Monday, November 5, 2012
Sore Mouth - Awassi Dairy Sheep
Sore Mouth ( Contagious Ecthyma )
Sore Mouth is a viral disease that affects the lips, mouth, nose and teats of sheep. It can be spread to humans so treating infected animals requires careful handling. Always wear gloves and do not place your hands around your face after working with infected animals. Be sure to was your hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap.
Sore Moth forms blisters which rupture and cause prolific, scabby lesions around the mouth area. This is highly contagious and spreads rapidly to other sheep that have not been vaccinated or previously exposed. The virus is resistant and durable , it will survive in the environment for extended periods of time until it finds a host.
Applying Tincture of Iodine to the lesions will dry them up and may speed healing. An antibiotic ointment can be applied to aid in softening the scabs and controlling bacterial invaders.
A vaccine is available which is applied by scarifying a small area of skin then applying the live virus onto the area with a tool provided. Once Sore Mouth has occurred, all lambs should be vaccinated at a few days of age. Do not use the vaccine if the flock has never been exposed to the disease.