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Steps to take to prevent watery mouth in lambs

Steps to take to prevent watery mouth in lambs

Industry experts have warned of the potential shortages in the supply of antimicrobial treatments used to tackle watery mouths in newborn lambs. Now is a good time to consider other options to help prevent instances of watery mouth from occurring this lambing season.

Read more: Preparing for Lambing in 2022

What is watery mouth?

Watery mouth is a bacterial infection caused by E. Coli which affects newborn lambs and has the potential to cause severe losses. E. Coli can be ingested by lambs from the ewe’s fleece as it looks for the udder or from soiled bedding. Unclean udders may also act as a source of infection. In addition, if the quality and/or quantity of colostrum is not sufficient this can also result in greater incidence, as the necessary maternal antibodies to provide immunity are not passed on from ewe to lamb.

Spreading of watery mouth is more of a risk in areas where poor hygiene, wet or damp conditions and overcrowding are present.

How to prevent watery mouth in lambs

  1. Ensure newborn lambs receive sufficient colostrum within the first six hours of life to help boost the immune system; this is even more important in twins and triplets. Wynnstay can supply a range of colostrum’s to help supplement colostrum intake where required. Colostrum production is driven by ewe nutrition, so it is important to focus ewe condition and feed correctly allowing ewes to achieve and maintain the correct condition both pre and post-lambing. Wynnstay offer a complete range of feed to support your flock, speak to your local store or rep to discuss your requirements. Read more: Ewe Colostrum: The Substance for Success.
  2. Make hygiene a priority: keep pens clean, dry and well-bedded. Ensure individual lambing pens are mucked out and disinfected before placing new ewes and lambs into them. Consider using products such as Progiene Coxicur Disinfectant 5kg. All feeding equipment should be properly cleaned in between use, but it is worth having separate equipment for
    health and for sick lambs. Winter shearing and dagging of the ewes prior to housing may also help improve cleanliness. Wynnstay stock a range of dagging shears and clippers all year round. Where instances of watery mouth occur, isolate sick lambs and the ewe in pens away from the healthy flock. Read more: Hygiene at Lambing.

In addition, Osmonds Sustain can be used to help prevent watery mouth; and should be given (4ml) to lambs at birth. It has been designed to support the lamb’s resistance to
watery mouth by providing a boost of colostrum derived immunoproteins alongside energy-generating substrates and micro-nutrients. The inclusion of Vetoxan® is important in the establishment of a beneficial alimentary environment in which E. Coli bacteria cannot grow and develop.

A proactive approach to preventing instances of watery mouth occurring will pave the way for a successful and profitable lambing season in 2022.

Lambing Checklist

Get ahead; download our comprehensive list of recommended lambing products today, mark the quantities required and simply take to a Wynnstay Store.


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