Issues with sheep scratching come to the fore each year during the winter. Discussions often centre on treatments perceived to be unsuccessful. The reality is a significant number of these treatments are unsuccessful but not because the product has not worked, rather the cause was misdiagnosed. With a lot of labour and expense going into these cases, the starting point must always be an accurate diagnosis. While sheep scab and lice remain the most common culprits, external parasites are not always to blame, with bacterial and fungal infections also present.