Prevention and Control of Specific Sheep Diseases

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

 

Foreign Animal Diseases

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD):

Risk: The risk in the USA is very low. The FMD risk in feeder animals is associated with visitors with a history of foreign travel.

Training: Provide employee education to understand and identify FMD symptoms. Be observant for any unusual situations such as strangers lurking around, loose pigs, etc. FMD symptoms include blisters or ulcers in the mouth and between the toes. Animals will salivate, appear depressed and move stiffly. The disease spreads very rapidly so expect several animals to exhibit the same symptoms either at the start or within 24 hours.

Resistance: No vaccines are available for use in the United States.

Isolation: Isolate incoming animals for 72 hours and observe for FMD symptoms. Optimally, isolate new animals for two weeks. The animals may be processed as needed, but processing facilities and equipment should be cleaned and sanitized after use with each set of new animals.

Traffic Control: People with a history of foreign travel should be kept away from livestock for one week. Wash and disinfect (bleach according to label directions) clothes after travel. Thoroughly clean and disinfect footwear worn during travel.

Sanitation: Wash and sanitize processing equipment and facilities between each set of incoming animals.

Action Trigger: FMD symptoms, (salivation, depression and stiff movement – with erosions or ulcers in the mouth or between the toes).

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: When the symptoms of FMD are found, notify a member of the Biosecurity Rapid Response and Security Team. They will contact the veterinarian and the operations manager, which in turn will contact the state USDA-APHIS official. Stop all movement and handling of animals immediately, including animals on the outside of the operation. Stop all movement of people and vehicles in the vicinity of the suspect animals. Clean and sanitize all facilities and equipment that may have been exposed to the animals. Implement all controls as directed by the operations veterinarian and state USDA-APHIS official.

Comments: FMD typically has a short, 72-hour incubation, but may be as long as twelve days. It is highly contagious and rapidly spread by animals and inanimate objects.

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Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) – Mad Cow Disease:

Risk: The risk is very low in feeder animals. The source is incoming feed ingredients, which is highly regulated.

Training: Provide employee education to understand and identify the symptoms of central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Symptoms may include behavioral changes, seizures, tremors, and partial or complete loss of muscle coordination. Notify veterinarian for sample collection of animals that meet USDA-APHIS targets.

Resistance: No vaccines are available.

Isolation: Special traffic control is not needed. CNS diseases are not easily transmitted, but caution should always be exercised when dealing with animals exhibiting CNS signs. Remember rabies is a CNS disease and is transmissible to humans.

Traffic Control: Special traffic control is not needed. CNS diseases are not easily transmitted.

Sanitation: Employees should AVOID contact with excretions and secretions for all animals with CNS disease (think rabies).

Action Trigger: CNS symptoms.

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: None. However, notify management/veterinarian for all CNS cases. Necropsy all animals that die from CNS disease (sample as directed by the operations veterinarian).

Comments: BSE is not an issue for feeder animals, but important in herd replacement livestock development. Focus on prevention. Do not feed ruminant derived proteins. Question is raised from feeding beef tallow. Know your suppliers and ask for signed letter of FDA compliance. Ingredient testing and on-site inspection is possible but not practical.

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Emerging Diseases

Johnes Disease:

Risk: The risk is low in feeder animals. Clinical signs rarely develop in less than two years.

Training: Provide employee education to understand and identify symptoms of the disease. Symptoms include chronic diarrhea and weight loss. Include training that emphasizes the importance of minimizing fecal contamination and proper sanitation.

Resistance: No vaccines are available.

Isolation: Isolate all animals with symptoms of Johne’s. Avoid fecal-oral contamination in the hospital area (minimize the use of oral instruments – such as balling guns, stomach tubes, oral fluid pumps, etc).

Traffic Control: Restrict movement of sick animals to within the hospital area. Restrict movement of people who work in the hospital area to the hospital area unless sanitizing footwear.

Sanitation: Do not let fecal material from Johne’s suspects contaminate the oral cavity of other animals. Clean and sanitize all oral instruments between uses. Clean and sanitize handling equipment & snakes after handling Johne’s suspect animals.

Action Trigger: Johne’s symptoms, (- chronic diarrhea)

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: Notify a member of the Biosecurity Response Team that an animal has been identified exhibiting clinical symptoms of Johne’s. They will communicate the need for intra operation traffic control. Discuss the case with the operation’s veterinarian.

Comments: Johne’s disease has an extremely long incubation period. Most animals that develop clinical Johne’s were infected when young, but older animals can become infected with Johne’s. Therefore detailed attention to preventing fecal-oral contamination is the best defense.

