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Thread: Lamb orf

  1. #1
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    Lamb orf

    I've got a couple of lambs which are starting to get orf! It's not on the lips but on their bottom gums where their teeth are starting to come through! Never really had it before but treated with blue cyclo spray and alamycin should this do the trick?!

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    Senior Member andybk's Avatar
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    Re: Lamb orf

    Alymycin wont cure it just stop secondary infection , orf is a virus and not affected by antibiotics , best put some salt blocks out which will help dry it up , or anti orf , fro tubs from brimicombes , will clear its self in a few weeks , Just watch for infection on ewe teats and mastitis

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    Member Jem's Avatar
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    Re: Lamb orf

    We had it in our pedigrees a few years back and it went through quite a lot of them. Singles tended to cope fine with it but quite a few of the twins struggled with it putting them off suckling. Some of our lambs then suffered from erysipelas infection with the infection entering the orf wounds when they were out in the cold wet spring weather. Some lambs never recovered from the check. As Andybk says the Alamycin will stop secondary infection but the virus will have to run its course.
    The problem with salt blocks and buckets is that you can't be sure the ones needing to take it.
    We now scratch the ewes when in lamb and scratch the lambs at a week or two old and have never had a problem again.

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    Re: Lamb orf

    Is rock salt ok use the stuff that comes in big lumps?? Is the scabivax vaccine expensive! How long does it normally take for them to clear up! What causes it never had it before?!

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    Re: Lamb orf

    The general thought is that the virus takes 14 days to clear up whether you blue spray, jag with alamycin or treat with orfoids. The virus can come in with bought in sheep and can live in the wood in sheds or whin bushes for years. In other words once it comes onto your farm you will always have it. Frost tends to kill it which is why we put our pens outside over winter.
    Just about to scratch our Beltex with Scabivax today and don't consider it expensive considering that it just needs to save one good tup lamb for it to pay its way. A bottle costs roughly 40 and the bottle says it does 50 lambs but we've found it always has done more.

  6. #6

    Re: Lamb orf

    Been using scabivax at 1 day old for 20 years after orf was getting steadily worse,1 scratch on inside of back leg where it is bare. I've found it 100% effective , the bottle should do 100 lambs with a single scratch.

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    Re: Lamb orf

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonk View Post
    Been using scabivax at 1 day old for 20 years after orf was getting steadily worse,1 scratch on inside of back leg where it is bare. I've found it 100% effective , the bottle should do 100 lambs with a single scratch.
    We would be exactly the same. Our intial orf attack came after we had an on farm sale of in lamb ewes. Kept nice field of grass as car park and then after sale in mid november put the retained ewes on the field to graze off the grass.Ewes lambed from Jan 1st and orf appeared on one or two just pre lambing. Result was total chaos with most lambs getting orf and then passing it to the ewes mainly on their teats which became terribly sore and resulted in lots of mastitis. Ended up by tying up the ewes night and morning so the lambs could be suckled - total shambles. Have vaccinated just the lambs at 1 or 2 days old since then and never seen orf again. we also do just 1 scratch BUT under the front as opposed to the back leg. I was told if you do it on the back leg then the mother is more likely to get infected when she is licking the lambs tail area whilst it is suckling??

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    Re: Lamb orf

    Thanks for the advice is it worthwhile doing the other lambs with scabivax?! Their about a month old!! Is orf paste any good?!! If the ewes teats get sore or scab what would you recommend for that?!

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    Re: Lamb orf

    I agree with easyram we do ours behind the front leg in the "oxter" ( now there's a word).
    I would rather do them at a month old than not do them at all.
    As for orf paste- never heard of it but like other "cures" it will probably prevent or sooth secondary infection but not cure the orf.
    When we had problems with the ewes getting sore teats because of orf - as with easyram mastitis nightmare but I used udder cream for dairy cows and sudocreme to help. Any zinc based thick clingy whitecream will do the job.

  10. #10

    Re: Lamb orf

    I've always scraped them inside the back leg and never had problems with ewes, it's easier to do them down there when you're working on your own. You can also stick the applicator out between their legs and put a ring on their tails.

  11. #11
    Senior Member ladycrofter's Avatar
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    Re: Lamb orf

    Salt lick gets it - I use yellow Rockies.

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    Senior Member JohnGalway's Avatar
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    Re: Lamb orf

    Another vote for salt licks, I get Himalayan rock salt from horsey places because I haven't seen any salt licks for sale elsewhere.

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    Re: Lamb orf

    Just remember probably best to wear gloves when dealing with orf as its easily passed to humans.especially if u have any open wounds on your hands.

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    Re: Lamb orf

    I think this is a great video that complements the discussion above.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPUnjdoHWBk

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    Senior Member JohnGalway's Avatar
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    Re: Lamb orf

    Second the gloves thought as well. I got orf on the middle finger of my left hand years ago. Village had a mix of locum doctors at the time and they nearly put me into hospital with kidney trouble - a mix of different antibiotics - as they didn't know what it was (if you ever see a doctor starting to consult thick books with furrowed brow, leave and don't look back). Went to the local town's doctor, dumped the anti-b's in the bin, cover it with a plaster, tincture of iodine three times a day until it goes.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Mog's Avatar
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    Re: Lamb orf

    Just in case.... this is what orf looks like in human as modeled by my partner a few years back. The red inflamation of the arm is a secondary blood infection tackled with antibiotics. In case you wonder the black lines were simply drawn around the redness to judge whether it was spreading or not!








  17. #17
    Senior Member JohnGalway's Avatar
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    Re: Lamb orf

    That's a hell of a lot nastier looking than what I got.

  18. #18

    Re: Lamb orf

    Had it in the middle of the back of my hand several years ago,there was a knock at the door one lunchtime and it was the senior local gp who had heard about it.He came armed with his camera and took several shots from various angles to send to Brum uni medics department for learning purposes as he said they would probably never see it in the flesh.

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    Re: Lamb orf

    Are the buckets as effective as scabivax?

  20. #20
    Senior Member b slicker's Avatar
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    Re: Lamb orf

    If a farm is free of orf, what precautions should be taken when buying in replacements.

    Should replacement females and males only be bought from farms who do not use any kind of vaccination?

    Or, put another way, if recently vaccinated animals can spread infection from any a scabs which might drop off, is it safe to buy vaccinated stock after a certain period of time?

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    Re: Lamb orf

    Quote Originally Posted by b slicker View Post
    If a farm is free of orf, what precautions should be taken when buying in replacements.

    Should replacement females and males only be bought from farms who do not use any kind of vaccination?

    Or, put another way, if recently vaccinated animals can spread infection from any a scabs which might drop off, is it safe to buy vaccinated stock after a certain period of time?
    After vaccinating with scabivax, any vaccine generated scabs normally drop off in about a month. I would have thought that two months after vaccinating ought to be reasonably safe, or three if you're being extra careful for some reason.

    We bought in some stock with orf (I'm fairly sure about that, but don't want to go into details), and the breeder flatly denied she had it in her flock, which I think illustrates the problem: how do you prove it? I would rather buy from someone who vaccinates and admits there is orf around, because at least all the ewes or lambs will have had scabs a week or two after vaccinating, and will have lost them another few weeks after that, implying you can avoid the danger period. If a flock is randomly picking up wild orf from something outside, there will be no known timing, and you don't know that a few of them don't have active lesions or scabs which haven't been noticed.

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