Nematodirosis caused deaths have been confirmed in UK this week.
The first case of deaths caused by nematodirosis have been confirmed this year in the UK.
Identified in the Hereford area this week, affected lambs were roughly four weeks of age and were grazing high risk pasture with south facing slopes.
Sustainable control of parasites in sheep (SCOPS) urges sheep farmers to watch the forecast for their nearest weather station regularly and assess the risk to groups of lambs.
Independent sheep consultant Lesley Stubbings said: “This season we expect huge variations in timing across the country due to the unusual weather patterns. This is not the year to rely on routine timing for treatments.
“Nematodirosis is a particularly nasty disease in lambs, causing a high number of mortalities and stunting the growth of many others.
Caused by the worm nematodirus battus which has a different life-cycle to other sheep, it can strike quickly, with very little warning, if any at all. The worm’s lifecycle differs to other parasitic worms as infective larvae takes place within the egg and infection passes from one lamb crop to the next.
Mrs Stubbings said: “You cannot afford to have a wait and see policy when it comes to this worm because the damage is done by large numbers of immature larvae which are not producing eggs, making faecal egg counts unreliable.
If you decide you need to treat for nematodirus, then SCOPS advises farmers to use a white (1-BZ) drench. The efficacy of this drench can be tested by taking a faecal egg count ten days after treatment.