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Ectoparasites

Sheep scab is possibly the most important skin infestation affecting sheep but there are also other ectoparasites that can affect flocks, including Blowfly (see above), Headfly and Lice.

Headfly can present a major problem during the summer months. Grazing patterns are disturbed and affected sheep often isolate themselves. The may stand with their heads lowered and shake their heads.

Louse populations in the UK are at their height in late winter in sheep in poor body condition kept under unhygienic conditions. The chewing louse Bovicola ovis is the most common infestation and may cause disrupted feeding and damage to the fleece, and self-inflicted trauma.

Ectoparasites can controlled through strategic treatments and strict biosecurity.

For more information on ectoparasites, diagnosis, treatment and prevention click here.

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