Orf - The Importance of Vaccinating your Lambs

Orf is a constant and recurrent threat to the productivity and performance of a sheep flock. 
Avoid poor lamb growth rates by vaccinating your lambs against orf, affected lambs are on average 2.2 kg lighter than unaffected lambs* which will have financial implications. 
Orf is a painful skin disease of sheep and goats and is common throughout the UK. It can strike at any time of the year and affects sheep of any age, but is most commonly seen just after lambing. Animals with orf develop scabby lesions around the mouth and nostrils, although the infection may also affect other parts of the body, for example the inside of the mouth, the lower legs and, in particular, the teats of nursing ewes.
Suckling lambs infected with orf run the risk of transmitting the virus to the ewe’s udder which can lead to mastitis and potentially the loss of the affected half. Lambs with orf lesions may be disinclined to suck and, equally, ewes with sore teats may not let their lambs feed. Together this can result in undernourished lambs and/or the virus being spread to other ewes as infected lambs try to feed from others.

* Lovatt et al (2012) Case-control study of orf in pre-weaned lambs and an assessment of the financial impact of the disease Veterinary Record 170: 673

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