MSD continue to investigate the suspected lack of expected efficacy (SLEE) for batch no’s:
- 132SL3 (Not supplied to OVL)
To date there has been no root cause identified, however MSD recognise that there is a need for replacement product for farmers whose lambs have been affected. MSD have available a limited quantity of vaccine for clients who wish to re vaccinate. There will be no charge for replacement product to revaccinate stock. This product will be available from the clinic, from Friday 21st November. Please contact the clinic to discuss your individual situation and feel free to talk to one of the vets regarding any concerns or queries you may have around revaccination.
If you still require product for unvaccinated stock please advise us immediately of your requirements.
Reducing the impact of Scabby Mouth
Scabby mouth is caused by a virus. It used to be thought that virus survived on a farm in scabs that fall off infected animals but it is now thought to persist in carrier animals within the flock.
Although the virus is not associated with death, it can limit growth rates due to pain. It is also a zoonosis (passed from animals to man), so can interfere with shearing and severely affected lambs will be turned back from the meat works.
Sheep and lambs do develop immunity to the disease but it is not life long and infected lambs can pass the disease on to their mother’s udder predisposing them to mastitis.
Damage to the skin let the virus get established – thistles, gorse and the breaks in the skin caused by erupting teeth are common factors associated with outbreaks of the disease.
Unfortunately there is no treatment for the disease. Topical antibiotic sprays will prevent secondary bacterial infection in severely affected animals.
If you choose not to revaccinate lambs, what can you do?
- Reduce the risk of damage to the lambs’ mouths
- Control thistles
- Spraying is generally only effective in the Autumn. Topping, especially in the rain or when rain is expected is more effective at this time of year.
- Improve feeding levels, this has two effects:
- You are more likely to get lambs away before the major challenge from thistles emerges
- Leaving more generous post grazing residuals will give the animals more scope to avoid thistly patches.
- How can you improve feed levels in this difficult spring?
- Graze other stock off – eg hoggets
- Work with your farm advisor or fertilizer rep to plan applications of urea or sulphate of ammonia to boost grass growth.
- On farms affected by Clover Root Weevil (CRW) this is particularly important.
- Farms severely affected by CRW should consider summer forage crops, eg rape, for finishing lambs and strategic Nitrogen applications to replace the Nitrogen fixed by clover.
- Manage other factors that could have a negative impact on lamb growth.
- Clover is also a better source of Cobalt than growth so B12 supplementation may be necessary this season. If in doubt we can do liver biopsies to assess the B12 status of your flock.
- Make sure other trace elements are adequate, especially Selenium. Again, we can check Selenium status with a blood test.
- Monitor faecal worm egg counts in lambs and ewes.