Coccidiosis is a common disease in lambs and calves caused by various species of protozoa called coccidia which can lead to death. It is normally seen in the spring but recently there have been outbreaks in the autumn.
The lambs/calves pick up coccidial oocysts that develop into tiny parasites that attack the gut wall. These rapidly multiply to damage more and more cells of the intestine and produce millions of new oocysts that then pass out in lambs faeces on to the pasture.
The natural defence is from colostrum antibodies therefore any outbreaks before 4 weeks of age may be from too little colostrum. But when they reach 4 - 6 weeks of age the antibody levels are dropping and the level of infection can overwhelm this natural immunity.
Symptom : sticky grey diarrhoea that may be blood stained giving it a black colour without treatment lambs die and those that do survive never thrive.
It is difficult to eradicate coccidia as ewes remain infected (carriers) but are immune to the symptoms of disease.
PREVENTION AND CONTROL:
We have two options available to us :
A. Coccidiosis prevention and treatment using Decox in Rumevite High Energy feed blocks.
The advantages of using this method :
1. The intake of Decox is consistent despite increasing levels of concentrate feeding
2. All groups can benefit from supplementation despite different concentrate levels.
3. Offering Rumevite with Decox pre lambing reduces shedding of oocysts thereby reducing the challenge for newly born lambs.
4. After birth lambs learn to feed from free-access products much more quickly compared with - medicated lamb creep feed.
Both products can be used with silage, hay or straw-based rations and after turnout on grass.
Introduce from the time of housing or from 6 weeks pre lambing and continue to feed until the youngest lambs are 8 weeks of age.
Rumevite High Energy plus Decox after lambing will be 3-4 blocks/100 ewes/week approx.
Nb. The farmer must supply a correctly completed Medicated Feeding Stuff (MFS) Prescription from his/her Vet before being supplied with product!
B. VECOXAN contains diclazuril which will treat and prevent coccidial infection it also interrupts the excretion of oocysts for up to 14 days - so helping prevent re-infection of the pasture.
Timing - as soon as some lambs start to show symptoms it is recommended all the lambs in the batch are treated. This will give a rapid recovery rate for the sick animals and will also have a preventative effect on any lambs not yet showing symptoms - reducing further gut damage. .
Calves- preventative dose should be given to all calves at risk before clinical signs are seen.
DOSE RATE = 1ml/2.5kg bodyweight
WITHDRAWAL = MEAT NIL
NB. It is often advisable to dose with wormer at the same time because Nematodirus worms often prevalent at same time
NB. No prescription is required!