Unfortunately, coccidiosis is likely to be a particular problem this year. Due to adverse weather conditions some ewes have suffered with poor colostrum supply resulting in compromised immune systems in their lambs. Poor grass growth has meant that milk production hasn’t been so good again leading to weak lambs. Wet muddy fields and/or extended housing periods can also increase the risk from coccidiosis.
Coccidiosis is a protozoan infection which develops in the small and large intestines. It is most often seen in young lambs of about 4-7 weeks of age that have been exposed to a high level of egg challenge.
This year nematodirus is likely to be an issue, concurrent Nematodirus infection can exacerbate the severity of coccidiosis and lambs may need to be dosed with a suitable anthelmintic as well as an anti-coccidial drug.
You can also help to prevention infection with good hygiene and husbandry. An adequate intake of colostrum will assist the lamb in coping with coccidial infection. Try to keep lambing pens and feeding troughs clean, dry and off the ground. Wherever possible avoid grazing young and older lambs on the same pasture and in particular on fields which have carried ewes and lambs within the previous 2-3 weeks.
Oral and “in feed” treatments are available for the control and prevention of coccidiosis. Oral anticoccidial treatment, such as Vecoxxan should be administered as soon as a positive diagnosis has been confirmed.
Ask us about Vecoxxan or Deccox in feed.

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