Illthrift was observed in 20/60 lambs aged 40-45 days in a dairy sheep flock in Greece. Cryptosporidiosis had been diagnosed and successfully treated with halofuginone lactate a month earlier. Parasitological examinations were negative for endoparasites while hematology and biochemistry were unremarkable. Necropsy of 5 lambs revealed lung and liver abscessation, presumably secondary to umbilical infections due to poor farm hygiene, though umbilical lesions were not observed. No new cases were observed following treatment of the umbilicus of newborn lambs with chlorexidine. Although umbilical infections are common, this is the first reported case of illthrift in lambs attributed to umbilical infection; illthrift may be the only clinical manifestation of such infections. The prior presence of cryptosporidiosis may have contributed to the severity of the infection through the reduction of local immunity. Recognition of this possibly underdiagnosed or underappreciated condition may improve medical, production, and welfare standards in the sheep industry.
Giadinis, N. D., Papadopoulos, E., Loukopoulos, P., Panousis , N., Kalaitzakis, E., Koutsoumpas, A., & Karatzias, H. (2011). Illthrift in suckling lambs secondary to umbilical infections and possible implication of cryptosporidiosis as a risk factor. Veterinary Medicine International, 1-3. . https://doi.org/10.4061/2011/382804