NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Scab  (Read 1696 times)

Draygor

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Soar, Brecon, Powys
Scab
« on: January 11, 2018, 09:13:04 pm »
Hi all,

Please can someone offer me some advice.

Back in the summer my small flock of Southdowns caught scab from a neighbouring farmer who kept their infected sheep in the next field to mine. Others in the area caught it also.

When we were all informed, the big scale operators dipped their sheep, but I only have 12. Apart from not being asked if I wanted mine dipped at the time, I was told it would be very expensive to get a mobile dipper for such a small flock.

I was advised to inject with Ivomec, which I did in August. The sheep continued to show signs of acute scratching and wool shedding. I was then advised in September/October to inject with Decotmax, which I did. Still they continued to scratch like mad, and thinking the dectomax hadn't worked, I complained to the company who arranged a local vet to take scrapings to see if the mites still existed. The vet found absolutely nothing. I was then advised in November to inject with Cydectin - which I did. My sheep still look absolutely aweful, and are still scratching like mad to the point of drawing blood.

I have since arranged the same vet to do a second examination and skin/wool scrape - again showing no remaining mites.

I have been informed that although injecting gets rid of the mites, it doesn't get rid of the residue at the base of the fleece like dipping does. This will continue to cause irritation and the need to scratch.

I am at my wits end, with such a small flock that used to look so good, now look like crap. In addition the 6 ewes are hopefully in lamb.

Please, please, please has anyone got any advice of how I can stop the flock itching and scratching.

PS - sorry this post is so long!!
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 09:24:39 pm by Draygor »
Voss Electric Fence

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Scab
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 08:02:47 am »
If they are very friendly sheep and well off lambing I would be tempted to give them a bath.  They will take a bit of drying but if there is only thin fleece from rubbing it should not be too bad, choose a mild day and keep out of any wind.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Scab
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 08:52:42 am »
I wonder if it would be worth having another word with your own vet.  Maybe a painkiller could give them some relief for a few days and allow the wounds to scab over?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Scab
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 10:55:38 am »
There are other kinds of mites and lice, and things like keds, all of which can cause itching and biting but some of which will not be affected by the meds tried so far.

In general, healthy sheep can withstand low levels of these other parasites, but if already low because of a previous problem, or for other reasons, then the other parasites can take hold.

For that reason I’d probably give a good quality mineral drench, to help their general vitality and ability to recover.

Every treatment you’ve been advised to try is effective against the scab mite but no other ectoparasite.  If the washing doesn’t sort them, or you can’t do that, I’d be inclined to try Crovect or some other broad-spectrum against ectoparasites.  Crovect applied in a line along the skin (use the point dispenser and part the fleece to bare the skin) should clear mites and lice that aren’t affected by the meds used so far.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Scab
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 12:41:55 pm »
Often sheep that have scab have lice as well  and as sally say non of the injectables that kill scab kill lice you need CROVECT  or DYSECT or COOPERS SPOT-ON , if vet thinks he/she can visually see lice , the first 2 products can be used in summer to prevent or kill Blow fly .    Don't know what you are going to bath them in as they must be fully immersed to kill anything on the head or in the ears, plus I cannot buy DIP  without a certificate of competence and some where to dispose of the used dip

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Scab
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 12:54:47 pm »
Did you do the two injections of Ivomec?
Which Cydectin did you use?  1% needs two injections, 2% needs only one.


Where abouts on their bodies are they scratching?  Got any photos?  Are they still shedding?


If it were me I'd use Pfizer/Zoetis Spot-on now and see what happens.  Don't bother with Crovect at this time of year, the fleece will be too long to get good administration.  And if that doesn't work, go back to your vet.

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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Re: Scab
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 01:49:01 pm »
Think I would check with vet again.

  My sheep have a recurring lice problem which on discussion with vet we decided it is probably living in my wooden sheep shed so every time sheep come in they are infected again (Spot on did nothing) .... 

ecto parasites are a real problem .... don't suppose you are in Wales?  I think there is a free ecto parasite assessment being offered via vets.
Linda

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pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Scab
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 03:18:12 pm »
Not sure where you are in the country as if you are in the North my comments may not make any sense.  I wonder given it is a small flock that is may be worth getting them sheared now, especially if the 6 ewes are coming in for a few weeks when lambing. It would then be possible to treat them with spray or powder.  Bit pricey for 12 but can get weather proof coats to turn them out in and if the ewes stay in until end of March then probably only need coats for the other 6.

