Pasteurella Pneumonia in lambs

Kyle4697

New Member
Lost a third lamb suddenly with no signs yesterday, 11 weeks old and was fine the night before. This is the third one I've found in the last 3 weeks, got a post mortem done and got concluded that it was pasteurella pneumonia that caused the death, so guessing the other 2 had been the same. Lambs have been heptavac'd, obviously this hot humid weather isnt helping but any advice on things I can do to prevent this if anything?

Cheers
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Lost a third lamb suddenly with no signs yesterday, 11 weeks old and was fine the night before. This is the third one I've found in the last 3 weeks, got a post mortem done and got concluded that it was pasteurella pneumonia that caused the death, so guessing the other 2 had been the same. Lambs have been heptavac'd, obviously this hot humid weather isnt helping but any advice on things I can do to prevent this if anything?

Cheers

You’ve done as much as you can, but there are strains of pasteurella that the vaccine doesn’t cover. Not a lot else you can do to prevent it afaik, other than have a custom vaccine made up to match your strain (costing several £k per batch), which may be different next season/year.
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
Roughly speaking if you don't heptavac 'em you'll lose six and if you do heptavac 'em you'll lose half a dozen :facepalm:

Sometimes it seems like you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.

It's getting expensive stuff to use too, nowadays and doesn't always seem to work as well as it used to - maybe we're seeing different strains of clostridials too??

Have they had 2 jabs??
 
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Kyle4697

New Member
Roughly speaking if you don't heptavac 'em you'll lose six and if you don't heptavac 'em you'll lose half a dozen :facepalm:

Sometimes it seems like you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.

It's getting expensive stuff to use too, nowadays and doesn't always seem to work as well as it used to - maybe we're seeing different strains of clostridials too??

Have they had 2 jabs??

They had there 2nd jabs last sunday, so about a week after I found this one!

Last year was my first year in this sheep carry on and didnt heptavac any, didnt loose 1 after lambing, do it this year and have lost 3?‍♂️

Just what's going about I suppose, when you've only got 30 odd it makes it harder losing any!
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
They had there 2nd jabs last sunday, so about a week after I found this one!

Last year was my first year in this sheep carry on and didnt heptavac any, didnt loose 1 after lambing, do it this year and have lost 3?‍♂️

Just what's going about I suppose, when you've only got 30 odd it makes it harder losing any!

If you work with your vet they will notify the vaccine company, who will normally pay for the PM at the AHVLA lab (which helps ease the pain a little). However, their standard answer has always been ‘how many would you have lost if you hadn’t vaccinated?’

Having had a couple of such episodes in recent years, I have dropped the P vaccine in my commercial flock, in favour of the much cheaper Bravoxin 10 (1/3 of the cost). If I was confident the vaccine covered pasteurella then I would, reluctantly, still be paying the considerable premium for it.
 

Kyle4697

New Member
That's the problem with it all, I've helped plenty farms with sheep but ever since having my own you find out how much different products are on the market that say theyll do this and do that and half the time you wonder if there better with nothing but a jab when required!

I dont think I'll be bothering with the P vaccine again so Bravoxin could be an option in the future.

The last lamb I lost was one of my best (usually what happens) it's a painful game when theres nothing you can do but keep the fingers crossed noone else decides to go legs up?‍♂️
If you work with your vet they will notify the vaccine company, who will normally pay for the PM at the AHVLA lab (which helps ease the pain a little). However, their standard answer has always been ‘how many would you have lost if you hadn’t vaccinated?’

Having had a couple of such episodes in recent years, I have dropped the P vaccine in my commercial flock, in favour of the much cheaper Bravoxin 10 (1/3 of the cost). If I was confident the vaccine covered pasteurella then I would, reluctantly, still be paying the considerable premium for it.
 
When you keep sheep you have to get your head round the fact that a certain number will die whatever you do. We lost some lambs about a month age from one batch and after the first 2 died I got the next 2 PM'd. The report said no sign of any disease. One had a tapeworm cyst blocking its airway (possibly acquired in utero) and the other had a congenital defect called Jejunal atresia which apparently is a birth defect in a newborn characterized by partial or complete absence of the membrane connecting the small intestines to the abdominal wall.

I've decided now that instead of getting wound up by losses, I'm going to after lambing calculate the numbers that are going to die prematurely based on our Flock Health Club average and AHDB Stocktake average and only start worrying if it goes well above that. Regarding Heptavac, we switched to Bravoxin some years ago and have seen no difference in mortality
 
I do all the lambs with Ovivac-P Plus. Weather permitting, they'll be getting their second jag this weekend. The real peak time is autumn/early winter. Protection from the vaccine for pasteurella is only about three months. I find if I don't boost them late September, I start to lose lambs.

You will find with sheep that you'll end up with the roughly the same amount of lambs pretty much whatever happens. Following a good lambing, I've had a steady stream of deaths and lambs to euthanise because of the joint ill problems we've had this year. Improving your management will result in the total number of lambs weaned/sold moving steadily upwards but there will be losses whatever you do.
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
You will find with sheep that you'll end up with the roughly the same amount of lambs pretty much whatever happens
Very true.
An old bloke once told me that a farm or area of land will only sustain a certain number of sheep. You can increase production by all sorts of improvements but they will always try to die back to that level :(

Something to do with a sheep's worst enemy being another sheep, I guess.
 

beardface

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
East Yorkshire
I've switched to bravoxin 10 in the flock now as I couldn't justify the cost anymore really. Will use ovipast on any lambs (replacements and stores) still on farm in September as a winter cover. Worked out I'd need to lose a dozen lambs to pasteurella to justify it. I've found I've lost less ewes so far this year due to 'unknown' causes since switching to bravoxin as well.
 

