Sheep Chorioptic Mange Sheep


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Chorioptic mange is a potentially important cause of poor breeding soundness in rams, characterised by superficial, exudative, fissured lesions on the lower third of the scrotum. Handling of the scrotum often initiates a nibble response. Irritable areas of hair loss, skin thickening, exudation and scab formation are also sometimes seen on the lower limbs and poll of both ewes and rams. The disease is caused by the sheep-adapted mange mite, Chorioptes bovis and the skin lesions are associated with a hypersensitivity reaction.

Fig 1 Mange lesions on the scrotum of a Suffolk ram

Fig 2 Severe exudation of the lower limb of a Suffolk ram

Fig 3 Mange lesion of the poll of a Shetland ram
The diagnosis of chorioptic mange is usually based on the clinical signs, but can be confirmed by the identification of mites in superficial skin scrapings. Mites are only present in small numbers, so scrapings from several animals and from several sites are required.

The re-emergence of chorioptic mange in British sheep is probably associated with the withdrawal of compulsory plunge dipping for the control of sheep scab. Systemic endectocides appear to be ineffective for the control of scrotal mange, probably due to the feeding behaviour of the mite. Overseas, prevention and treatment is usually achieved by the topical application of an organophosphate dip. Your vet can provide advice about the significance and management of chorioptic mange in your flock.

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Variety ‘watch list’ for wheat yellow rust released

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Written by Charlotte Cunningham

AHDB has issued a yellow rust watch list to help flag winter wheat varieties most likely to perform out of line with the disease ratings published in the Recommended Lists. Charlotte Cunningham reports. The watch list, which orders varieties based on yellow rust levels from the three worst RL trials (for each variety), can help identify those most likely to benefit from closer monitoring, says the levy board. It follows the development of a new rating calculation approach that better reflects the diverse and dynamic nature of the UK’s rust populations, announced at the launch of the online edition of the RL 2021/22 in Dec. Discussions on the latest twists and turns...