Is it worth considering good (???) old fashioned sulphur powder. I used it for lice on goats earlier this year and it worked a treat. But if you go this route get some disposable overalls as it makes your clothes smell forever.

winkhound

  • Joined Sep 2014
Re: Scab
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 05:00:48 pm »
Get them in, get their fleeces off and dip them large container with a something naturally soothing. With 12 sheep this is straight forward.

Or

Electric fence an area in the centre of a field where there is nothing to scratch on.

I have seen it become a perpetual habit, where an itch is a scratch and then a scratch needs itching. The vet may well be right and there is nothing at all.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Scab
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 06:34:39 pm »


Don't bother with Crovect at this time of year, the fleece will be too long to get good administration. 

For ectoparasites, you apply Crovect to the skin.  Use the point dispenser, part the fleece with your hand so you can see the skin, and apply the product in a long line along the spine from shoulders to rump.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Scab
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 06:38:49 pm »
Another thing which could be a factor here is reinfestation. If all neighbouring farms are not treating all their sheep simultaneously, each could be a source for reinfestation of the next. The suggestion of using electric fence to keep them away from fence posts and other things they can rub on would help with this too.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Scab
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2018, 06:51:16 pm »
Citronella not citrus!!!  You have to be careful which oils you use around cats, they lack an enzyme which means some oils are highly toxic to them.  More info here (amongst many other places.)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Draygor

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Soar, Brecon, Powys
Re: Scab
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2018, 10:49:24 pm »
Hi all, many thanks for all the advice I'll answer some of the questions below:

@Buttermilk They are friendly sheep, they eat out of my hand and follow the bag very easily, so I'm thinking along these lines.
@SallyintNorth @shep53 They were Crovect in July, do you think they will benefit from another dose?
@Foobar Yes they were given 2 injections of Ivomec and the Cydectin was 2%. They are scratching their backs, sides and underbellies.
@Backinwellies The vet couldn't find any signs of external parasites either. They don't live in any kind of housing unless it's severe weather in which case I bring them into the barn.
@pharnorth I am in Wales and I will consider shearing them
@winkhound The shearing is something I am seriously considering.
@SallyintNorth All the surrounding farms are bigger concerns and all dipped their sheep the same time I injected mine. Also there are no sheep in the surrounding fields to mine anymore.

I also wanted to add to the original post that I keep Badger Faced and although they received the same treatment as the Southdowns, they have shown no signs of itching or scratching at all. They still look great!!

The scratching Southdowns also appear to have many 'cysts' on their skin. The vet has told me this is due to infection from the scratching. They are currently receiving shots of Betamox. 

A number of times bathing them has come up, which I could potentially do, but what in your opinion would be the ideal solution to bath them in?

Many thanks again

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: Scab
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 06:31:13 am »
If you could shear them first could you shampoo them with a flea shampoo maybe, it would get rid of any residues and treat for any remaining lice / mites.  Check with the vet if there's a suitable one with the right active ingredient.  You'll get to the skin better.

I had a recurring lice problem with the angora goats last year despite repeated crovect or spot on treatments.  Finally cleared them by diluting the crovect, putting it in a plant spray bottle and covering them in it, rubbing it around under their armpits and groin.  If you do something similar wear good protective gloves and mask.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Scab
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2018, 06:42:26 am »
Think of Crovect as several different medications, each applied in a different way and effective against different parasites at different stages of their lifecycles.

The Crovect we apply with the t-bar nozzle in the summer lies on top of the fleece and protects against blowfly.  But applied this way has little effect on chewing lice.

For lice and ticks, the product is applied as a pin stream as close to the skin as possible.  When the sheep are in full fleece, you need to part the fleece to expose the skin and apply the stream at the base of the wool / on the skin.  It can take some time for all the active lice to get killed, meanwhile eggs are hatching. But if it’s been applied correctly (and not washed off in very wet weather), it should still be effective as the eggs hatch.

There’s an article on SCOPS about sheep lice. Linky.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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