Common Sheep Diseases

Urinary Calculi:  First symptoms are restlessness and occasional straining to urinate.  A high level of phosphorus in the ration may be the primary cause.  Prevention consists of using the proper level of phosphorus in the ration and also ensuring the ration has a 2:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio.  Ammonium chloride added to the ration or water so lambs consume 1/4 ounce per day will provide good control.

Stomach and Nodular Worms:  Stomach worms, the most common parasites to sheep, cause unthriftiness and loss of weight.  The mucous membranes of the eye, nose and mouth will become pale.  In severe cases, scouring does occur.  Outward symptoms are generally not produced, but are responsible for slower gains and unthrifiness.

Scours:  Causes a range of problems from infectious diarrhea to common scours due to faulty feeding of the ewe.  Strict hygiene, plenty of clean, dry bedding, along with rest and a quiet environment, are important in any treatment.  Also, check for coccidiosis when scouring occurs in young stock.

Enterotoxemia or Overeating Disease: Occurs in lambs fed large amounts of grain.  Symptoms are staggering gait, moving in circles and convulsions.  Consult your veterinarian for recommended vaccination programs.

Ketosis or Pregnancy Disease:  A common ailment of ewes in late pregnancy.  Symptoms are glassy eyes, sluggishness, and staggering gait, followed by stiffness and partial paralysis.  Feeding the proper amount of a balanced feed will generally overcome this condition, especially in the latter part of gestation.

White Muscle Disease or Stiff Lamb Disease:  Characterized by muscular stiffness in lambs of several days to several weeks in age.  It is associated with Vitamin E and Selenium deficiency and can be controlled through injection.  Use of E-Se Fortifier is also indicated for this condition.