Article Text

Border disease: a sequential study of surviving lambs and an assessment of its effect on profitability
  1. D Sweasey,
  2. DS Patterson,
  3. C Richardson,
  4. JW Harkness,
  5. IG Shaw and
  6. WW Williams


Pregnant Dorset horn gimmers inoculated with a non-cytopathic strain of the border disease virus produced "hairy shaker" lambs that were individually affected to a varying degree. Surviving lambs were observed for a period of up to 20 weeks when neurological signs were seen to gradually disappear. During this time live virus was isolated from a wide variety of sites in nearly all of the infected lambs. The infected animals grew at a significantly slower rate compared with the controls, particularly during the first 15 weeks. Several morphological defects are described the most consistent being the decreased weight of the central nervous system. By 20 weeks body-weights were about 20 per cent lower and carcase quality scores were reduced. An assessment is made of the economic losses attributable to BD taking into consideration carcase quality at 20 weeks and the perinatal losses.

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