Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Scab?  (Read 10275 times)

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Scab?
« on: January 20, 2012, 07:46:27 pm »
Two of last years ewe lambs are rubbing themselves sufficient to have left a noticeable amount of fleece blowing around the paddock in the course of one day. 

They're in with the pregnant ewes who all look fine - so far.

We think it's scab so we're treating with Dectomax tomorrow but If it is why haven't the older sheep got it, and should we treat them just in case.

Or is there anything else it might be?  Orf does not look like a possibility.
Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Scab?
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2012, 09:05:04 pm »
Lice?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Scab?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2012, 09:50:11 pm »
Scab is a notifiable disease.
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Re: Scab?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 10:02:09 pm »
Scab is a notifiable disease.
It is in Scotland from about a year ago but I hadn't heard that it had been put back on the English list.  The vet didn't mention it when we discussed the problem earlier today.
Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Scab?
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2012, 10:02:52 pm »
Quote
What are the signs of sheep-scab?

After piercing the skin with their sharp mouthparts, the mites feed by sucking moisture from the tissue below the skin, which results in irritation of the skin.
The earliest sign is ragged-looking wool because the sheep bite and scratch themselves. If you inspect the sheep carefully you may feel very small lumps on the skin.
You will also notice the sheep biting themselves and rubbing against fences and other objects.
You may see wool in the mouth of the sheep and wool may also be found on fences and other objects against which the sheep rub.
Fluid leaks from the irritated skin, and dries to form yellow crusts or scabs. This is why the condition is called scab.
You will see bare, scabby patches and matted wool. The affected areas get larger over time as the mite numbers increase, which can lead to the loss of wool over large areas.
The mites prefer areas covered with wool, particularly on the sides of the sheep. They tend to occur on the shoulders and sides of woolled sheep, and the tails and backs of haired breeds.
The biting and scratching aggravate the condition, and bacterial infection can result.
If sheep are left untreated they can become very thin and weak and eventually die.

What do they look like where they're losing fleece?

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Scab?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2012, 10:11:29 pm »
current notifiable diseases sheep scab only in Scotland at the moment.

dyedinthewool

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • Orpingtons and assorted Sheep
Re: Scab?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2012, 10:16:38 pm »
What breed are they.

Are they long fleeced such as Herdwicks.

Are they continuously rubbing on fences/post or is it just coming off in handfuls from their backs.

My herdwick lost her fleece from her back it was a dermatological condition caused by warm and damp weather.

Her fleece 'flopped' and kept her to humid.  she didn't itch herself on fencing/post etc, but it came off in dinner plate size lumps (I think some call it fleece rot)  I clipped her back down tight (she had a very sore scabby skin) I covered her with Suda creme (for babies bottoms) and it cleared up.  She got it again this year in late November I caught it early so not to bad, (a small area the size of a 10p, I clipped her back and she's been okay.

This year I will get her sheared again in Sept so it won't happen again.

I do hope it's not scab the ewe has.
You are never to old to learn something new

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Scab?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2012, 10:20:20 pm »
That happened with my Herdwicks too, when i first got them. I was convinced I'd brought scab into the dale and would be ostracised forever by my very new sheep-farming neighbours  :-[ Fortunately, it was nothing so dreadful  :D

Yes, fingers crossed it's not scab.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Scab?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2012, 10:29:48 pm »
Scab is a notifiable disease.
It is in Scotland from about a year ago but I hadn't heard that it had been put back on the English list.  The vet didn't mention it when we discussed the problem earlier today.
Well, blow me down, you're right.  Scotland only it is.  You learn something every day on this forum  :D  (Maybe I did know but had forgotten.  It happens  ::))

So what did the vet say?

Several years ago we had itchy, scratching, wool-losing sheep.  Vet could find no evidence of scab, nor of any other beasties - but did say it can be difficult to find the causative agent.  To cut a long story short, we eventually concluded it had been biting lice, as Dectomax didn't clear it up.  (Dectomax does sucking lice but not biting lice.)  Crovect does biting lice, so we did the whole flock with that, which sorted it out.  You had to get the chemical right down onto the skin, though, so it was very hard to do it effectively when they were in full fleece.

