The March Livestock Health Monitoring Report is now available!

The March Livestock Health Monitoring Report is now available!

This report outlines various health issues seen in flocks and herds across Tasmania in March 2019.

Several cases of photosensitisation were observed in sheep, dairy cows and deer during March. Photosensitisation is an inflammation of the skin, and in some cases can affect the cornea and conjunctiva of the eye. Photosensitisation can be caused by stock eating a range of plants with photosensitising pigments or as secondary illness resulting from liver damage usually caused by plant toxins, blue-green algae or fungal toxins.

Animals affected with photosensitisation can exhibit a range of symptoms including; irritation, redness and swelling of the affected areas, swollen droopy ears (from oedema), discharge from eyes, and dead, peeling skin in the affected areas with inflammation and scabbing on the underlying skin. Animals with photosensitisation often actively seek shade, exhibit restlessness (cattle may kick at udders or present a drop in milk production) and rub affected areas.

To control photosensitisation outbreaks in your flocks or mobs; Take blood samples from affected animals to check for liver damage, move off paddocks and offer deep shade. Check water source for blue-green algae, pastures for poisonous or pigment plants (e.g. storksbill, rough dogs’ tail or medics) and conduct a spore count of pastures to check for Pithomyces (results in facial eczema).

Treat affected animals with anti-inflammatories or antihistamines and antibiotic cover if necessary.

Read the full report.

Find all previous reports here

Severe photosensitisation in sheep

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