Footrot in Sheep

What is Footrot in Sheep

Footrot in sheep is a disease caused by bacterial infections of the skin between the digits of the hoof. The severity of cases vary depending on States however, signs of infection include:

  • Irritation and swelling of the inter-digit skin
  • Grey pasty scum
  • Foul smell
  • Chronic and severe lesions
  • Under-running or separation of horn from the heel, sole, toe and outside wall
  • Loss of production
  • Lameness
  • In severe cases death

Challenges faced in Farming

Many of our clients own or manage farms in all different locations and conditions, one client in particular located at Deepwater has been working with us since 2010.  Over the years we have worked with Scott, his family, mobs of cattle, sheep, some dogs, as well as clearing and healing his paddocks. Scott was in the process of  transitioning to attain an organic wool status when he was faced with a footrot outbreak.

Last year he purchased some rams from a stud dispersal sale to add to his program. At the time of purchase, he was unaware that the rams may have been contaminated with footrot. Late last year he presented us with a problem as his sheep were struggling with foot/leg issues.  We worked tirelessly, plan after plan to try to clear it however it was only when he decided to let us heal and clear his paddocks that we managed to clear the foot/leg issues from his sheep.

Recently after we completed the healing he had a visit from the footrot inspector who was following up on the stud rams he had purchased due to there being other reports of the footrot in sheep coming from the same stud. Footrot is a big deal on a conventional property. It requires continuous trimming and foot bathing of the sheep in strong chemicals as well as strict quarantine protocols with regards to selling sheep off the property.

What a blessing we had done the healing plans on the sheep and the paddocks because the inspector came back with a clean bill of health.  Phew.

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