According to NADIS, chewing (biting) lice are most prevalent Jan-Mar, so that might be what you have.

I assume OP dip will sort the problem, but I don't know if that's advised in pregnant sheep - which I assume they are?  If you don't have your own dipping facilities, I'm not sure how you would get them dipped - no farmer with dipping facilities is going to want someone else's itchy sheep coming through his pens!  I can't remember what breed you've got?  If it's a short-wooled breed you might find someone with a sheep shower prepared to douse them.  (I don't think it's thought to be very effective in long-wooled breeds.)

If it's scab, I think you need to treat the whole flock, yes.  And I think scab mites will persist on fence posts etc for several weeks, so you might have to think about preventing reinfestation. 

And of course if there are any sheep on neighbouring land you should let the livestock keepers there know so that they can take timely action 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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Re: Scab?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2012, 10:51:08 pm »
Vet said err, dunno really, but this is the new spare vet while ours is watching her friends skiing (a patient trod on her foot and smashed it but she'd paid for the hol and needed the break.

So, Sally, what you say is exceedingly helpful.  We had real scab 18 months ago and it beats fly-strike for plain nastiness.  They're long woolled, or were before the rubbing started so what we have decided to do (as from 5 minutes ago) is

1.  Dectomax tomorrow cos scab is the most serious.  We found it worked bloody fast last time.  Failing which -
2.  Crovect to catch biting lice.

If we do both together we won't know which it was. 

A big flock round here is 300 sheep, and he doesn't dip.  Nearest sheep are several miles away with no livestock of any kind within a mile
Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Scab?
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2012, 11:17:24 pm »
Sounds like a plan.   :thumbsup:  Let us know how you get on.
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

lee.arron

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • shropshire
Re: Scab?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2012, 06:10:51 pm »
hi, experiencing a similar problem myself. could it be lumpy wool   not sure if there would be itching with this but im guessing if there is a crust then thats got to itch

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Re: Scab?
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2012, 09:37:33 am »
We went through all th sheep yesterday and there was a clear divide - they either had a fair bit of crusty gunge or no problems at all.  One wether also had a large area on his back where there was quite a depth of yellow in the wool.

We've treated them and picked up the wool thats been rubbed off so that we can check progress today and tomorrow.  And Sally, you're right that if we need to use Crovect it'll be a sod of a job to get it right into the fleece.

Is rain scald a possibility, not that we've had serious weather here at all?
Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Scab?
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2012, 09:59:02 am »
Entirely possible
Quote
Dermatophilosis, is caused when a bacterium, Dermatophilus congolensis, invades teensy abrasions in skin softened by prolonged exposure to rain. When it occurs on an animalís body, people call it rain rot, rain scald or lumpy wool (on sheep). Itís usually found on an animalís back and neck, but in bad cases, it spreads all over the body. Sometimes it occurs only on legs, especially legs with white markings, and then itís called scratches or grease heel. It causes scaly, itchy, scabby skin that lifts off in crusty patches

Here's a good article from Australia, where merinos suffer from it
rain rot or lumpy wool - symptoms and treatment

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Scab?
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2012, 11:02:44 am »
Entirely possible
Quote
Dermatophilosis, is caused when a bacterium, Dermatophilus congolensis, invades teensy abrasions in skin softened by prolonged exposure to rain. When it occurs on an animalís body, people call it rain rot, rain scald or lumpy wool (on sheep). Itís usually found on an animalís back and neck, but in bad cases, it spreads all over the body. Sometimes it occurs only on legs, especially legs with white markings, and then itís called scratches or grease heel. It causes scaly, itchy, scabby skin that lifts off in crusty patches

Here's a good article from Australia, where merinos suffer from it
rain rot or lumpy wool - symptoms and treatment

Rain scald is this year a very likely issue, I have had it a few years back in my first batch of bought-in store lambs - I think it may be worse in lambs/hoggs as they have not been clipped and their fleece is somewhat longer than the adults (and stay wet longer to?) It mine it came off in long narrow line down the side - as if water had dropped/run down. The skin did heal over quite quickly, but the fleece didn't grow back until the summer.

 

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