Johnes in sheep

I've asked about it quite a bit, and got little data, do I just had to assume it was similar to the situation with cattle.
But taking into account the average age of a breeding sheep, most ewes will be gone before they'd have much chance to display signs.

Info on Johnes in cattle is vague, and in sheep it's even poorer.
 

Bob the beef

Member
Location
Scot Borders
I have a mate who was struggling with unexplained high losses in his ewes every year in the run up to lambing. Blood tests at vet never came up with a satisfactory, or likely answer.
18 months ago he bit the bullet and spent some serious coin at the vet school blood testing . Turns out, he has c70% of his ewe flock positive for Johnes.
I think there is some serious testing going on for a vaccine, with good results, but how far from being commercially available it is, no idea
 

Goat lady

Member
Mixed Farmer
I have a mate who was struggling with unexplained high losses in his ewes every year in the run up to lambing. Blood tests at vet never came up with a satisfactory, or likely answer.
18 months ago he bit the bullet and spent some serious coin at the vet school blood testing . Turns out, he has c70% of his ewe flock positive for Johnes.
I think there is some serious testing going on for a vaccine, with good results, but how far from being commercially available it is, no idea
Yes there is a vaccine available called Guidair. We have just started vaccinating our goatlings, they need 2 injections starting at 2 months of age. Could be the same for sheep as goats and sheep are similar in the treatment of a variety of diseases. The vaccine has a very good success rate in herds here ( I am in France).
There is a UK company called :- farmacy.co.uk who sell it with a prescription from the vets
 

Purli R

Member
No real experience,but they apparently wither away but dont skitter like cattle do until literally the very end.someone will be along shortly to say i"m wrong.
 

glensman

Member
Location
North Antrim
Does that mean that tack sheep can bring it on to your farm in the wintertime and leave it there for your cattle to pick up in the spring?
Potentially, but it seems that it's mostly picked up by lambs and young calves through the feacal/oral route in the chronic fatal cases.
(In the early weeks of life If I understand it correctly)
 

capfits

Member
The occasional one, they are pretty easy to spot.
Lean, drier looking fleece and a slightly dirtier backend. Cull as soon as seen. Try and avoid co grazing with cattle.
Australia has a big problem with Johnes in sheep.
It could I suspect become an increasing issue where home breeding replacements is happening here in UK.

The Moredun has a good bit of knowledge on Johnes in general and is currently working on a new vaccine. When chatting to them at Highland show they gave the impression that they would be reporting on progress or otherwise in the vaccine route mid 2020.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
cannot / should not vaccinate cattle as it can give false positives on TB test unfortunately

is there any one on here who screens their flocks for johnes or is accredited free ? @neilo any experience or mutterings from other pedigree breeders ?
Thankfully i’ve Never come across it, other than in a couple of bought in dairy cows (it turned out that herd was riddled with it).

No pedigree breeders ever have any disease problems, or lose any lambs, or they don’t admit it anyway.?
 

Tim W

Member
Location
Wiltshire
We screen for Johnes on a low level. I would love to test every animal annually for many diseases but reality gets in the way,( cost/accuracy of test etc)
There are couple of flocks I know that tested all ewes for Johnes when they were established....questions arise over transfer between species (including rabbits /deer) which mean I think it is hard to claim freedom from Johnes
 

Tim W

Member
Location
Wiltshire
I should add that the fact I screen for Johnes and other diseases is appreciated by dairy farmers where I over winter stock
 

capfits

Member
@choochter the Moredun guys were talking of targeting cattle initially though I got the impression from the way were talking the that they were hopeful that the approach they were looking at would cover other species.
I really think we will have to wait until next year to find out if the route they are looking at is fruitful, but I am sure we all really hope it is.
As for pedigree sheep well the progeny will never be on farm long enough to show clinical sign. We are currently managing 3500 adult sheep and we will see 5 a year, so an indication of the pressure for us at moment.
Dairy cattle guys is a strange one, cause it should be getting picked up in bulk milk, but then with many dairy cows only achieve 3 lactations they will rarely get to the stage of showing the clinical signs unlike a suckler herd.
 
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Cowcalf

Member
I used to get a few Yoo nay cattle , we had 5500 acres and 40000 rabbits according to SAC and Game Conservancy the rabbits were tested and shown to be carrying Yoo Nay and subsequently sheep tested showed the disease .All testing was done at the Perth lab by Alaistir Greig. On moving further north no signs have been seen in last 15 years despite keeping all replacements
 

GreenerGrass

Member
Location
Wilts
Two years ago we lost a ram and two ewes to Johnes, we now use the Guidair vaccine as per @Goat lady . First year was whole flock and now just ewe lamb replacements. We haven't had any losses since using it. Supposedly in event a sheep is infected prior to vaccination it becomes more resistant and much less likely to develop clinical signs, but also crucially stops or greatly reduces shedding.

I think global ovine or someone or similar standing wrote that where flocks are vaccinated you can stomp it out after a number of years vaccination.

For what it's worth although the literature says scouring isn't a symptom, we found those three did scour, although this may because of a secondary cause.

Our vet says it is likely much more common in sheep flocks, but most shepherds don't test and so don't know their status.
 

Carbon Week - 1 to 5 March.

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