Ewe Blood Sampling Schemes
A common reason for ewe blood sampling is to allow us to investigate disappointing lambing percentages. This involves taking blood samples from 6-8 barren/aborted ewes shortly after lambing and allow us to test for the two major causes of abortion in sheep; Chlamydophila abortus (the cause of enzootic abortion in sheep) and Toxoplasma. Selected mineral levels can be measured at the same time if required. With these results, we can advise you on appropriate vaccination schemes and control measures with the aim of preventing similar losses the following year. The abortion test results should always be discussed in detail with the veterinary surgeon as there are human health implications to some infections while other blood results may indicate a historic infection rather than present status.
Many flocks are now participating in schemes to become certified free of other infectious diseases such as Maedi Visna. MV is a chronic viral disease of sheep that can cause neurological and respiratory signs. Accreditation allows animals to be bought and sold without the risk of spreading the disease and animals can often be sold at a premium. To gain accreditation flocks must be blood sampled and be part of one of the certified health schemes.