The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: NewLifeOnTheFarm on December 01, 2018, 08:38:31 am

Title: Dectomax - how long does it cover for?
Post by: NewLifeOnTheFarm on December 01, 2018, 08:38:31 am
So, it's been fun and games on our hillside. Someone has been renting land nearby, never checking their sheep, they have been escaping all over the place. I was forwarded by a friend not to go near these sheep due to risk of spreading. However, several fellow neighbours have taken in sheep/penned up runaways in in their fields etc. A few days ago an elderly neighbour rang to say he had lost 12 lambs, and 2 ewes due to severe more infestations. He blamed the runaways. Another neighbour has now had a dead ewe that was infested.

So I am obviously keeping a very close eye on my flock. We are bringing them in today. No one has used the word scab, but the treatment is dectomax so I'm assuming it is.

I'm bringing my sheep in to have a good check today. All bar 3 ewes had dectomax on arrival in September as part of their isolation, so I'm hoping this has maybe protected them? I have dectomax in so also wondering where to just treat everything just in case?

All advice welcome. Thanks.
Title: Re: Dectomax - how long does it cover for?
Post by: twizzel on December 01, 2018, 09:32:28 am
Dectomax doesn’t have any persistent cover I don’t think, it just treats active scab on the day of injecting.  I think it’s quite important that the sheep are turned out onto clean fields after treatment or they could just be reinfected.


You say infestations but what? Dectomax also treats worms. You need to find out what killed the sheep rather than guessing, or you’ll be wasting medicine and encouraging resistance.
Title: Re: Dectomax - how long does it cover for?
Post by: sheeponthebrain on December 01, 2018, 09:56:47 am
dectomax only covers the 1 life cycle of a scab egg 14days.  the dectomax in September will likely have 'limited' the infestation
Title: Re: Dectomax - how long does it cover for?
Post by: NewLifeOnTheFarm on December 01, 2018, 11:39:27 am
Just re read all my typos and auto correct fails! Sorry about those! So it's a mite Infestation. I've had all mine in this morning to check each one. No signs of any irritated skin, all eating and drinking and behaving normally. So we are going to watch and wait rather than jump to treat.

Ours have never come into contact with the infected sheep. Our other neighbours have been in direct contact. So heres hoping that our biosecurity methods will have helped.
Title: Re: Dectomax - how long does it cover for?
Post by: Scarlet.Dragon on December 01, 2018, 11:46:28 am
Mites are nasty to get rid of!  Dectomax 14 days apart is one treatment, but another is slathering sudocrem or petroleum jelly on the affected areas of skin and a couple of inches above to smother them.  Not aware that mites can kill animals though... just the itching causes them to lose condition and the biting breaks the skin potentially leading to secondary infections which I guess could kill them if untreated.

As an aside, it the individual renting the ground isn't managing the stock, you should probably have words with them or DEFRA/Animal Health... presumably there will be "movement notifications: missing if they're straying onto other holdings and if they're "infectious" - whether that be mite infestations or something more sinister there could be an epidemic in the offing.  We all tolerate the occasional mishap - a car going through a fence letting stock out or a firework panicked beast hitting a fence at speed... but if this individual isn't respecting the welfare and biosecurity of surrounding premises, they need to be brought into line.  Hope you're all clear and the extra work that's been caused to everyone is re-charged to the individual causing the problems... and a complaint to their landlord by everyone affected probably wouldn't go amiss either!
Title: Re: Dectomax - how long does it cover for?
Post by: Backinwellies on December 01, 2018, 03:10:53 pm
If any of your sheep start scratching. rubbing or pulling wool out get a scrape done by vet to establish exactly what problem is …………. there are 2 types of lice, mites and scab all cause these symptoms and each are treated differently. …. don't just listen to what neighbours are doing.
Title: Re: Dectomax - how long does it cover for?
Post by: Penninehillbilly on December 01, 2018, 04:08:07 pm
I don't think mites/scab would just kill a sheep without someone noticing it's condition.
So I would be wary of the dead sheep being associated with strays, unless owner wasn't checking.
However if they are wormy as well, from what I've been reading barber pole worm can knock a sheep down very quick.
Either do or find out how to do an FEC, you'll need a microscope, but cheaper than vet if you can master it.
Title: Re: Dectomax - how long does it cover for?
Post by: landroverroy on December 02, 2018, 02:51:49 pm
Seems very strange to me and a bit like chinese whispers. You don't suddenly lose sheep due to mites or lice. The irritation caused is obvious for weeks and they'd have to have vaste bare patches with intense itching and gradually lose condition before they got to the stage of dying.
So someone has lost 12 lambs and 2 ewes. Well if that's happened so fast he didn't have time to treat them then I'd certainly want to know exactly what it was that caused it. It certainly wasn't scab or lice. If it happened over time, then I'd suspect that the owner reporting the loss was sadly lacking in his husbandry methods and was blaming it on the newcomer.
It sounds like everyone is behaving like headless chickens without actually knowing what the problem is!
Title: Re: Dectomax - how long does it cover for?
Post by: Backinwellies on December 02, 2018, 06:05:12 pm
I think fluke is the only parasite likely to kill that many animals so quickly without much warning.
Title: Re: Dectomax - how long does it cover for?
Post by: landroverroy on December 02, 2018, 07:08:33 pm
I think fluke is the only parasite likely to kill that many animals so quickly without much warning.


