Analysis of sheep carcases and samples submitted to regional veterinary laboratories (RVLs) in late summer shows a spike in the number of ruminal acidosis cases.
As grass supplies dried up on many farms, farmers moved lambs on to predominately concentrate-based diets.
In the RVL quarter-three report, farmers were advised to “be vigilant regarding the dangers of rapidly transitioning from a forage diet to a diet containing concentrates in situations where forage is scarce”.
Cases of both enteritis and pulpy kidney in sheep carcases presented were less frequent for the same period in 2017.
Acidosis was the third-most common cause of mortality
Parasitic gastroenteritis and pneumonia remained the two most common diseases diagnosed in sheep following a post-mortem examination.
Acidosis was the third-most common cause of mortality.
During the late-summer period, 244 carcases and 662 diagnostic samples (eg blood, faecal, etc) were submitted for analysis.
The 10 most common diseases were:Parasitic gastro-enteritis. Pneumonia.Ruminal acidosis. Septicaemia. Encephalitis. Parasitic bronchitis. Abscessation-miscellaneous. Tick borne fever.Enteritis and pneumonia. Pulpy kidney disease.
Pneumonia the biggest cause of cattle deaths in late summer