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Infectious Diseases Associated with Respiratory Infection

Respiratory Disease Complex - Pasteurella, Mannheimia, Mycoplasma

Risk: Assume all animals are exposed to these inherent diseases. Vaccines may be appropriate for control or to decrease the severity of some of these diseases.

Training: Provide employee education to understand and identify symptoms of these diseases. Include training on health management of clinically affected animals. Most animalsmen are familiar with the symptoms of these common inherent diseases. Specific questions should be directed to the operation’s veterinarian.

Resistance: Good husbandry and management especially when weaning and shipping animals can have great benefit in prevention and control of respiratory disease. Properly vaccinating animals at proper times with a modified live virus (MLV) will protect from the viral diseases. Newer pasteurella vaccines are available and when used prior to a disease challenge can moderate the disease. Other vaccines have not provided documented protection from the respiratory disease complex.

Isolation: Special isolation is not needed. Cross contamination of excretions and secretions from clinically ill animals should be avoided.

Traffic Control: Special traffic control is not needed, however a measure of common sense is required. Equipment, such as loaders used to move sick or dead animals must be cleaned and sanitized before using around healthy animals or feed supplies. The dead animals pick up area should be located at the perimeter of the operation and weighed across the truck scales used to weight feed trucks.

Sanitation: Clean and sanitize instruments, equipment and facilities after working with clinically ill or dead animals.

Action Trigger: Bovine respiratory disease symptoms, the hallmark of which includes depression and appetite loss.

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: A member of the Biosecurity Response Team should daily review the sick animals pulls with the hospital supervisor.

Comments: Minimizing stress by proper care and handling techniques improves the ability of animals to resist infectious disease. The symptoms of these diseases may mimic the symptoms of other diseases that would be a biosecurity threat. Be on guard for any differences in the signs presented by an animal that may be an indication of a biosecurity threat. If in doubt, contact a member of the Biosecurity Response Team, who will then notify the operation’s veterinarian. Review all cases with the operation’s veterinarian.

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Infectious Diseases Associated with Calf Scours Complex

Scours Complex - Rotavirus, Cryptosporidiosis

Risk: Assume all young animals are exposed to these common inherent diseases. Vaccines may be appropriate for control or to decrease the severity of these common diseases.

Training: Provide employee education to understand and identify symptoms of these diseases. Include training on health management of clinically affected animals and supportive therapy for severely dehydrated young animals. They need to understand the importance of proper sanitation and attention to avoiding fecal-oral contamination. Train employees to realize their personal risk and the potential risk to their families from fecal-oral contamination.

Resistance: Vaccines are available for some of these diseases and can be used to moderate the condition.

Isolation: Isolate, as much as possible, all animals with symptoms of diarrhea. This includes animals with severe depression and diarrhea. Avoid fecal-oral contamination by minimizing use of oral instruments such as balling guns, stomach tubes, and oral fluid pumps.

Traffic Control: Restrict the movement around scouring young animals.

Sanitation: Do not let fecal material from scouring animals contaminate the oral cavity of other animals or humans. Clean and sanitize all oral instruments between uses. Clean and sanitize handling equipment.

Action Trigger: Symptoms of scours in young animals

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: Preventing fecal oral contamination between animals is especially true in young animals.

Comments: Review all cases with the operation’s veterinarian.

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Scours:

Risk: Newborn animals experiencing stress from calving difficulty and/or a cold, damp environment that are then exposed to a sufficient number of pathogenic organisms commonly found in many herds such as the coliforms, rotavirus / coronavirus, and cryptosporidiosis.

Severe risk from complete or partial failure of colostrum soon after birth (<6 hours of age).

Training: Provide employee education to understand the importance of avoiding stress to new animals, insuring the calf gets colostrum early (by hand if necessary) and observation that the dam takes the calf and lets it nurse within a few hours of standing.

Resistance: Passive immunity from colostrums
Maintain a clean dry environment
Vaccines are available but still require careful management.

Isolation: Isolate new born animals with severe symptoms of diarrhea.
Avoid fecal-oral contamination in the hospital area

Traffic Control: Utilize pen and pasture rotations to minimize contamination of calving ground to new born animals.
Restrict movement of sick animals to within the hospital area. Restrict movement of people who work with sick new born animals and/or sanitize footwear and clothing.

Sanitation: Maintain a clean calving area, environment.
Clean and sanitize all oral instruments between uses. Clean and sanitize handling equipment & snakes after handling Johne’s suspect animals.

