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Farm Animal Practice
Pregnancy toxaemia in the ewe
  1. Anthony Andrews

    Anthony Andrews qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 1965. After a period in mixed practice and then back at the RVC studying for a PhD, he joined the Meat and Livestock Commission, becoming a senior veterinary officer. In 1979, he joined the RVC as senior lecturer in farm animal medicine. He developed a considerable interest in nutritional problems and has recently undertaken projects involving the use of recombinant bovine somatotrophin in the treatment of fat cow syndrome and pregnancy toxaemia in ewes. He recently left the RVC and now works as an independent consultant in farm animal management and disease. He is an RCVS-recognised specialist in cattle health and production.


PREGNANCY toxaemia, or twin lamb disease, is a common and important disease of late pregnancy. With the drive to increase lambing percentages, and margins dependent on feed costs, the problem has become widespread, particularly in intensively farmed, lowland flocks; the condition is rarely seen under extensive conditions. Many farmers will be faced with a few cases annually, but in certain years up to 40 per cent of ewes in a flock, and possibly 2 per cent of the national flock, may be affected. Control of the disease relies on close attention to nutrition, from as early on as one month before tupping.

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