A survey of sheep diseases in Canada



Title A survey of sheep diseases in Canada
Author(s) Ian R. Dohoo, R. A. Curtis, G. G. Finley
Journal Canadian Journal of Comparative Medicine. Revue Canadienne de Medecine Comparee
Date 1985
Volume 49
Issue 3
Start page 239
End page 247
Abstract A mail survey of disease occurrence in Canadian sheep flocks was conducted. The survey, which covered the period from September 1982 to August 1983, utilized flocks on the Record of Performance (ROP) sheep program and relatively complete data were available from 116 flocks. Data about lambing rates, incidence of a variety of lamb and ewe diseases and reasons for culling were obtained. At the same time a retrospective evaluation of records of diagnoses of sheep diseases recorded at diagnostic laboratories across the country was performed. Data from the years 1978 to 1982 were obtained and summarized. A lambing percentage of 153% (1.53 lambs live born per ewe lambing) was observed and an additional 0.05 lambs were stillborn. The major identified causes of mortality amongst lambs were starvation, pneumonia, scours and accidents. Pasteurella spp. were the etiological agents most commonly associated with pneumonia in lambs and Escherichia coli had the same predominant position with regards to nonparasitic scours. A large discrepancy existed between the proportional mortality rates for internal parasites and coccidiosis as determined from the farm survey data compared to diagnostic laboratory data. This suggests that clinical parasitism may not be adequately recognized at the farm level. Abortions in ewes occurred in approximately half the flocks, but generally at a low level and no severe abortion storms occurred. Pneumonia was the most commonly identified cause of mortality in ewes and although Pasteurella spp. appear to be the most important etiological agents, regional differences were apparent.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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