And that isn't instantly and directly caught from other people's sheep!
Title: Re: Dectomax - how long does it cover for?
Post by: NewLifeOnTheFarm on December 02, 2018, 10:39:12 pm
My suspicion is that poor husbandry is to blame. The first affected flock belong to an elderly farmer who, despite best intentions is very obviously struggling. He has land all over the place and is spreading himself pretty thin. The second neighbour affected is , shall we say, non conformist and I imagine his sheep are pretty much left to themselves despite him saying he checked them.

We are lucky that our sheep are directly outside, our house is in the middle of our fields, and I spend a lot of my day just watching/observing my flock. Even though I'm such a newbie I would like to think I would spot any issues fairly quickly, just because they are right there more than anything. My first reaction to hearing all this was exactly as you have responded, it cannot simply be a case of mites, it's just not possible. So I'm hoping that my approach to watch and wait is the best one. If I didn't know about others losing sheep, I would have zero concerns about my sheep, they are exactly as they have always been.

Thanks for the advice all, much appreciated.
Title: Re: Dectomax - how long does it cover for?
Post by: SallyintNorth on December 03, 2018, 10:43:00 am
I think fluke is the only parasite likely to kill that many animals so quickly without much warning.


And that isn't instantly and directly caught from other people's sheep!

No, but sheep pulled down by a mite infestation, poor nutrition, or other issues arising from poor husbandry, will succumb to other problems more quickly and with greater effect - and vice versa.  If they’re already weakened by chironic, untreated fluke, then a mite infestation on top of that could become serious very quickly.
Title: Re: Dectomax - how long does it cover for?
Post by: twizzel on December 03, 2018, 11:18:39 am
I think a mite infestation lowering immunity causing death would be a fairly drawn out affair. Not something to kill a sheep overnight with no warning. However pasturella would kill a sheep with no warning although not contagious will affect batches of sheep.


I think unless your sheep have been in direct contact with these wondering sheep then just observe them closely. If the wondering sheep have been on your land then I'd probably take a skin scrape for scab and mites and get the vet to check.
Title: Re: Dectomax - how long does it cover for?
Post by: Scarlet.Dragon on December 03, 2018, 11:42:55 am
Surely something like Pasturella Pneumonia is more likely to be the cause of "sudden deaths" - although if everything is outside the risk should be relatively low... having said that if the "new stock" in the area has been stressed/moved, it's possible and if they've then been in direct contact with other stock given the weird weather we're having of warm one day and cold the next, it's a possibility.

If the elderly farmer is struggling then maybe someone having a word with him to see what help could be offered, may result in gains for everyone.  Perhaps "partnering" options on the stock management to take the pressure off?
Title: Re: Dectomax - how long does it cover for?
Post by: SallyintNorth on December 03, 2018, 03:57:13 pm
This time of year, sheep which are under par (especially if already in lamb) can succumb to metabolic disruption, especially in a sudden weather event, dropping and dying within hours.  In the Cumbria uplands, we used to find putting a magnesium lick out helped them withstand this arduous time of year.  They didn’t take a lot, but we had a lot less sheep needing calcium and magnesium when we had a one out.
Title: Re: Dectomax - how long does it cover for?
Post by: Tim W on December 03, 2018, 07:34:23 pm
probably take a skin scrape for scab and mites and get the vet to check.

There is now a blood test available ---shows up when mites don't (early infections)

Also beware recent developments in scab mite resistance to some ivermectins