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Sheep diseases
Transient agalactia in ewes
  1. Michael Millar1,
  2. Suzanna Bell2,
  3. Yoav Alony Gilboa3 and
  4. Amanda Carson4
  1. 1Farm Animal Pathology Services, School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Bristol, Langford BS40 5DU, e-mail: vetschool-pathservices@bristol.ac.uk
  2. 2APHA Shrewsbury Veterinary Investigation Centre, Kendal Road, Harlescott, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 4HD
  3. 3Friars Moor Veterinary Clinic, Manston Road, Sturminster Newton DT10 1BH
  4. 4Small Ruminant Expert Group, Surveillance Intelligence Unit, APHA Penrith Veterinary Investigation Centre, Merrythought, Calthwaite, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 9RR

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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 …

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