Lameness is a painful and debilitating condition and is an extremely common cause of welfare concerns for sheep throughout the world. It has major impacts on productivity, for example, lame ewes often have lower scanning and lambing percentages, are of lower body condition score and are at risk of other diseases, such as pregnancy toxaemia. Lambs of affected ewes have lower body weight taking greater time and costs to finish. Economic loss associated with reduced productivity, together with time and costs of treating lameness in sheep flocks can therefore be considerable. There are many causes of the condition, but where lameness affects a significant proportion of a flock, infectious agents are usually involved. Veterinary advice should be sought to confirm diagnosis and to formulate a plan to treat and control, in particular if lameness is sudden in many animals, persistent or fails to respond quickly to commonly used treatments.
For further Information about Lameness please see Moredun Newssheet 5.19 – Treatment, Control and Prevention of the Main Causes of Foot Lameness in Sheep: