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Farm Animal Practice
Aspects of clostridial disease in sheep
  1. Chris Lewis

    Chris Lewis is a private veterinary sheep advisor. A past-president and secretary of the Sheep Veterinary Society, he owns and runs a small flock of 40 breeding ewes producing quality lamb. He holds the diploma in sheep health and production.


THE clostridial diseases recognised in sheep may be divided into the enterotoxaemias (caused by Clostridium perfringens B, C and D), tetanus (C tetani), braxy and malignant oedema (C septicum), black disease (C novyi) and blackleg (C chauvoei). The potent toxins produced by the various clostridial species are responsible for the rapid demise of an affected animal. Treatment is unsuccessful, even if the condition is diagnosed early in its course. In view of both the economic importance and the welfare aspects of these diseases, efficient vaccination programmes are required to effect good control. Recently, C sordellii has gained prominence. There is currently no vaccinal protection available against this organism in the UK and control must be by management.

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