Foot Rot is a problem often overlooked by sheep owners and sometimes it can be overlooked as a cause of monetary loss and loss of thriftiness in sheep. Once loose in a flock, foot rot can become a persistent reoccurring nightmare. Owners should take notice and act aggressively at the first sign that foot rot may be present in a flock.
Where can sheep obtain foot rot?
Foot rot is often in the soil on fair grounds and auction barns, and all newly purchased sheep and sheep coming home from fairs or shows should be penned separately and inspected for foot rot.
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How can foot rot be prevented?
Keep the feet of your sheep trimmed so there are not pockets for the bacteria to thrive. There are a number of copper and zinc based products on the market to treat foot rot and scald as well as a vaccine that is fairly effective. It is wise to trim feet when the sheep are being sheared. Often hooves become overgrown after a winter indoors on soft bedding or while penned in yards when there is no pasture available. It is under these conditions foot rot can spread to the entire flock. It is best to isolate individuals with foot problems. These animals should have their feet treated aggressively with Agrimycin and they should not be returned to the flock until all signs of infection are gone. Consult your veterinarian for the best course of action should foot rot become a problem on your property.