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Preparation for lambing

To avoid confusion over the timings and uses of pre-lamb vaccinations, here’s a quick summary.

While these vaccines will help protect the ewe, their main benefit is to provide the lamb with protection during the first few months of life against clostridial infections via the transfer of immunity in the ewe’s colostrum. This protection includes pulpy kidney and tetanus.

There are multiple vaccine brands available: Multine®, Ultravac®, Covexin®10, Coglovax® 8 and Nilvax®. Nilvax® combines the clostridial vaccination with a dose of Levamisole (clear drench) which serves to enhance the ewe’s immune response to the vaccine.

A pre-lamb booster will only be effective if the ewe or hogget has been vaccinated within the last 12 to 15 months. The pre-lamb “shot” is just that, it is a booster.

If you are using Coglavax® 8 or Covexin® as a pre-lamb vaccination, to get the full benefit the ewe or hogget must have been previously vaccinated with the respective product.

For Multine®, Ultravac®, Coglavax® 8 and Covexin® 10 vaccines, the pre-lamb vaccine booster is given two to four weeks prior to the start of lambing. This will give the lambs sufficient protection until docking when it is recommended that they start their own clostridial vaccination program. When using Nilvax® the pre-lamb booster is applied two to six weeks pre-lamb, and this will provide the lambs with protection through to weaning.

If a pre-lamb clostridial booster of the ewes or hoggets is not given, then Lamb Vaccine is recommended for all lambs at docking. But this is an expensive option.

If you need more advice please speak with one of our vets, techs or our commercial managers.