Facts and Information About Common Diseases That Affect Sheep
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Facts and Information About Common Diseases That Affect Sheep

Does your sheep look dull? Are your sheep having problems in raising the head? Is the feces normal or blood stained? Is the body temperature normal? Is the animal eating normally? A farmer has to learn to identify the symptoms of the diseases which affect sheep in order to reduce mortality.
  1. Entropion

This disease leads to blindness in sheep. It is commonly known as turned under eye lids. Entropion is hereditary and is seen in most breeds. The skin below the under eye lid is removed in order to treat this condition. Clipping is also done to correct this condition. This disease should not be left untreated as it may lead to permanent blindness.

      2. Ovine progressive pneumonia

OPP is also known as lunger disease.  The older sheep are mostly affected. The lungs become infected and the animal slowly succumbs to it. The disease spreads easily and other sheep can be affected. The milk production in young sheep reduces considerably. The disease can be controlled by culling the affected animals.

       3. Caseous Lymphadenitis

It is Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis which causes caseous lymphadenitis. The disease spreads quickly leading to carcass condemnation. The organs like kidneys, lungs, liver and spleen are affected. The disease generally occurs in older sheep. It usually spreads during the time of shearing through wounds. The lambs should be shared first to prevent the disease from spreading. Disinfecting the clippers is recommended to keep the disease under control.

       4. Sore mouth

Sore mouth is also known as contagious ecthyma. The ewe’s udders and the tongue and lip of the lamb are infected by a virus which causes herpes ulcers. Vaccination should be done to control the spread of the disease.  Lambs which are fed with the help of rubber nipples are more prone to this disease.

       5. Polyarthritis

Polyarthritis is caused by the bacteria known as corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis and erysipelothrix insidiosa. The joints are affected. The bacteria enter through wounds, docking or umbilicus.  Pus can be seen in some cases. In order to prevent the disease, the wounds, navel cord and docking have to be disinfected and cleaned.  Antibiotics are also given.

       6. Pasteurellosis

Pasteurella haemolytica causes this disease in sheep. The pneumonic form is more prevalent than the septicaemic form. This disease spreads quickly. The common symptoms are coughing, eye and nose discharge, pyrexia, anorexia and depression. Vaccination helps prevent this disease from occurring. The infected animal should be isolated.

        7. Blackleg

Clostridium chauvoei causes this disease. This disease is extremely contagious. The symptoms include swelling of muscles, fever, skin discoloration, depression and anorexia. The animals are prone to infection during shearing. High protein intake increases the risk of this disease. Penicillin is administered to treat this condition.

Identifying the symptoms of diseases can help prevent and control the spread of diseases in animals. If the animal shows symptoms of discharge, pus, lameness, dysentery or swelling and looks dull, it is time to contact the veterinarian.

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Comments (5)

Thank you for this detailed information about sheep.

thanks dear, your kindness is like life giving water

I have sheep.  We have several breeds, Katahdin, Jacob, and others.  Never had any issues with disease, scours is a problem in lambs but that is about it.

Apparently footrot, and scrapie are also common sheep diseases, I have not had to deal with either, and masitis too although it is a disease any mammal can get.

thanks dear Brenda

Useful information for anyone dealing with sheep, thanks.