Flock vaccinations are a vital part of raising healthy sheep and lambs. One of the most highly-recommended and used flock inoculations is called the CD-T toxoid. The CD-T toxid offers multifaceted protection in three ways: protecting against enterotoxaemia caused by Clostridium perfringens types C and D, as well as, Tetanus (also referred to as lockjaw) caused by Clostridium tetani. Continue reading to learn more about this vital vaccine and the common lamb and sheep diseases it protects against.
3 Way, 7 Way, and 8 Way Clostridal Vaccines for Sheep
Although the typical 3-way clostridal vaccine is sufficient in most cases, there are also 7-way and 8 way clostridal vaccines available, which provide further coverage against clostridial diseases such as malignant edema and blackleg. Vaccination against Tetanus and types C and D enterotoxaemia are the most common and effective options for sheep and lamb flocks.
Types C and D Enterotoxaemia Vaccines
Also known as “hemorrhagic enteritis” or “bloody scours,” Type C Enterotoxaemia is more common in young lambs, often born within a few weeks of time. The primary implication of this disease is that it causes a bloody infection in the lamb’s small intestinal system. The actual cause of this disease is sometimes difficult to assess since there are several conditions it relates too, including a sudden increase in milk supply (perhaps when a littermate is removed), change in feed (i.e. bacterial growth, creep feeding, etc.), chronic indigestion, and even genetic predispositions. Inoculating dams in their early stages of pregnancy is a common method for preventing type C Enterotoxaemia, followed by vaccinating lambs at 7 or 8 weeks old.
Type D Enterotoxaemia is very similar to type C in that it can be caused by much of the same conditions and underlying genetic predispositions. However, it is mostly predicated by overeating, giving it its colloquial moniker of “pulpy kidney disease.” Lambs over the age of one month are common targets of this disease. In most cases, fast growing lambs in the flock are affected with they already have a bacteria in their gut that proliferates as a result of a sudden change in feed. This excess bacterial growth causes a toxic reaction that is commonly fatal. The type D Enterotoxaemia vaccine is effective at preventing this condition when administered to dams during pregnancy.
It is important to administer a tetanus anti-toxin at the time of docking and castrating in lambs. This is especially important if elastrator bands are being used. Although temporary, this vaccine gives immediate protection against Clostridium tetani. In contrast, tetanus toxoid vaccines offer more adequate protection, but take at least 10 day or more to become effective in the blood stream. They also require periodic booster shots to remain effective.