Sheep Keds

by: Dr. G.F. Kennedy

Sheep keds are the most widely distributed and most common external parasite of sheep. They are a wingless fly that spends their entire life time on the sheep and if they fall off don’t survive. When an egg is laid, they pupate for 22 days before emerging. The adults suck blood and cause irritation that results in wool damage and when severely infested can debilitate the sheep.

Treatment requires shearing and pour-on of an insecticide that has residual activity. Permethrin 1% Pour-on is the most effective product available and may be repeated in 21 days in severe infestations. Injectable and pour-on ivermectin products are not very effective.

They are not a tick but a wingless fly.

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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