WA Livestock Disease Outlook - for producers

In late autumn, be on the lookout for:

Pregnancy toxaemia or ketosis

  • This condition is usually seen in late-pregnant ewes, particularly those carrying multiple lambs.
  • The affected ewe often separates from the mob and is off food, drowsy or comatose.
  • Tremors and blindness often precede death by 3–4 days.
  • Read more on pregnancy toxaemia.

Hypocalcaemia in ewes

  • Generally ewes in the last six weeks of pregnancy and the first month of lactation are most at risk.
  • There is a rapid onset of muscle trembling and weakness with the affected ewes sitting on their brisket, alert but unable to get up.
  • Death often occurs within 24 hours.
  • Weather changes or periods of stress that reduce food intake can trigger this condition.
  • Read more on hypocalcaemia.

Calf scours

  • Calf scours often affects young calves in late autumn and early winter.
  • Signs include depressed appearance, diarrhoea, dehydration, collapse and death.
  • Read more on calf scours.

Crownbeard toxicity in sheep

  • Grazing the summer weed crownbeard leads to a loss of appetite, lethargy, heavy breathing, frothing from the mouth and nostrils and sudden death.
  • Read more on crownbeard toxicity.