Sheep & Goat Health. SUSAN SCHOENIAN Goat and Sheep Specialist Maryland Cooperative Extension www.sheepandgoat.com www.sheep101.info/201/diseasesa-z.html. Common Problems and Solutions. Starts with Prevention Biosecurity Vaccination program Parasite control Good nutrition
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SUSAN SCHOENIANGoat and Sheep SpecialistMaryland Cooperative Extensionwww.sheepandgoat.comwww.sheep101.info/201/diseasesa-z.html
Common Problemsand Solutions
Early detection and treatment
Predator controlHealth care in sheep and goats
Boer x Kiko
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.BiosecuritySecurity from transmission of infectious diseases, parasites, and pests
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.BiosecuritySecurity from transmission of infectious diseases, parasites, and pests
*Unless other farm/animals have equal health status.
Clostridial diseasesClostridium perfringins type C & D (overeating disease/enterotoxemia)Clostridium tetani (tetanus)
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
Caseous lymphadenitis (CL)
E. coli scours
Other clostridial diseases
RabiesSound Vaccination Program
*Depends on disease prevalence and risk.
Mixed species grazing
between and within breeds
Fecal egg counts
Monitor pasture contamination
Test for drug resistance
Selective dewormingDeworming Parasite Control Program
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.Good nutritionBetter nutrition means stronger immune systems and disease resistance.
Loss of body condition
Lag behind flock/herd
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
Gait (neurological)Early detection and treatmentEarly diagnosis is key to the control of health problems.
Vaginal, rectal prolapses
Inverted eye lids
Most disease conditions will repeat or get worse
Vaginal prolapsesCullingCulling is one of the most powerful tools in managing animal health.
coyotes, dogs, bears, mountain lions, cougars, foxes, eagles, bobcats, wolves, vultures
Woven or net wire
Modify existing fences
Predator-proof gatesFencingPredator control starts with a good fence.
Lamb/kid in confinement.
Minimize use of high risk pastures.
Don’t lamb or kid in remote areas or large pastures.
Change lambing/kidding season.
Fall lambing/kidding tends to reduce predator losses.
Repellents, frightening devices.
Aversive conditioning.Management Options
Guardian dogs predators.(29.6%)Great Pyrenees, Komondor, Akbash, Anatolian Shepherd, Maremma, Mastiff
Llamas (14.2%)(female or gelding, not alpacas)
Donkeys (11.4%)(standard sized, gelding or jenny)
Cattle – “flerd”need to be bondedLivestock Guardians45% of sheep farms employ livestock guardians.
Trapping (foot hold, snare)
Livestock protection collar*
M-44 cyanide injector*
Make sure you know the laws in your state/county.
*Requires assistance of USDA APHIS Wildlife ServicesLethal Predator ControlLast resort, but sometimes necessary.
Major health issues predators.
Other common problems
A few other diseases
Wasting diseasesHealth problems of sheep and goats
Goats eating chicory
Single-cell protozoa that damages the lining of the small intestines, where nutrient absorption occurs.
Can permanently stunt animals.
Causes scouring, weight loss, and death in lambs/kids.
Diagnosis intestines, where nutrient absorption occurs.
Fecal oocyte counts are of limited diagnostic value.
Treatment(requires extra label drug use)
Use of coccidiostats in feed, mineral, or water (before hand)
Bovatec® (lasalocid) **
Deccox® (Decoquinate) **
Corid (lower dose than treatment)Coccidiosis eimera sp.
* Toxic to equines. ** Do not feed to equines.
Highly intestines, where nutrient absorption occurs.contagious.
Caused by the interaction of two anaerobic bacteria:
Bacteroides nodosusin sheep/goat’s hoof (can only survive 10-14 days)
Fusobacterium necrophorumin soil and manure (always)
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.Foot rotOne of the most economically devastating diseases in the sheep/goat industry.
Most people BUY foot rot!
Not contagious intestines, where nutrient absorption occurs..
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.Foot Scald (is not foot rot)interdigital dermatitis, benign foot rot, non-virulent foot rot
-- many causes --
Respiratory complex: intestines, where nutrient absorption occurs.pasteurellasp., 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 antibioticsRespiratory Problems
Other causes: OPP, lungworms, nasal bots, ketosis, acidosis
Usually occurs in lambs/kids that are consuming large amounts of concentrate, but may also occur on pasture and with heavy milking dams
Type C - 0-30 days
Type D - >30 days
Predisposed by abrupt change in feed.
Treatment (anti-toxin) is usually unrewarding.
Vaccination of pregnant dams and offspring*
Avoid sudden changes in dietdon’t let creep feed run out
Low level feeding of antibiotics
Plenty of feeder spaceEnterotoxemiaOvereating disease, pulpy kidney disease
Caused by bacteria, clostridium perfringins type C & D
Usually affects fastest growing lambs/kids. It is not uncommon to find them dead, with no prior symptoms.
