NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Eye infection??  (Read 2929 times)


  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Renfrewshire
Eye infection??
« on: December 07, 2012, 11:43:43 am »
Looking for a bit of help, the other day was down feeding my sheep in the snow and noticed that one of my zwartbles ewes eyes were all red and had a white film over them although she seemed fine in herself i phoned the vet and they gave me an eye oinment to treat her. Now more of the flock are suffering from runny eyes and some green matter coming from them after speaking to neighbouring farmer he said it sounded as if they had "snow eye" and that there was an injection i could get to treat the whole flock instead of trying to catch them all individually and trying to put eye drops into them all. I picked up oxytetracycline injection but after reading it one of the contra-indications is it could intefere with bone development in unborn lambs. Has anyone else used this in pregnant ewes and can the eye infection "self heal" if i leave it????????
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Eye infection??
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2012, 11:49:38 am »
I've been using oxytetracycline in mine for the same reason, but fortunately the ewes got clear before tupping - now the wethers have it  ::)

You do need to treat them, apart from anything else, it's painful. But it can ulcerate too if left. Or it can sort itself out, I went to get something from the vet once for one of my ewes and when I got up there the next day I couldn't see which one it was. This  time it's been really bad and I've had to  treat twice to get them clear of it.

Can you go back to them and say that your ewes are in-lamb now and what other antibiotics could you use. No point using something that's known to have that side effect I wouldn't have said.


  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: Eye infection??
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2012, 11:58:19 am »
I had a nightmare summer when my mixed ewe flock got eye infections that kept doing the rounds and lasted about two-three months.  They had contagious opthalmia and it caused the eyes of some of them to completely cloud over blue to the extent some were blinded and quite distressed  :( .

Initially I rounded them all up and gave them AB injections and put Orbenin ointment into the worst ones, not any easy job with a sheep who won't comply  ::) .  The infection seemed to clear but to my dismay some of the sheep that had got better, got reinfected!  One of them had it so bad I thought she'd lose her eye.  I did research over the net and found that treating them with ABs had limited use and that generally the disease ran it's course - which it did.  It was quite worrying at the time but even the one whose eye was very badly affected totally recovered.  I didn't bother any further with the ointment as it seemed to have no effect and  most of it ended up on my hands rather than in the eyes, and I couldn't justify the cost with the amount of sheep I had!

Interestingly it was the coloured sheep, the Gotlands and Zwartbles who were the worst affected, the white sheep seemed hardly bothered by it, just one or two runny eyes.

I don't know if this was the same thing yours have got but all I can say is from my experience they did all recover 100% without further treatment, although it took some time. 
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep


  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: Eye infection??
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2012, 12:22:32 pm »
I would  agree with Remy in general this condition is self limiting and left alone will clear up in most cases although can leave permanent scarring on the cornea. I tend to use topical cream to relieve some of the soreness as it can be very painful but leave the clearing up to its own devices.
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Eye infection??
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2012, 01:22:55 pm »
I had better touch wood saying it, but two antibiotic jags a week apart seems to have sorted mine. It's been a real pain though, as you say, it went round and round to start with, until I jagged everyone in the field. Jusy got to gather the wethers again tomorrow then hopefully that's it  :fc: Of course, gathering Shetlands two Saturdays in a row is no mean feat, they're too smart!


  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Eye infection??
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2012, 07:07:34 pm »
we had this problem last year and in the beginning we did the eye cream for 3 days and yes it works but it spread from sheep to sheep and eventually we injected them all and wished that we had done this in the beginning as we had 200 sheep


  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Renfrewshire
Re: Eye infection??
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2012, 09:08:19 pm »
Thanks for all the advice we decided to use the ointment in the ewes in lamb and seems to have helped alot and just injected all our jacob lambs with long acting antibiotics and there eyes have cleared up completely  :fc: none of the others get infected or anything reinfected.
Remy interestingly enough only one of my cross ewes suffered from it (touch wood)although  my 12 jacob lambs, 2 jacob ewes and 2 zwartbles all suffered from it!!!


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