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sheep develop good immunity to protect them against developing disease in future pregnancies. Effective vaccines, such as Toxovax, aim to mimic the infection in the sheep to stimulate the appropriate defence mechanisms without causing disease. As toxoplasma parasites are known to multiply within the cells of the sheep the favoured approach was to try a live vaccine preparation that would also undergo limited multiplication within cells to stimulate the correct immune response.

Another effective treatment is Deccox, which can be given to ewes in the last 14 weeks of pregnancy to prevent abortions and perinatal losses. This gives the ewe a chance to build immunity to the oocysts. The level of Deccox fed is extremely important and is based on the bodyweight of the ewe. Normal inclusion rates are around 2 mgactive decoquinate per kg liveweight per day for 14 weeks. The level in feed, therefore, is dependent on feed intake levels. In many cases, providing Deccox via feed is impractical at the 14 week pre lambing stage; a solution is provided in the form of Strathclyde Nutrition’s Energyze T-lick molassed lick. This product contains a huge level of Deccox (1500 mg/kg decoquinate) and is an ideal supplement to forage. The use of molassed licks is believed to greatly enhance forage digestibility, meaning the ewe gains more energy from her available forage, and at the same time she can receive a protective dose of Deccox.

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