*Vaccine is not as effective in goats.
Affects kids between 3 and 10 days of age amounts of concentrate, (normal at birth)
Most common late in kidding season.
Causes muscle weakness, ataxia.
Cause unknown, but suspected to be gastro-intestinal, a metabolic acidosis.
Treat with sodium bicarbonate and supportive therapy.Floppy kid syndromeFirst documented in 1987
Caused by excessive consumption of concentrates/grain which changes acidity of rumen.
Treat with antacids, sodium bicarbonate.
Prevent with proper feed management.
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.(Lactic) AcidosisGrain overload, grain poisoning
Wethers are most prone (early castration).
Treatment depends upon severity of condition.
Usually caused by too much phosphorus in the diet, i.e. an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus in the ration (< 1:1).Urinary CalculiWater belly, urolithiasis, calculosis, kidney stones
Proper ration balancing urine.
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.
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)Urinary CalculiWater belly, urolithiasis, calculosis, kidney stones
Mimics other neurological conditions.
Caused by a thiamin (Vitamin B1) deficiency not insufficient thiamine, but the inability to utilize it
Symptoms: blindness, star gazing.
Usually occurs in animals on high concentrate diets, but may also occur on pasture.
Treat with thiamine injections.PolioencephalomalaciaPEM, polio, cerebrocortical necrosis
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.
If recognized early, treatment with high doses of antibiotics can be effective.
Caused by bacteriaListeria monocytogenesListerioiscircling disease
Pasture/frothy urine. – 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
Treat by passing stomach tube; rumenotomy in life threatening situations.BloatOccurs when rumen gas production > rate of gas elimination.
Copper toxicity urine.(more common, esp. sheep)
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.
Steely, stringy woolCopper-relatedCopper has important role in fertility and health.
White muscle disease
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
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.Selenium-relatedSelenium and Vitamin E are interrelated.
Chlamydia Enzootic Abortion, EAE
Vibriosis Vibrio campylobacter
Cache Valley Virus (mosquito vector)
Toxoplasmosiscaused by protozoa that causes coccidiosis in catsAbortionTermination of pregnancy or birth of weak or deformed lambs or kids that die shortly after birth.
The organisms that cause abortion in ewes/does can cause abortion in women.
Disposal of infective material.
Isolation of aborting females.
Submit proper samples to a diagnostic lab.
Use of antibiotics.Dealing with an abortion stormOver 5% of herd/flock – seek veterinary assistance
The organisms that cause abortion in ewes/does can cause abortion in women.
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®.Preventing abortion storms
The organisms that cause abortion in ewes/does can cause abortion in women.
Abnormal presentation of fetus(es)
Unusually large fetus
Small pelvic area
Ring womb – failure of cervix to dilateDystocia (difficult births)New Zealand study showed that dystocia accounted for 50% of newborn lamb deaths.
Know when to assist urine.
Straining for over an hour with no progress.
Know how to assist
Be clean and gentle.
Use plenty of lubricant.
Determine presentation/ problem.
Have ewe/doe stand or elevate her hindquarters.
Use antibiotic on any ewe/doe you assist.
Call a veterinarian or experienced shepherd if you have worked on a ewe/doe for more then 30 minutes with no progress.Dystocia (difficult births)New Zealand study showed that dystocia accounted for 50% of newborn lamb deaths.
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.Pregnancy toxemiaketosis, twin lamb disease, lambing paralysis, hypoglycemia
Low blood calcium during late gestation.
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.Milk Feverhypocalcemia, parturient paresis
Prolapses have many predisposing factors/causes.
Most common skin disease of sheep and goats. during late gestation.
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).Soremouthcontagious ecthyma, contagious pustular dermatitis, scabby mouth, orf
Fungal disease during late gestation.
Usually occurs in show lambs.
Results in hair loss, scabs, lesions, and pustules.
Contagious, to humans as well.
Treat with fungicides.Ringwormclub lamb fungus, lumpy wool, wool rot
Treat with insecticides – dip, spray, or pour- on. during late gestation.
Some anthelmintics are effective against biting parasites (e.g. ivermectin)
Clean, dry environmentKeds, ticks, lice, (mange) mites
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.FlystrikeMyiasis
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.Nasal BotsHead bot, sheep bot, Oestrus ovis
Starvation - #1 cause of death in sheep or goat’s nostrils.
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.
Mild hypothermia (99-101º F)
Dry and warm up lamb/kid
Tube feed colostrum, if necessary
Severe hypothermia (<99º F)
Intra peritoneal injection of 20% dextrose
Slowly warm up lamb/kid
Feed colostrum by stomach tubeHypothermia and Starvationmost common causes of lamb and kid mortality
Clostridial disease, in soil on most farms in sheep or goat’s nostrils.
