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Diseases - Sheep Scab - Clinical Signs

Clinical Signs

Sheep may be suspected as being infected with sheep scab if one or more of the following symptoms are exhibited:

  • Mild to excessive rubbing/scratching against fence posts etc
  • Mild to excessive nibbling and biting
  • Dirty areas of fleece due to rubbing and scratching - especially with the hindfeet behind the shoulder.
  • "Nibble" (touch hypersensitivity) response, spontaneous or in response to handling or manipulation of a lesion
  • Tags of fleece on flanks due to biting or rubbing (similar to lice infestations)
  • Clean areas of fleece due to licking/biting at or near lesions*
  • Standing apart from flock, dull and depressed*

*Only when in combination with other symptoms described

During advances stages of disease:

  • Areas of wool loss and bare areas especially on shoulders and flanks
  • Poor body condition
  • Clumping or clotting of wool
  • Damaged moist red skin
  • Dry crusty scabs with moist red borders

In both early and advanced stages not all of the animals in the flock may show symptoms but you should assume all are infected.