Cache Valley Virus

by: Dr. G.F. Kennedy

Every year, questions arise about aborted and malformed lambs. Cache Valley virus is defined as a mosquito-transmitted cause of infertility, abortions, still births and multiple congenital abnormalities in sheep. It is endemic in North America and often there are outbreaks over a wide area. Sheep grazing in swampy areas during breeding season are most susceptible. Attempts to control mosquitoes are indicated but difficult. At time of abortion or birth the virus is usually no longer viable. Generally, the incidence within a flock is low and I suspect once there has been exposure the ewe is resistant going forward. Occasionally lambs are so malformed that a cesarean is the only way than can be removed from the ewe.

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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