Scald is the most common cause of lameness in lambs and, if left untreated, can develop into footrot. Ewes should be kept an eye on too. It is seen as damage to the soft tissue between the toes and it caused by bacteria in the grass.
The conditions this season – longer grass, warm conditions – will favour scald development. Affected lambs will become lame very suddenly. The tissue between the toes becomes inflamed and looks similar to early footrot development.
Footbathing with zinc sulphate solution is the most effective treatment, but only if hygiene is around the footbath is good and the sheep are stood on hard standing for around 20 minutes afterwards. Following the treatment, consider moving them onto areas that haven’t had sheep on for a month to minimise reinfection risk. Collection points, such as around trees or water troughs, will be high risk areas for infection. Consider applying powered lime to these areas and moving troughs where possible. Inspect the sheep for signs of other feet issues, such as footrot, as they might require antibiotics.
Poppy Frater, firstname.lastname@example.org
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