What is enzootic ataxia?


What is enzootic ataxia?

Independently, a neurologic condition known as enzootic ataxia or swayback develops, in which copper deficiency of kids in utero or after birth results in permanent myelin degeneration in the spinal cord, leading to progressive incoordination and paralysis with failure of mobility.

What are the symptoms of copper deficiency in sheep?

The following symptoms may be present in sheep:

  • unthriftiness.
  • anaemia.
  • scouring.
  • loss of pigmentation in black fleeces.
  • steely wool, wool straight and lustrous.
  • staggers.
  • lowered wool production.
  • ‘sway-back’ in young lambs.

What is ataxia in sheep?

Familial episodic ataxia of lambs is a congenital transient autosomal dominant disorder of newborn lambs, with varying expressivity. Affected lambs show episodes of an asymmetric ataxic gait, base-wide extensor hypertonia of the thoracic limbs and flexor hypertonia of the pelvic limbs.

How does Cobalt deficiency impact sheep?

Signs include lethargy, reduced appetite, poor quality wool with an open fleece, small size and poor body condition despite adequate nutrition. Cobalt-deficient sheep may fail to respond well to vaccinations and be more susceptible to clostridial diseases (for example pulpy kidney) and pasteurellosis (pneumonia).

What causes ataxia in sheep?

Enzootic ataxia of lambs and kids (swayback) is caused by copper deficiency during the prenatal/neonatal period. This condition is caused by bilateral, symmetric loss of myelin in the dorsolateral spinal cord tracts and the cerebral white matter.

How do you fix copper deficiency in sheep?

Injections. Copper compounds injected under the skin (copper glycinate, calcium copper edetate) can correct a deficiency, but must be repeated every four to six months. This method is both less convenient and more expensive than supplying copper through fertilisers.

What happens if sheep eat copper?

Sheep have a remarkable capacity to store copper in the liver, but should a ‘crisis’ occur, massive amounts of copper are released from the liver into the bloodstream. This results in the rupture of red blood cells leading to severe anemia and jaundice which is rapidly fatal.

What is swayback in sheep?

swayback or enzootic ataxia of lambs. Lambs with this condition cannot coordinate their legs. They may be severely affected at birth and may be unable to stand; some may be born dead. Other lambs appear normal at birth but between one and six months they develop an uncoordinated gait.

How do you treat white muscle in lambs?

Where white muscle disease is an annual problem, best results are obtained by giving ewes a selenium injection one to four weeks before lambing. If white muscle disease is diagnosed in a flock, all lambs should be treated at birth. Affected lambs respond positively to injections of selenium, or selenium and vitamin E.

Why is my lamb staggering?

Enterotoxemia or Overeating Disease: Occurs in lambs fed large amounts of grain. Symptoms are staggering gait, moving in circles and convulsions. Consult your veterinarian for recommended vaccination programs.

What causes enzootic ataxia in Merino lambs?

Copper deficiency; causing enzootic ataxia. One of the first reports of enzootic ataxia in NSW came from the Gulargambone area in 1920. This was reported to have occurred in 2 to 4 month old merino and merino x border Leicester lambs.

Where did enzootic ataxia first occur in NSW?

One of the first reports of enzootic ataxia in NSW came from the Gulargambone area in 1920. This was reported to have occurred in 2 to 4 month old merino and merino x border Leicester lambs. Tooraweenah district is SE of Gulargambone, and lies in the foothills and plain extending west from the Warrumbungle Ranges.

What are the blood levels of enzootic ataxia?

Blood samples were taken from ewes and lambs at marking time in September. Blood copper levels were again low Lambs ranged 1.0 umol/L to 2.1umol/L. Ewes ranged from 1.6 – 2.3umol/L. At the time of sampling there was no clinical evidence of enzootic ataxia.

What to do for copper deficiency in sheep?

There are a number of treatment options for primary copper deficiency in sheep. These include commercially available injections for cattle (off label use in sheep) and drenches for individual animals, as well as copper-containing salt licks and blocks. The use of copper-containing fertilisers for long-term prevention has been used in the past.