Action Trigger: Severe watery diarrhea in animals less than 3 weeks of age.

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: Segregate pairs in affected pasture, move animals still to calve to new pasture

Comments: Make certain females are in good nutritional condition prior to calving and that new born animals get a good start at birth.

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Infectious Diseases Associated with Reproductive Failure

Leptospirosis (Red Water), Neosporosis

Risk: The risk is low to high depending on the environment. Leptospirosis is transmitted through urine contamination, usually of water. Standing water in pens, especially in hot periods of the year is frequently associated with symptoms of leptospirosis in feeder animals.

Training: Provide employee education to understand and identify symptoms of the disease. It is important for employees to understand types of conditions associated with transmission of the disease. Do not allow the collection of water where animals would be tempted to drink. The noticeable symptoms are fever, labored breathing, appetite loss, extreme depression, weakness and exhaustion.

Resistance: Vaccines have not consistently provided protection, but should be used in some circumstances.

Isolation: Special isolation is not needed. The water supply of animals housed with leptospirosis suspect animals should be protected from urine contamination.

Traffic Control: Special traffic control is not needed.

Sanitation: Sanitize equipment and instruments contaminated from leptospirosis suspect urine.

Action Trigger: Leptospirosis symptoms, (depression, fever, anemia, rapid breathing, and red/dark urine). Ask the operation’s veterinarian to examine all leptospirosis suspect cases.

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation: Notify a member of the Biosecurity Response Team. They will discuss the environmental associations with leptospirosis and the appropriate corrections.

Comments: Controlling standing water that animals may drink from will control the spread of leptospirosis.

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Infectious Diseases Associated with Gastro-intestinal Syndromes

Infectious Diseases Associated with Gastro-intestinal Disease - Salmonellosis

Risk: The risk is high in feeder animals. Salmonella is spread via fecal-oral contamination. Proper sanitation and attention to avoiding fecal-oral contamination greatly reduces the risk.

Training: Train employees to appreciate the risk to themselves and their family. Understand the importance of proper sanitation and attention to avoiding fecal-oral contamination. Provide employee education to identify symptoms of the disease.

Resistance: Vaccines do not provide protection.

Isolation: Isolate, as possible, all animals with symptoms of salmonella. This includes animals with severe depression and diarrhea. Avoid fecal-oral contamination in the hospital area by minimizing the use of oral instruments such as balling guns, stomach tubes, and oral fluid pumps.

Traffic Control: Restrict sick animals movement to within the hospital area. Restrict movement of people who work in the hospital area without sanitizing footwear.

Sanitation: Do not let fecal material from salmonella suspects contaminate the oral cavity of other animals or humans. Clean and sanitize all oral instruments between uses. Clean and sanitize handling equipment and snakes after handling salmonella suspect animals.

Action Trigger: Salmonella symptoms include severe depression, high fever and diarrhea.

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation:Notify a member of the Biosecurity Response Team that an animal has been identified exhibiting clinical symptoms for salmonellosis. They will communicate the need for intra operation traffic control.

Comments:Salmonella can kill anything from animals to humans! Detailed attention to preventing fecal-oral contamination is the best defense.

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Coccidiosis

Risk: Assume all animals are exposed to coccidiosis.
Contaminated feed grounds in pasture infects new born animals
new born animals eating infected bedding in feedlot pens.

Training: Provide employee education to understand and identify symptoms of the disease. Include training on health management of clinically affected animals and supportive therapy for severely dehydrated young animals. They need to understand the importance of proper sanitation and attention to avoiding fecal-oral contamination. Train employees to realize their personal risk and the potential risk to their families from fecal-oral contamination.

Resistance:animals become more resistant to coccidiosis as they mature.

Isolation:Isolate, as much as possible, all animals with symptoms of diarrhea. This includes animals with severe depression and diarrhea. Avoid fecal-oral contamination by minimizing use of oral instruments such as balling guns, stomach tubes, and oral fluid pumps.

Traffic Control: Restrict the movement around animals affected with a scouring disease.

Sanitation:Do not let fecal material from scouring animals contaminate the oral cavity of other animals or humans. Clean and sanitize all oral instruments between uses. Clean and sanitize handling equipment young animals with diarrhea.

Action Trigger: Symptoms of profuse and/or bloody scours in young animals.

Rapid Response Procedures for Suspect Situation:Preventing fecal oral contamination between animals, especially true the in young animals.

Comments:Review all cases with the operation’s veterinarian.

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