When the ewe is vaccinated 4 weeks pre-lambing, maternal antibodies (colostrum) are produced in the udder. When consumed by the lamb in the first 12-24hrs after birth these specific maternal antibodies protect the lamb from the corresponding diseases for 6-8 weeks. This is essential to protect the lamb from death and illness until their own immune system has time to respond to the challenge.
Lambing, marking, weaning and any time there is a change of diet are high risk times for clostridial disease but sheep can be at risk from clostridial diseases at all times as their spores are found everywhere in the environment and within the animals own tissue. Correct vaccination according to the product label is imperative for effective immunity.
It takes Two
Previously unvaccinated ewes and lambs require 2 vaccinations at least 4-6 weeks apart. In ewes, ensure the booster is given 2-4 weeks pre-lamb.
In lambs, for optimal protection, begin the vaccination programme at docking, with the second dose 4-6 weeks later.
If replacements have been correctly vaccinated as lambs, a single annual booster 2-4 weeks pre-lamb is all that is required for continued protection.
Why two doses?
The first “priming dose” stimulates the immune system but doesn’t give long-term protection against disease. The second “booster” dose stimulates protective antibody levels and gives ewes or lambs 12 months protection.
Maternal antibodies in the colostrum provide immediate but temporary protection for the newborn from infection. This is influenced by the vaccination status of the dam.
The first dose of vaccine primes the immune system, but only provides a small amount of short-term protection. In some animals, there may be no protection at all from this dose.
After the second dose of vaccine, the immune system is capable of providing better disease protection. In most cases, this protection lasts 12 months.
An annual booster dose is required to ensure the immunity of the animal continues to remain high for another 12 months. Without booster doses the animal is at risk of disease.
This is the level of immunity required by the animal to provide protection against infection or disease.
Protection against the five major clostridial diseases*
Protection against Cl. Sordellii
Protection against Cheesy gland (CLA)
Protection against leptospirosis
Added benefit of Vitamin B12
Added benefit of Selenium
Ultravac 5in1 with Selenium
Ultravac 5+1 B12
Ultravac 5+1 Se B12
Ultravac SD 6in1
Eweguard + Sel B12
*Pulpy kidney, Tetanus, Black leg, Black disease, Malignant Oedema
** for adult sheep only
***lamb friendly dose
**** L.Hardjo & L.Pomona
SCABBY MOUTH PROTECTION
The primary mode of transmission is through contact with a virus that survives in scabs that have fallen off previously infected sheep. Some researchers have also suggested that individual sheep may be capable of being carriers of the virus. There is no treatment for Scabby Mouth and the disease is generally left to run its course. However, signiﬁcant losses in production through decreased growth rates occur during this time. In severe cases, additional supportive treatment, such as antibiotic therapy, may be required.
Management of this disease can be achieved by vaccinating with Scabigard®.
When starting a vaccination program, it is advisable to vaccinate all sheep.
It is recommended that all lambs be vaccinated once a year at docking/tailing.
Lambs can be vaccinated as early as 1 week of age.
Scabigard is safe to use in pregnant ewes, but it is recommended that vaccination should be completed at least 6-8 weeks prior to expected lambing so as not to place the lambs at risk of disease.
All new sheep introduced to a property with Scabby Mouth should be vaccinated prior to being put on pasture.
Vaccination should be completed at least 6-8 weeks prior to shearing so as not to place shearers at risk of the disease.
JOHNES DISEASE PROTECTION
Vaccination prevents the expression of Johnes disease leading to fewer ewe losses.
Animals can be vaccinated from 1 month of age.
Only one vaccination is required to provide lifelong protection.
Vaccination can be carried out on the whole flock, including adult animals.
When vaccination is commenced at between 1 and 4 months of age, faecal M. paratuberculosis shedding may be prevented for 12 months or longer.
Both forms of Salmonellosis (enteric and reproductive) are best controlled through vaccination.
Antibiotics can be used in an outbreak to treat sick animals but vaccination even in the face of an outbreak can reduce the spread of the disease within the flock. Spreading out the flock, if feed permits can also be useful.
The recommended timing of vaccination is different depending on which form of the disease you have:
Enteric form: Two vaccinations are recommended 4-6 weeks apart starting at weaning. In subsequent years a single booster can be given around this time.
Abortion form: Two vaccinations are recommended 4-6 weeks apart in early pregnancy. The first vaccination can be given at ram removal and the second at scanning. An annual booster at scanning is recommended. In the face of high challenge vaccination will not prevent all cases of abortion. As a result other management measures should be used to reduce the stress on the ewes at these times (e.g. reducing stock pressure particularly with strip grazing on crops).
Once an outbreak of Toxoplasmosis has started there is very little you can do to stop it.
Preventing infection through vaccination is the best option for control.
A vaccine is available in New Zealand. A single dose is injected into the muscle of the neck. Healthy non pregnant ewes can be vaccinated but generally just the hogget’s are done on most farms each year. Being a live vaccine only one injection is required but it must be given no closer than 4 weeks before mating. The vaccine has a very short shelf life and once mixed up must be used within 2 hours.
In the face of an abortion storm vaccination can be helpful to reduce the number of abortions, as well as the rapid identification and disposal of aborted lambs and membranes. Only treating outbreaks when they occur still results in significant lamb loss. Preventing the abortion storm from occurring is a better approach.
A vaccine is available in NZ, and an injection should be given prior to mating. A second dose is also required 4-6 weeks later. Ideally both injections should be given prior to mating as either a hogget or a 2 tooth, although the second injection can be given at ram removal if required.
An annual booster is recommended the following year and on most farms this is adequate to prevent outbreaks from occurring.
In some flocks where the challenge is likely to be high (e.g. strip-grazing with very high stocking density) an annual booster may be required every year.