Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Sulphur-induced polioencephalomalacia in lambs
  1. J. C. Low, BVSc, PhD, MRCVS1,
  2. P. R. Scott, DVM&S, DSHP, CertCHP, MRCVS2,
  3. F. Howie, BVMS, MVM, MRCVS1,
  4. M. Lewis, BSc, PhD3,
  5. J. FitzSimons, CDA, NDA3 and
  6. J. A. Spence, BVM&S, DTVM, MRCVS4
  1. 1 Scottish Agricultural College Veterinary Services (Edinburgh), Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 OQE
  2. 2 Large Animal Practice, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Department of Clinical Studies, Veterinary Field Station, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG
  3. 3 Scottish Agricultural College, Genetics and Behavioural Sciences, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 9QE
  4. 4 Moredun Research Institute, 408 Gilmerton Road, Edinburgh EH17 7JH


An outbreak of polioencephalomalacia affected 16 of 46 Swaledale lambs and five of 25 Scottish blackface lambs 15 to 32 days after they were introduced to an ad libitum concentrate ration containing 0.43 per cent sulphur. The clinical signs were acute and included depression, central blindness and head-pressing, but no hyperaesthesia, nystagmus, dorsiflexion of the neck or opisthotonos were observed. Treatment of the affected lambs with vitamin B1, dexamethasone and antibiotics was associated with a prolonged recovery period, though no further cases were identified after vitamin B1 had been given parenterally to all the lambs at risk.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.