Scabby Mouth

As tailing approaches so does the most practical opportunity to vaccinate against scabby mouth.  This is not new but it is timely to go over the basics to ensure your procedures are giving you an effective vaccination programme.

  • 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 the poll of rams being very common.  Lamb infection results in significant effects on weight gains.
  • Lambs are most susceptible over their first summer so tailing is the most practical time to vaccinate.  Don't 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 but don't 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 and out of direct sunlight.
  • As scabby mouth can infect humans (orf) don't touch lesions or prick yourself with the vaccine.
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