Home > Events > Advanced Veterinary Clinical Training: Ultrasound detection of OPA as part of the veterinary control plan on farm.

Advanced Veterinary Clinical Training: Ultrasound detection of OPA as part of the veterinary control plan on farm.

Thursday 14 November 2019
Event location:

Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, EH26 0PZ


Veterinary practitioners

Booking information:

Chris.cousens@moredun.ac.uk / 0131 445 5111 ext 47424 / 07786 846 502 

Ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA), also known as Jaagsiekte, is a disease of great concern in the sheep industry causing heavy losses in some flocks. OPA results from infection with the Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV) which is passed between sheep mainly by the respiratory route. The virus induces a lung tumour that is eventually fatal and by the time clinical signs are apparent the affected sheep may already have infected many others with the virus. Therefore there is a demand from farmers to identify OPA at pre-clinical stages.

Trans-thoracic ultrasonography is currently the best method for detection of OPA lesions in live sheep before the development of clinical signs as no reliable diagnostic blood test is available for individual sheep. As described in our paper, (Cousens & Scott, Veterinary Record, 2015), trans-thoracic ultrasonography can be applied to confirm a diagnosis of OPA, to screen bought-in sheep or to screen an affected flock in order to remove sheep with OPA at an early stage. We now have several years of experience in whole flock scanning and will share what we have learned in this time.

The aim of this course is to provide advanced clinical training for veterinary practitioners wishing to offer transthoracic ultrasound as a method for screening for OPA.  This course will also be suitable for vets studying towards Advanced Practitioner status in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging or Sheep Health and Production.

The main focus of the day will be to provide one-to-one practical training on scanning live sheep with or without OPA, following this up with necropsy of the sheep so that the association between the scan output and gross lesions can be confirmed.  This will follow presentations covering the most up-to-date knowledge on OPA and transthoracic ultrasound scanning. 


  • Maximum 15 participants
  • Cost £275
  • CPD approx. 7h including 4h practical training
  • Sandwich lunch included
  • There will be several ultrasound scanners available. Participants are also invited to bring along their own ultrasound machines and may make their own recordings. We aim to provide at least 8 cases of OPA at various stages as well as negative control sheep.
  • A datastick will be provided for each participant with all course materials including ultrasound video recordings of ovine respiratory diseases for future reference. 

Please contact Chris Cousens using the details above for more information or to enrol for this course.

Proposed timetable 

09:50-10:05  Tea/Coffee

Dr Chris Cousens - OPA

The science, applications of whole flock scanning, preliminary results, benefits, cost for farmers


Dr Phil Scott - Trans-thoracic ultrasound

What to look for, experience with whole flock scanning

12:00-12:45 Lunch

Practical ultrasound scanning

There will be several microconvex scanners available and at least 8 cases of OPA at various stages of the disease as well as negative control sheep.

14:45-15:00 Tea/Coffee Break

Scanning and necropsy of some of the sheep.

Review of ultrasound and necropsy findings.