sheep

Campylobacteriosis (vibriosis)

Vibriosis has been reported in different areas of New Mexico. This disease is caused by a bacterium, but it is not the same organism that causes the infection in cattle. Ewes afflicted with vibriosis abort in late pregnancy or occasionally give birth to dead or small, weak lambs. Ewes rarely show symptoms before aborting. After abortion, there is usually a brown, foul-smelling vaginal discharge. Aborting ewes usually recover completely without treatment and are immune to the effects of the disease in following years. The source of the infection is not completely understood, though birds and rodents could be carriers.

During and before lambing, sanitation is very important. If a ewe aborts, separate her from the flock and destroy all the placenta and aborted material. Commercial vaccines are available. Administer the vaccine prior to the breeding season. Antibiotics have been beneficial in controlling vibriosis outbreaks, but early diagnosis is essential. Feeding antibiotics for the last six weeks of pregnancy has been shown to significantly reduce abortions. Two consecutive daily injections of penicillin dihydrostreptomycin, administered five to six days after experimental infection, may reduce the number of abortions.