Lambs are born with very few antibodies and rely on antibodies in the ewe’s colostrum for protection against common diseases including pulpy kidney and tetanus.
Vaccinating ewes just prior to lambing will maximise the level of antibodies lambs receive in colostrum to protect them against these clostridial diseases.
The more antibodies they receive in the colostrum over the first 12 hours of life, the higher their chances of survival if they face disease challenge (for example from diseases such as tetanus, or pulpy kidney). It is therefore vital to get pre-lamb vaccination right – timing is critical to enhance the level of antibodies produced.
NILVAX is our gold standard specialist pre-lamb vaccine; the immunity of this 5 in 1 vaccine is boosted by formulation containing levamisole.
Plus, NILVAX can also be suitable as a short-acting, priming drench ahead of pre-lamb long acting anthelmintic such as Marathon.
If you have a large number of single bearing ewes, you may choose a regular pre-lamb 5 in 1 vaccine. In this situation we recommend MULTINE – it gives a quality antibody response, and when used closer to lambing (two to four weeks) provides protection for the lambs for up to 12 weeks.
If you are not utilising NILVAX you will need to consider a docking vaccination of the lambs. This provides an opportunity to supplement the lamb with B12 combined with the 5 in 1.
If you would like advice on whether NILVAX or MULTINE is the right choice for your farm, please talk with your veterinarian.
Both NILVAX and MULTINE have excellent local field data but NILVAX is a clear winner when it comes to producing the highest antibody levels in ewes at pre-lamb.