- Sheep are lame because they are in pain. Because part of the sheep’s leg or foot are painful, the sheep is reluctant to bear weight on the affected limb.
- It is worth considering the use of pain relief for lameness, especially severe or chronic (long-term) conditions like CODD or granuloma.
- Consult your vet for details about which medication to use.
Research about using pain relief for lameness in sheep
There have been two studies that looked at the use of pain relief for footrot in sheep. Neither study reported a beneficial effect, however sheep were first examined either 5 days or 90 days after treatment. It is likely that the benefits of pain relief occur in the first 24 hours after treatment, and therefore more research is needed to study the effects on sheep of giving pain relief in the first few days after treatment. Below are the research papers for the two exisiting studies:
- McLennan, K. M., Rebelo, C. J. B., Corke, M. J., Holmes, M. A., Leach, M. C. & Constantino-Casas, F. (2016) Development of a facial expression scale using footrot and mastitis as models of pain in sheep. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 176:19-26.
- Kaler, J., Daniels, S.L.S., Wright, J.L. & Green, L.E. (2010) Randomized Clinical Trial of Long‐Acting Oxytetracycline, Foot Trimming, and Flunixine Meglumine on Time to Recovery in Sheep with Footrot. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 24(2):420-5.
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