Small Ruminant Vaccines

    Sheep & goats need annual vaccinations, just like any other species. Here's a run down of the vaccines that Chesapeake Large Animal Services has available for your small ruminants. Not sure what your animals may need? Give us a call and we would be happy to discuss the perfect vaccination schedule for your animals.


    Rabies - Annual Core Vaccine

    Rabies is a viral infection that is ever-present in wild animals and causes fatal neurologic disease. Did you know that the rabies virus is present in all the states of the US except for Hawaii. In our area, it is most commonly spread by raccoons but is also spread by bats, skunks, foxes, and mongoos.  In 2018, there were more than 250 confirmed cases of rabies in animals throughout the state of Maryland. As there is no treatment available, and the disease can be transmitted to humans (zoonotic), it is very important to prevent the disease in all animals. Rabies vaccination in sheep & goats is annual.


    CD&T - Annual Core Vaccine

    CD&T stands for Clostridium perfringens type C&D and Clostridium tetani. As these bacteria are ubiquitous in the soil, it is important to prevent them from causing disease. 

    • Clostridium perfringens type C&D is the causative agent of enterotoxemia. It is common in young stock as well as adults. Treatment is often difficult, so prevention is the best practice to prevent losses. Sudden onset anorexia (inappetance), abdominal pain, and bloody diarrhea are characteristic for the disease.
    • Clostridium tetani is the causative agent of tetatnus. Tetanus is a progressive neurologic disease that causes spastic paralysis and the characteristic "saw-horse" appearance. Animals contract tetanus when the bacterium enters open wounds, including castration and dehorning sites. Successful treatment can be achieved earlier on in the disease process, but once animals become recumbent, treatment often fails. 


    Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL)

    CL is caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis. This difficult to destroy bacteria leads to serious abscesses in the lymph nodes. Palpable external lymph nodes can be found at the corner of the jaw, near the mammary gland, and between the front legs and the chest. Spreading bacteria occurs when these abscesses rupture and the pus ends up in the environment. An autogenous vaccine can be created using the bacterial strain specific to your farm. Because it is difficult to get rid of CL once it has entered a herd, testing and quaranteening new animals is extremely important. Since the vaccine is manufactured to the specific infection present on each farm, it must be special ordered from the laboratory. Contact Chesapeake LAS if you are interested in this service.


    Chlamydia abortus

    Chlamydia abortus is a bacteria that leads to late term abortions in infected animals. Because the vaccine is aimed at preventing abortion, it is most commonly administered in large breeding herds rather than backyard animals. Animals are vaccinated between 30 & 45 days of pregnancy.


    Contagious Ecthyma (aka Orf, Soremouth) - 

    Contagious Ecthyma is caused by a virus that leads to crusting and ulceration of various mucous membranes. Most commonly these lesions are found on the edges of the mouth, but can also be found on the eyes, throat, and tail. Nursing animals can pass the virus to their mothers and cause lesions to appear on the mammary gland of their mothers. The vaccine is a live vaccine, meaning that it causes mild illness and obvious lesions in all animals that receive the inoculation. Vaccination at 1 month old is common in highly stocked farms, but not routinely administered in backyard flocks. As such, at this time the vaccine for Contagious Ecthyma is not kept in stock at Chesapeake LAS. If you are interested in starting a vaccine protocol that includes this vaccine, please reach out to Dr. Wilds so we can discuss the pros & cons of vaccination, and if elected, can get the vaccine in stock.



    Footrot is cause by various ubiquitous bacteria (most commonly Fusobacterium necrophorum & Dichelobacter nodosus)  and leads to severe infection of the tissue surrounding the hoof. It most commonly occurs when the hoof becomes overgrown, or during wet weather. In herds that have a large production loss from footrot, vaccination with an autogenous vaccine every 4 months can be helpful in preventing severe disease (although it is not completely effective). Since the vaccine is manufactured to the specific infection present on each farm, it must be special ordered from the laboratory. Contact Chesapeake LAS if you are interested in this service.



    Pneumonia is cuased by many different infectious agents, both bacterial and viral. Vaccination to prevent pneumonia in sheep & goats is aimed against 2 specific bacteria, Mannheimia haemolytica & Pasteurella multocida. Because it does not prevent all forms of pneumonia, vaccination is reserved for herds with high production losses related to pneumonia.


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