By Dr Tom Barragry, PhD MSc MVB,MRCVS
Vet Surgeon and Vet Pharmacologist and Vet Advisor to Provita Animal Health
LAMB mortality and neonatal deaths remain very high in the global sheep industry and keeping newborn lambs alive is no easy task.
The principal causes of early lamb deaths are hypothermia, starvation, and watery mouth. Watery mouth is an E. coli infection and with 45 per cent of early lamb mortality caused by E. coli scours, watery mouth is one of the biggest killers in newborn lambs.
This is primarily due to their almost non-existent immunity at
birth. There is a direct and absolute correlation between low immunity and watery mouth. Hence an effective, new approach to promote neonatal gut health, better immunity, and prevention of E. coli infection may significantly reduce these high mortality figures for all newborn lambs.
To date, the use of oral Spectam Scour Halt (spectinomycin anti-biotic) has been the primary method of treatment and prevention. Spectam Scour Halt, however, has now been delisted from the UK and Irish market on account of international policy on antibiotic resistance, therefore alternative methods of control must be adopted.
Prevention of watery mouth is much more effective than cure, and this preventative approach must be based on the principle of rapidly boosting the lamb’s immune system at birth.
Provita’s Lamb Re-
sponse can not
only help effect-ively replace spect-inomycin and aid in the prevention of watery mouth, but it has the added benefit (not seen with Spectam Scour Halt) of helping to produce heavier lambs at weaning.
Why is Provita Lamb Response so effective?
Lamb Response contains a combination of four highly effective and unique ingredients, not present in other commercial products, which directly combat E coli, and enhance the much-needed immunity status of the newborn lamb.
Lamb Response contains bene-ficial bacteria which naturally attenuates E. coli bacteria, enhances immunity, and ‘seals’ the newborn gut.
Lamb Response contains a potent strain of live organisms, which is one of the primary active ingredients of the first, EU licensed Probiotic’s (Provita Protect POM-
VPS) which is clinically proven to prevent scour and has antibacterial activity against E. coli.
This ultra-fast replicating bene-ficial bacteria will seed the gut, expanding the young lamb’s gut microbiome, which is the basis of the overall immunity. In addition, tight junctions in the gut will be sealed, crowding out and neutralising E. coli pathogens, preventing their establishment within the lamb.
Lamb Response contains egg powder proteins which provide high concentrations of unique IgY proteins which are more potent against E. coli than usual colostral antibodies. These IgY antibodies have a higher binding affinity for E. coli antigens than do conventional colostral antibodies. Thus the combination of beneficial bacteria plus IGY proteins provides a really powerful immediate protection against E. coli, which has been established in scientific literature.
Lamb Response contains high levels of vitamins necessary for the young animal’s metabolism and supplies, especially vitamin E, which stimulates the lymphocytes in the underdeveloped immune system, thus adding a further layer of protection.
Lastly, Lamb Response supplies high energy to stimulate appetite, help prevent hypothermia (a very common fatality factor in young lambs) and to stimulate blood flow through vital organs.
In short, Lamb Response will act to:
n Reduce E. coli infection and diarrhoea;
n Increase active immunity in the newborn lamb via the gut micro-organisms;
n Seal the gut from invading pathogens such as E. coli;
n Supply an antimicrobial activity against E. coli via bacteriocins in the gut;
n Supply novel IGY proteins which have potent protective gut effects against E. coli;
n Stimulate the newborn immune system and improve appetite and suckling.
Beneficial bacteria in lambs have been proven in the scientific literature to have the following effects:
n Augmenting general immune function and increasing antibody levels;
n Reducing E. coli diarrhoea by 50 per cent, numbers of E coli in the gut and in promoting weight gain.
Trials have shown that lambs given beneficial bacteria had statistical improvement in terms of weight gain, pre weaning growth rate, and general health when compared to control lambs.
James Warwick, a UK sheep farmer, provided a recent testimonial to the effectiveness of Lamb Response in addressing his issues with watery mouth “Just wanted to say how awesome the Lamb Response is!
“We have had trouble with watery mouth this lambing and was recommended this by our vet and since we’ve been using it we haven’t lost lamb to watery mouth. A fantastic product.”
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