Scabby Mouth - Andrew Muir BVSc

As tailing approaches so does the most practical opportunity to vaccinate against scabby mouth. Outbreaks observed in the past 12 months confirm it is still present and extremely challenging and labour intensive to treat.

  • Scabby mouth infects animals through breaks in the skin resulting in raised red lesions and scabs. Infections can occur anywhere on the body with the mouth, feet, udders and poll of rams being very common. Lamb infection results in significant effects on weight gains.
  • Lambs are most susceptible over the first summer so tailing is the most practical time to vaccinate. Do not use the vaccine on farms that are free of the disease.
  • The best place to give the vaccination is the inside of the back leg unless fly treatments are being used,  in which case the inside of the front leg should be used.
  • The vaccine is given by scratching the skin to form a cross, but do not scratch so firmly as to draw blood. A blue dye is added to the vaccine so you can see where it has been applied.
  • Check the vaccination area of 20 lambs 7-10 days after vaccination to ensure that it has taken. A take is a raised whitish line surrounded by an area of inflammation.
  • Keep the vaccine in a fridge until it is used and only take enough for the day. During use keep it in a chilly bag out of direct sunlight.