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Lamb Navel Treatment And Oral Antibiotic Use

12 February 2018


  • The naval provides a potential route for bacteria to pass into the body.
  • Use iodine. It dries the navel and has an antiseptic effect.
  • Treat as soon as possible after birth and if possible a second time 6 hours later.
  • Dip the entire navel.
  • Wear gloves.
  • Iodine is irritant. Ensure measures are taken to ensure it can’t be splashed into your face.
  • Keep your iodine bottle clean – dipping navels can introduce bacteria into the iodine.
    • Ideally use something like a teat dip cup so contaminated iodine is discarded.
    • If using a bottle ensure when volume gets low the dregs are removed and the bottle cleaned before refilling.
  • Discuss your oral antibiotic use in lambs with your vet before lambing. Consider using ONLY:
    • Once you have had cases of watery mouth.
    • Treating animals most at risk e.g. triplets.


  • Use a spray – coverage of the navel isn’t adequate to prevent infection.
  • Use a botte/cup and top up without cleaning.
  • Treat every lamb born with oral antibiotics.

Lynn Gibson, 

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