Avoiding lambing whilst pregnant

Why you should avoid lambing if you’re pregnant With lambing season upon us and the lovely sight of new-born lambs bringing a welcome spring picture after the long winter, there are some important risks to pregnant women that must be addressed. There are multiple bacteria, parasites and virus’ that are present within the bodily fluids that can potentially cause disease and abortion within pregnant women. This is also true for recently birthed lambs, ewes that have recently given birth and…

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Spring pastures

Spring Pastures: What to consider before letting your animals out to pasture With lambing season upon us, there are many things to consider when grazing animals. Many cattle herds and sheep flocks are housed indoors over the winter months for various reasons. I’m sure they wouldn’t be too fond of the recent snow flurries that we’ve had! Indoor housing during the winter months provides protection from the elements and cold conditions, as well as conservation of energy that would have…

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FEC: What is a faecal egg count and why should I use them?

What is a FEC? Faecal Egg Counts, also known as FEC, WEC or EPG count assesses the worm burden within an animal. A FEC does what it says on the tin – a technician will look at the faeces and literally count the number of eggs in a set amount of the faeces. This is then taken as a representative for the burden of the animal. Results are typically presented in EPG or eggs per gram, allowing you to compare…

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Sheep Scab and Psoroptes ovis

What is Sheep Scab? Sheep scab is a endemic disease caused by Psoroptes ovis, more commonly known as scab mites. Scab mites defecate on the skin which causes an allergic reaction. With a short life cycle of only 14 days, scab mite populations can increase fast and can infect an entire flock, even more so when kept indoors and in close proximity. The mite can survive for up to 17 days off the sheep but must use the sheep to complete…

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Happy New Year: A round up of all of the parasites we have seen this year

Happy New Year: A round up of all of the parasites we have seen this year We’ve been lucky enough to see quite a range of parasites at Ridgeway this year, including some new ones and some that we are already familiar with. We thought we would share a few of these with you as a little round up of our work this year. We look forward to seeing what new and exciting species 2021 brings for us! Dictyocaulus filaria…

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Necrotic Enteritis: a devastating disease caused by C. perfringens

Necrotic Enteritis: a devastating disease caused by C. perfringens What is Necrotic enteritis (NE)? Necrotic enteritis (NE) is a type of gastrointestinal condition called enterotoxemia caused by the bacteria Clostridium perfringens. NE has a single causative agent and thus is a much simpler disease than bacterial enteritis (BE), which it is commonly confused with. Although many of the contributary factors the same (coccidiosis, feed quality and general intestinal stressors) the disease is quite different and less complex than BE.  C. perfringens can infect…

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Paratuberculosis (Johne’s Disease) in Cattle

Paratuberculosis (Johne’s disease) in Cattle What is Johne’s disease? Johne’s disease is an infectious disease in cattle and other ruminants which is caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, commonly known as MAP. It is closely related to the organism that causes tuberculosis and can survive on pasture for many months. The infection is contagious within the herd and young animals are more susceptible to the disease than adults. This disease damages the intestines and results in persistent diarrhoea, weight loss…

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Bacterial Enteritis in poultry

Bacterial Enteritis in poultry What is Bacterial Enteritis? Bacterial enteritis (BE), also commonly referred to as Dysbacteriosis, Dysbiosis and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a disease observed in poultry which entails extreme inflammation and pathology in the gastrointestinal tract. Due to similar pathologies in the intestine, Bacterial enteritis can commonly be confused with coccidiosis and Necrotic Enteritis, which are two entirely different diseases (see here for our article on coccidiosis). Misdiagnosis can lead to use of antibiotics or anticoccidials…

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An introduction to Coccidiosis in poultry

An introduction to Coccidiosis in poultry What is coccidiosis? Coccidiosis is caused by a protozoan parasite called Eimeria or Isospora. There are many different genus’ and species that can infect a wide variety of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish. Typically, Eimeria or Isospora parasites are host specific and cannot infect other species than their target species. How does coccidiosis occur? Coccidian parasites must reproduce within cells inside the digestive tract. In poultry, a bird will consume a sporulated oocyst (this…

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Infected Liver fluke snail

Parasite Watch Autumn Edition: Parasites to watch out for in your ruminants!

Parasite Watch Autumn Edition: Parasites to watch out for in your ruminants! What is PGE? Parasitic Gastroenteritis is one of the major contributors to reduced productivity in ruminants. It is an infection caused by an overburden of parasitic nematodes (roundworms) in cattle, sheep and goats. These parasites reside in the abomasum and intestines of the animal, and are most common in lambs and first season grazing cattle. What causes PGE in cattle? Although several species of nematode may be present…

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