By Umar Nsubuga
Peter Mubiru, a veterinary doctor says external and internal parasites control and vaccination are the most efficient ways to keep sheep disease-free.
He says internal parasites include worms which are ingested during grazing and are controlled by oral anti-parasitic anthelmintics or drenches.
External sheep parasites include lice, nose bots, sheep itch mites, and maggots.
“They are controlled using back liners, sprays or immersive sheep dips. Crutching (shearing wool from a sheep’s rump) is a common preventive method. Vaccinations are done against deadly diseases like anthrax and foot and mouth disease, among others.” he explains.
He advises farmers to always keep in touch with their veterinarian for treatments.
According to Mubiru, tick-borne diseases can be treated by regular spraying using acaracide while bacterial infections are treated by giving the animals antibiotics.
Diseases and treatment
Mubiru says sheep are highly infested with worms that they get through the ingestion of eggs, which are normally found on grazing pasture.
He says that sheep infested with worms have chronic diarrhoea, body weakness, loss of weight and no appetite.
Mubiru advises that regular deworming of sheep using anti-helmintics such as Albendazole and Nilzan can control worms in sheep.
Another sheep disease is heart water which is transmitted by ticks. Signs and symptoms of this disease include fever and uncoordinated movements of the sheep followed by sudden death.
“Administering an oxytetracycline injection on the sheep infected with heart water disease can give good results, especially if it is given early,” he advises.
Foot rot is another disease in sheep characterised by lameness in the feet. This is caused by bacteria which enter the body through an injury in the hoof.
For treatment, Mubiru advises farmers to trim the infected hoof first, then clean the wound with copper sulphate solution and then give a penicillin injection to the animal.