A longitudinal study of factors associated with acute and chronic mastitis and their impact on lamb growth rate in 10 suckler sheep flocks in Great Britain

Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Claire GrantL E Green


A 2-year prospective, longitudinal study of 10 suckler sheep flocks in Great Britain was run to identify factors associated with acute mastitis (AM) and chronic mastitis, and their impact on lamb growth rate. Data were collected on AM, intramammary masses (IMM; a marker for chronic mastitis), udder and teat conformation, teat lesions, body condition, ewe nutrition, litter size, lamb weight and general flock management. Each flock was visited twice each year, approximately 4 weeks before lambing and 9 weeks into lactation, for two years and all ewes present at a visit were examined. There were 7021 examinations in total. AM was reported in 2.1-3.0% of ewes/year; this ranged from 0.0% to 37.1% by flock. IMM were detected in 4.7% of ewes in pregnancy and 10.9% of ewes in lactation. Once an IMM had been detected there was an increased risk of future IMM although IMM were not consistently present. The majority of ewes had good udder conformation to suckle lambs. Factors associated with AM, IMM in pregnant and lactating ewes, udder conformation and lamb daily live weight gain were explored using mixed effect multivariable models. An increased risk of AM was associated with underfeeding protein in pregnancy (OR 4.05), forward pointing...Continue Reading


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