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United Kingdom

Clostridial diseases

Clostridial diseases are caused by a group of bacteria that share the same environment as sheep. These organisms are ever present, existing in soil, on pasture, within buildings and even in the tissues and organs of farmed ruminants. Clostridial diseases have been recognised for over 200 years, and affect sheep, cattle and other species worldwide

For much of the time, clostridial bacteria remain dormant and effectively harmless, often in the form of highly resistant spores that can survive for many years.

When certain common trigger factors occur, including; changes in management, parasitic activity and traumatic damage to organs. The bacteria are then stimulated to multiply, the resulting release of lethal toxins causes the signs of clostridial disease that virtually always lead to the very rapid death of the animal.

clostridial disease

 

Clostridial Diseases


Common clostridial diseases in cattle and their causes


Pulpy Kidney


C. perfringens
type D

Lamb Dysentery

C. perfringens type B

Braxy

C. septicum

Struck

C. perfringens type C

Tetanus

C. tetani

Black Disease

C. novyi

Blackleg

C. chauvoei

Malignant oedema

C. septicum, novyi, perfringens

Gas gangrene of abomasum

C. sordellii

Redwater

C. haemolyticum (novyi type D)

 

Clostridial diseases are consistently an important cause of sudden death on UK farms. Clostridial infections progress rapidly and intensive treatment with antibiotics is rarely effective. Effort must be focussed on ensuring good immunity against disease through effective vaccination strategies.

There are two types of immune protection;

Active: the animal is vaccinated so that it makes a response to infection and protects itself against disease

Passive: a dam is vaccinated to increase colostral antibodies that can be passed to her offspring to protect the young for a short period of time

For continued protection, young stock must receive a full primary course of vaccine, timed to minimise the risk period when passive immunity has waned. Multivalent vaccines are readily available giving cost effective protection against clostridial diseases.

 

 

FARMERS

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Livestock Farming - Sheep

 

Parasite Watch

 

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