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WE wish to alert practitioners to a syndrome of transient agalactia in sheep, because we are developing a survey to investigate the risk factors for this condition.
Each year, we hear of a few flocks in Great Britain and Northern Ireland with partial or complete agalactia with variable prevalence (in some cases up to 80 to 100 per cent of the flock). The affected ewes develop a hard udder at the time of, or soon after, lambing, and little or no colostrum/milk is produced. There is no associated mastitis, and milk production/let-down usually gradually returns over three to seven days, although some ewes do not achieve full production. During the period of agalactia, lambs have to be bottle fed, with all the accompanying cost …