Sheep Nose Bots

by: Dr. G.F. Kennedy

Every year and generally starting on a warm day in February I get calls from people saying “My sheep are acting strangely. They are stomping their feet and holding their heads down, shaking their heads and running from place to place and occasionally sneezing. Generally it is during the warmer hours of the day.” We have Sheep Nose Bots and the flies are attempting to deposit larvae in the nose of the sheep. Once deposited, they develop in the nasal passages and sinuses and when mature, drop out, burrow in to soil, pupate and later on the fly emerges and the process repeats itself.

The whole process is more of an irritation than an economic threat and is seldom life threatening. Fortunately, the use of ivermectin type wormers are highly effective against all larvae stages. The use of these wormers reduces incidence of the condition which is an annoyance at most.

About Ask-a-Vet Sheep

Veterinary services, procedures, biologicals, and drugs mentioned in this publication represent the personal opinions and clinical observations of the contributing author. They are in no way intended to be interpreted as recommendations without the consent of the producer’s own practicing Veterinarian. We strongly urge that producers establish a patient-client-veterinarian relationship that allows extra-label use when there are no drugs approved for treatment or if approved drugs are not effective. This procedure allows veterinarians to go beyond label directions when “prudent use” is necessary. The limited availability of drugs and biologics in this country is a major factor in restricting the growth of the sheep industry and allowing producers to compete in the world market place.
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