PGE Alert for Lambs

Many of the faecal samples received at Dumfries during the last week have contained significant numbers of worm eggs at higher levels than previously seen this summer.  The results would justify anthelmintic treatment of lambs in many cases.   We have also found high burdens of gastrointestinal worms in lambs submitted for post mortem examination which have presented as cases of ill thrift, scour and/or sudden deaths.  The number of ovine PGE diagnoses frequently peaks in autumn.  In some instances high numbers of worm eggs were detected in samples from lambs that had been treated three to four weeks earlier.  An assessment of anthelmintic efficacy cannot be made in these cases as enough time has elapsed following treatment for reinfection to have occurred.  Both treatment failure and/or high pasture infectious larval challenge remain possibilities and require further investigation. 

  • Based on current findings we recommend encouraging your sheep clients to check lamb worm egg counts in case treatment is required
  • If sampling to check anthelmintic efficacy it is important to follow guidelines on how to carry out this testing to maximise the chance of a conclusion being reached

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