Usually related to docking and castrating, especially by elastrator bands
Oxygen-starved tissues are ideal for tetanus organism
Any puncture wound can harbor the tetanus organism.
Symptoms: stiffness caused by muscle contractions.
Treatable in early stages with antitoxin.
Prevent with vaccination
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.Tetanuslock jaw
Lower eyelid is inverted, causing the eyelashes of the lower lid to brush against the eye
Causes irritation and tearing
Treat with antibiotics or staples, sutures, or clips
Heritable trait – don’t use rams or bucks with this trait.EntropionInverted eyelid
Genetic defect causing skeletal deformities. lid to brush against the eye
Inherited as a genetic recessive disorder
SS - normal sheep
Ss - normal sheep (but carrier)
ss - spider lambSpider lamb diseaseovine hereditary chondrodysplasia
DNA TestingWhite pedigree – ancestors have not produced spider lambsGray pedigree – ancestors have produced spider lambs
Venereal disease of rams/bucks caused by lid to brush against the eyeBrucella ovis.
Contagiousmale 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.Epididymitis
Epididymis functions in the transport and storage of sperm cells produced in the testicles.
Viral lid to brush against the eye(retroviruses)Similar to aids virus
Ovine progressive pneumonia (OPP)
Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis (CAE)
Caseous lymphadenitis (CLA)
Internal (sheep) and external (goats) abscesses. lid to brush against the eye
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.Caseous lymphadenitis (CL or CLA)cheesy gland, boils, abscesses
Caused by bacteria Corynbacterium pseudotuberculosis
Zoonotic potential - ???
Controlling/eradicating CLA lid to brush against the eye
Separate or cull affected animals
Practice good hygiene and management.
Purchase from CLA-free flocks/herds.
Vaccination can reduce severity of disease.
Do not vaccinate naïve flocks/herdsCaseous lymphadenitis (CL or CLA)cheesy gland, abscesses, boils
Caused by bacteria Corynbacterium pseudotuberculosis
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)
Control/eradicate CAE disease of joints and encephalitis (rare) in young kids.
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.Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis (CAE)
26% of the sheep in the United States are infected with the OPP virus
Control/eradicate OPP disease of joints and encephalitis (rare) in young kids.
Test and remove all seropositive sheep every six months until three consecutive negative tests are achieved.
Presence of antibodies is not indicative of immunity
Most infected sheep never show symptoms, but serve as carriers of the disease.
Separate lambs from infected ewes and rear them artificially.
Buy OPP-free breeding stock.Ovine Progressive Pneumonia (OPP)
Cattle, sheep, and goat strains disease of joints and encephalitis (rare) in young kids.
Emaciation, wasting disease
Profuse, watery diarrhea seen in cattle is not common in sheep/goatsJohne’s Disease paratuberculosis
Caused by bacteria Mycobacterium paratuberculosis
Ohio State University
Difficult to diagnose. disease of joints and encephalitis (rare) in young kids.
Difficult to control.
Maintain a closed flock/herd
Be careful with cow colostrum
Testing less reliable in sheep/goats
Vaccination may lower the number of clinical cases
Theoretical link to Crohn’s disease in people.Johne’s Disease
Ohio State Univ.
Fatal disease of joints and encephalitis (rare) in young kids. disease affecting the central nervous system of sheep and goats.
Lack of coordination
Transmitted via infected placenta.
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.ScrapieGoal is to eradicate by 2010 and for U.S. to be declared scrapie-free by 2017
In sheep, susceptibility is determined by genetics. disease of joints and encephalitis (rare) in young kids.
Resistant genotypes have not been found it goats – yet.
Low incidence in USA
90% in Suffolk/black face sheep.
15 goat cases since 1990
Only Australia and New Zealand are considered scrapie-free.
Scrapie is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE).ScrapieGoal is to eradicate by 2010 and for U.S. to be declared scrapie-free by 2017
Many TSE’s disease of joints and encephalitis (rare) in young kids.
Theoretical link between scrapie and mad cow disease and between mad cow and new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in people.
Infective agent believed to be a prion, abnormal protein.
Long incubation periods.
Diagnosis post-mortem (brain tissue).
Many theoriesTransmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE)
Increased slaughter surveillance. disease of joints and encephalitis (rare) in young kids.
Mandatory identification of sheep and goats in commerce.*
Voluntary scrapie flock certification program.
Recommended for flocks/herds selling breeding stock.
Third eyelid testRectal biopsy
Genotyping for scrapie susceptibilityScrapie EradicationGoal is to eradicate scrapie by 2010 and or U.S. to be declared scrapie-free by 2017.
*Regulations vary by state.
Questions, comments disease of joints and encephalitis (rare) in young kids.