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Where to begin: In brief

Follow these five important recommendations to start tackling lameness in your flock

1) Avoiding foot trimming: Using trimming as treatment for foot problems delays healing and makes it more likely that sheep will become infected again. Routine trimming damages feet and leads to higher levels of lameness.

2) Prompt treatment of lame sheep: Treating a lame sheep within three days is the best way to make sure it recovers quickly and doesn’t spread the infection to the rest of the flock.

3) Consistent use of antibiotics: Using the correct dose of antibiotic injection (e.g. oxytetracycline) to treat scald, footrot and CODD targets the infection inside the foot that can’t be reached with a spray or footbath.

4) Preventing introduction and spread of disease: Good biosecurity prevents new and returning sheep from bringing new diseases (e.g. CODD) or a new strain of disease (e.g. footrot) into your flock. Separation of lame sheep and culling repeatedly lame sheep help to stop footrot and CODD spreading within your flock.

5) Recording lameness: Marking and recording treated sheep helps to ensure that repeat cases of CODD, footrot and scald are easily identified for culling.

Over trimmed hoof


spray marked lame sheep

Long term benefits of quick treatment: Treating individual lame sheep quickly with antibiotics means fewer sheep will be lame, meaning you’ll spend less money on antibiotics, less time treating lame sheep and you’ll lose less income from the low production rates of lame sheep.

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All rights reserved. These materials have been produced for the promotion of good animal husbandry and are intended for use by individuals working in agricultural, veterinary or academic practice. While every effort is made to ensure that the information given here is accurate, no legal responsibility is accepted for any errors, omissions or misleading statements.