Article Text

A field study of watery mouth: clinical, epidemiological, biochemical, haematological and bacteriological observations
  1. FA Eales,
  2. J Small,
  3. JS Gilmour,
  4. W Donachie,
  5. J FitzSimons and
  6. WS Dingwall


More than 500 cases of watery mouth in newborn lambs were recorded in 11 flocks and a detailed examination was performed in more than 200 cases. The condition occurred predominantly in lambs aged 24 to 48 hours. The incidence in a flock varied from 1 per cent to 24 per cent and the mortality in affected lambs varied from 7 per cent to 83 per cent. A bacteraemia was found in 38 per cent of the affected lambs. There were no consistent abnormalities of clinical biochemistry or haematology. Watery mouth was more common in twins and especially in triplets than in single lambs. In twins the highest incidence of watery mouth was recorded in lambs born to ewes in poor body condition. Antibiotic given orally within 15 minutes of birth greatly reduced the incidence of watery mouth.

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