DB67

Member
Location
Scotland
Had 6 die in a few days start of last week, nothing since. Got one PMd which was suspected Pastruella. Think the colder spell after the warm weather has caused this perhaps?
 

SteveHants

Member
Livestock Farmer
It may have been that the animal already had pasturella by the time you vaccinated it - vaccines are not usually successful on animals that already have a particular disease.

Although, to echo comments above, it's worth trying to figure out when pasturella might be a problem in your area and vaccinate then. I gave my ewes Bravoxin prior to lambing and the lambs Heptavac in August-September (took a gamble on any hot/dry weather we had in that period being the last we were going to have) and vaccinated then. I had read in the past and had a discussion with an immunologist - although she dealt with humans, I think (worked at Porton Down IIRC), who reckoned that two week boosters were pointless if all animals were healthy when the first jab was given, and acted more like insurance in case you missed one. Animals that don't take up a vaccine the first time (unless immunocompromised) aren't likely to do so with a booster.
Therefore I didn't ever bother with a booster either.
 
It may have been that the animal already had pasturella by the time you vaccinated it - vaccines are not usually successful on animals that already have a particular disease.

Although, to echo comments above, it's worth trying to figure out when pasturella might be a problem in your area and vaccinate then. I gave my ewes Bravoxin prior to lambing and the lambs Heptavac in August-September (took a gamble on any hot/dry weather we had in that period being the last we were going to have) and vaccinated then. I had read in the past and had a discussion with an immunologist - although she dealt with humans, I think (worked at Porton Down IIRC), who reckoned that two week boosters were pointless if all animals were healthy when the first jab was given, and acted more like insurance in case you missed one. Animals that don't take up a vaccine the first time (unless immunocompromised) aren't likely to do so with a booster.
Therefore I didn't ever bother with a booster either.
That's interesting. Most human vaccines are just one injection.
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
I had read in the past and had a discussion with an immunologist - although she dealt with humans, I think (worked at Porton Down IIRC), who reckoned that two week boosters were pointless if all animals were healthy when the first jab was given, and acted more like insurance in case you missed one. Animals that don't take up a vaccine the first time (unless immunocompromised) aren't likely to do so with a booster.
Therefore I didn't ever bother with a booster either.
Very interesting.
Are we being duped into buying twice as much vaccine as we really need by unscrupulous manufacturers?? (perish the thought that they'd ever do such a thing ;))

Looks like something the AHDB could spend some of our money on to find out.
 
Very interesting.
Are we being duped into buying twice as much vaccine as we really need by unscrupulous manufacturers?? (perish the thought that they'd ever do such a thing ;))

Looks like something the AHDB could spend some of our money on to find out.

A trial would be simple to do. Measure antibody levels two months after single jag in one group and a month after double (second) jag in another group. Monitor clinical signs/deaths.

We were taught as students that the first injection primed the immune system ready for the immune response really to take off with the second injection. Complicated by the fact that Pasteurella cover only lasts about three months.
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
A trial would be simple to do. Measure antibody levels two months after single jag in one group and a month after double (second) jag in another group. Monitor clinical signs/deaths.

We were taught as students that the first injection primed the immune system ready for the immune response really to take off with the second injection. Complicated by the fact that Pasteurella cover only lasts about three months.
Totally off topic, but from the timing of your post, could you, like me, be skiving off and having a sneaky look at the racing from Royal Ascot :scratchhead::scratchhead: ;):)
 

SteveHants

Member
Livestock Farmer
A trial would be simple to do. Measure antibody levels two months after single jag in one group and a month after double (second) jag in another group. Monitor clinical signs/deaths.

We were taught as students that the first injection primed the immune system ready for the immune response really to take off with the second injection. Complicated by the fact that Pasteurella cover only lasts about three months.

I'll have a dig in the literature, but the notion of an immune system having to be "primed" with a vaccine, before being administered the very same vaccine to confer immunity sounds off to me. I can't see why the first vaccine wouldn't cause antibodies to be made.
 
I'll have a dig in the literature, but the notion of an immune system having to be "primed" with a vaccine, before being administered the very same vaccine to confer immunity sounds off to me. I can't see why the first vaccine wouldn't cause antibodies to be made.
The first injection does cause antibodies but also primes the system for when the second injection is administered to provide a higher level of protection. So we were taught in immunology 25 years ago...
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
Sadly no, I'm at work. A quick glance at TFF is my equivalent of a sneaky smoke break and keeps me sane!
Sorry for casting aspersions :whistle:
The way Lord North (gelded) has just won the Prince of Wales's Stakes, I reckon castration should be made mandatory for MP's - it certainly concentrated his mind.
 

LIVE - DEFRA SFI Janet Hughes “ask me anything” 19:00-20:00 20th September (Today)

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Hello, I’m Janet Hughes. I’m the Programme Director for the Future Farming and Countryside Programme in Defra – the programme that’s phasing out the Common Agricultural Policy and introducing new schemes and services for farmers.



Today (20 September) between 7pm-8pm, I and some of my colleagues will be answering your questions about our work including the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Farming in Protected Landscapes, and our test and trials.



We’ll try to answer at least 15 of your top voted questions, so please vote on the questions you’d most like me to answer.



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