Farm - 12-12-2023 - Sarah Smith BVetMed(Hons) MRCVS - 0 comments
Fluke, Bluetongue and metabolic profiling

Hi, I hope you are all coping ok with the amount of water around, hopefully things are looking a bit drier for a while. In this month's newsletter we will discuss Bluetongue, metabolic profiling of ewes and testing for fluke.



You will no doubt of heard about the recent cases of Bluetongue found in Kent. A 10km restriction zone has been put in place which restricts movement of susceptible animals in and out of the area.

Bluetongue is a viral disease which affects sheep, cattle, other ruminant species such as deer and goats, and camelids.The disease is spread by midges, so risk of spread within the UK at this time of year is low, especially following the cold snap last week. Once a midge has been infected it remains infectious for life. Weather conditions such as wind and moisture, distance from neighbouring farms and number of animals in the vicinity has an effect on the likelihood of spread.Disease can also be spread via dirty needles so good hygiene practice when vaccinating animals is essential. 

Sheep are more likely to show visible disease than cattle; signs to look out for include:

  • Ulcers or sores in the mouth and nose.
  • Discharge from eyes/ nose and drooling from the mouth.
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, head, neck and coronary band (where the skin of the leg meets the horn of the hoof). 

If you are suspicious of Bluetongue on your farm then you must report it immediately by calling APHA on 03000 200 301 if you are in England, or 03003038 268 if in Wales.  

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