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Ulcerative vulvitis and balanitis in sheep flocks
  1. G. C. Pritchard, BSc, BVM&S, DVM&S, FRCVS1,
  2. S. F. E. Scholes, BVM&S, PhD, FRCPath, DipIECVP, MRCVS2,
  3. A. P. Foster, BSc, BVSc, PhD, DipACVD, MRCVS3,
  4. E. S. E. Mitchell, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS4,
  5. J. Lawes, BSc5,
  6. G. Ibata5 and
  7. M. Banks, MIBiol, CBiol, PhD5
  1. 1 Veterinary Laboratories Agency — Bury St Edmunds, Rougham Hill, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 2RX
  2. 2 Veterinary Laboratories Agency — Lasswade, Pentlands Science Park, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0PZ
  3. 3 Veterinary Laboratories Agency — Shrewsbury, Kendal Road, Harlescott, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 4HD
  4. 4 Veterinary Laboratories Agency — Carmarthen, Job's Well Road, Johnstown, Carmarthen SA31 3EZ
  5. 5 Veterinary Laboratories Agency — Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB


Outbreaks of ulcerative vulvitis and balanitis occurred in three commercial sheep flocks in England and Wales. Between 29 and 44 per cent of the ewes were affected; most of the lesions resolved in three weeks. Pathogens such as mycoplasmas, which have previously been associated with these conditions, were not detected despite using improved laboratory techniques. In one of the flocks, ovine herpesvirus type 2 was detected by pcr in the blood of two acutely affected ewes, from the vulval ulcers of one of them, and from the penis of an affected ram.

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