lambs. Results in hair loss, scabs, lesions, and pustules. Contagious, to humans as well. Treat with fungicides.
External parasites Endoparasites l Keds (sheep tick) l Ticks l Lice l Mites l Blowflies/maggots l Nasal bots
Keds, ticks, lice, (mange) mites Treat with insecticides – dip, spray, or pour- on. l Some anthelmintics are effective against biting parasites (e. g. ivermectin) l Clean, dry environment l
Flystrike Myiasis l l l Caused by parasitic dipterous fly larvae feeding on the host’s necrotic or living tissue. Occurs when flies lay eggs in moist wool or open wound or break in the skin. Can cause death. Prevent by proper docking, mulesling, and insecticide treatments. Treat with insecticide applications.
Nasal Bots Head bot, sheep bot, Oestrus ovis l l l Occurs when female fly lays batches of newly hatched larvae in sheep or goat’s nostrils. 6 -month life cycle. May be 2 generations per year. Symptoms: sneezing, coughing, jerky movements of head. Can cause bacterial infections and reduce performance. Treat with ivermectin sheep drench.
A few other interesting health issues l Hypothermia and Starvation l Tetanus l Pinkeye l Entropion l Spider lamb disease l Epididymitis
Hypothermia and Starvation most common causes of lamb and kid mortality l Starvation - #1 cause of death l l Mild hypothermia (99 -101º F) l l l Make sure dam has milk and lets lambs/kids nurse Make sure lambs/kids consume adequate colostrum (check bellies). A well-fed lamb/kid stretches when it rises. Dry and warm up lamb/kid Tube feed colostrum, if necessary Severe hypothermia (<99º F) l l l Intra peritoneal injection of 20% dextrose Slowly warm up lamb/kid Feed colostrum by stomach tube
Tetanus lock jaw Clostridial disease, in soil on most farms l Usually related to docking and castrating, especially by elastrator bands l l Oxygen-starved tissues are ideal for tetanus organism Any puncture wound can harbor the tetanus organism. l Symptoms: stiffness caused by muscle contractions. l Treatable in early stages with antitoxin. l Prevent with vaccination l l l Vaccinate ewe/doe with tetanus toxoid prior to parturition OR Vaccinate lamb/kid with tetanus antitoxin at time of docking, castrating, disbudding to provide immediate temporary immunity.
Pink eye keratoconjunctivitis l l l Most common causes are mycoplasma and chlamydia. Different agent than affects cattle Highly contagious Usually runs its course in ~ 3 weeks Treat with topical and systemic antibiotics
Entropion Inverted eyelid Lower eyelid is inverted, causing the eyelashes of the lower lid to brush against the eye l Causes irritation and tearing l Treat with antibiotics or staples, sutures, or clips l Heritable trait – don’t use rams or bucks with this trait. l Infovets. com
Spider lamb disease ovine hereditary chondrodysplasia Genetic defect causing skeletal deformities. l Inherited as a genetic recessive disorder l SS - normal sheep Ss - normal sheep (but carrier) ss - spider lamb DNA Testing White pedigree – ancestors have not produced spider lambs Gray pedigree – ancestors have produced spider lambs
Epididymitis l l l testicle l l Epididymis Venereal disease of rams/bucks caused by Brucella ovis. Contagious male to female, male to male Inflammation of the tip of the epididymis. Causes varying degrees of damage – infertility. Only half of rams respond to antibiotic treatment. Damage is permanent. Prevention – buy disease-free or virgin males, test and cull, vaccinate. Epididymis functions in the transport and storage of sperm cells produced in the testicles.
Wasting Diseases l Viral (retroviruses) Similar to aids virus l l l Bacterial l Ovine progressive pneumonia (OPP) Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis (CAE) Caseous lymphadenitis (CLA) Johne’s Disease Prion l Scrapie
Caseous lymphadenitis (CL or CLA) cheesy gland, boils, abscesses Caused by bacteria Corynbacterium pseudotuberculosis l l l Internal (sheep) and external (goats) abscesses. Pus in external abscess is initially pale green; becomes thicker in sheep. Usually affects animals > 6 months of age. Animals with internal form show weight loss and poor productivity, and may exhibit mastitis, respiratory distress, chronic cough or neurological deficits. Internal form is a leading cause of sheep carcass condemnation. Treatment: lance abscess and flush with iodine solution. Zoonotic potential - ? ? ?
