Health - Southdown Australia
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Southdown Australia
Southdown Australia
Promoting and developing the Southdown sheep breed in Australia


Sheep Lice

Sheep body lice (Bovicola ovis) are biting insects that cause affected animals to become itchy. Signs of lice infestation include rubbing, biting and scratching. Lice are a common problem in Victorian sheep flocks, but most importantly are controllable, eradicable and preventable.

Ovine Johnes disease

Ovine Johne's (pronounced 'yoh-nees') disease is an infectious fatal wasting disease of sheep. It is often abbreviated to OJD. OJD can have severe economic effects in sheep flocks if it is left uncontrolled. It is caused by a strain of the bacterium Mycobacterium paratuberculosis

Footrot in sheep

Footrot is an infectious and contagious disease caused by the bacteria, Dichelobacter nodosus. This organism may also infect goats and occasionally cattle. Ovine (sheep) footrot has long been dreaded by sheep owners. It is a disease which causes severe economic loss, suffering due to lameness and disruption to normal farm operations.>


Heavy rainfall and floods during the warm summer months can increase the risk of flystrike. Continual wetting of fleeces without drying, leads to skin damage and the release of extra protein which, in turn encourages bacterial overgrowth. It is a major sheep welfare problem and sheep owners must actively control flystrike.

Further information can be found on the Department of Primary Industries website.