Caseous lymphadenitis (CL or CLA) cheesy gland, abscesses, boils Caused by bacteria Corynbacterium pseudotuberculosis l Controlling/eradicating CLA l l Separate or cull affected animals Practice good hygiene and management. Purchase from CLA-free flocks/herds. Vaccination can reduce severity of disease. l Do not vaccinate naïve flocks/herds
Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis (CAE) l l l Retroviral infection of goats which may lead to chronic disease of joints and encephalitis (rare) in young kids. Similar to OPP in sheep. CAE virus is primarily transmitted to kids through colostrum. Contact transmission is rare, but possible. No treatment or vaccine is available.
Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis (CAE) l Control/eradicate CAE l l A positive blood test means the goat has antibodies for the virus. Cull seropositive goats from the herd. Separate kids from dams and feeding kids artificially. Buy from CAE-free herds.
Ovine Progressive Pneumonia (OPP) Maedi-Visna 26% of the sheep in the United States are infected with the OPP virus l l l l A slowly progressive viral disease caused by an ovine lentivirus. Similar to CAE. Sheep are infected for life. Some breeds more susceptible Primary means of transmission is through the ingestion of infected colostrum and milk. Contact transmission possible. Symptoms l l l Loss of body condition, “thin ewe syndrome” Increased breathing at rest Fever, cough, lethargy, nasal discharge Hard bag No treatment or vaccine
Ovine Progressive Pneumonia (OPP) l Control/eradicate OPP l Test and remove all seropositive sheep every six months until three consecutive negative tests are achieved. l Presence of antibodies is not indicative of immunity l Most infected sheep never show symptoms, but serve as carriers of the disease. l Separate lambs from infected ewes and rear them artificially. l Buy OPP-free breeding stock.
Johne’s Disease paratuberculosis Caused by bacteria Mycobacterium paratuberculosis Cattle, sheep, and goat strains l Environmental transmission l Symptoms Victoria, Australia l l l Emaciation, wasting disease Profuse, watery diarrhea seen in cattle is not common in sheep/goats Small intestine Ohio State University www. johnes. org
Johne’s Disease Small intestine Ohio State Univ. Difficult to diagnose. l No treatment. l Difficult to control. l Prevention l l l Maintain a closed flock/herd Be careful with cow colostrum Testing less reliable in sheep/goats Vaccination may lower the number of clinical cases ü Theoretical link to Crohn’s disease in people.
Scrapie Goal is to eradicate by 2010 and for U. S. to be declared scrapie-free by 2017 Fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of sheep and goats. l Neurological symptoms: l l l l Transmitted via infected placenta. l l Intense itching Behavior changes Lack of coordination Gait abnormalities Tremors Males not considered to be a risk. Can be spread by infected feed. Contact/environmental transmission ? ? ? Clinical signs appear 2 to 5 years (or later) after the animal has been infected.
Scrapie Goal is to eradicate by 2010 and for U. S. to be declared scrapie-free by 2017 In sheep, susceptibility is determined by genetics. l Resistant genotypes have not been found it goats – yet. l Low incidence in USA l l 1/500 sheep. 90% in Suffolk/black face sheep. 15 goat cases since 1990 Only Australia and New Zealand are considered scrapie-free. l Scrapie is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). l
Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE) l l l l l Many TSE’s Theoretical link between scrapie and mad cow disease and between mad cow and new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in people. Always fatal. Infective agent believed to be a prion, abnormal protein. Long incubation periods. Diagnosis post-mortem (brain tissue). Massive regulations Massive research Many theories
Scrapie Eradication Goal is to eradicate scrapie by 2010 and or U. S. to be declared scrapie-free by 2017. Increased slaughter surveillance. l Mandatory identification of sheep and goats in commerce. * l Voluntary scrapie flock certification program. l l l Recommended for flocks/herds selling breeding stock. Third eyelid test Rectal biopsy l Genotyping for scrapie susceptibility *Regulations vary by state.