Labwork

In-House

There are a number of tests that we are able to perform at the Lancaster surgery, these include:

FWEC

Faecal worm egg counts (FWEC) at the surgery are an efficient and economical way to find out whether you need to worm your sheep.  We examine faecal samples under the microscope to determine how many eggs are present.

Lambs should be wormed routinely during the summer months as worms will dramatically reduce their growth rates.  By testing their faeces you can find out whether you actually need to worm them.

It is also important to recheck for worm eggs a week after you have wormed your flock to confirm that there is no resistance.  Worms are increasingly becoming resistant to our wormers and this could potentially be devastating to the farming industry.  By checking for resistance we can advise you to use a different category of wormer if it is necessary.

For more information on worming, FWEC and resistance please call us.

Tup fertility testing

Tups can be brought to the surgery where we will perform a full fertility test, including:

  • Full clinical examination
  • Collection of semen samples
  • Analysis of sperm count and viability under the microscope to determine how fertile the tup is likely to be.

Ideally tups should be tested 4 weeks before they are due to be used.  Please give us a few days notice if you would like to book your tup in for a fertility test.

If you would like to find out about tup vasectomies then please click on this link (link to tup vasectomies page)

Skin scrapings

If you suspect that your ewes or lambs have lice or another external parasite, then call us to arrange bringing a couple of the affected sheep along to the surgery.  The vet will collect some samples and then we will examine them in our practice laboratory.  Most samples will be examined ‘while you wait’ so that we can then discuss the correct treatment plan with you.

External

There are many diseases that can be diagnosed by tests performed at the laboratories.  Examples of when it is useful to send samples to the lab include:

Disease Investigation / Advice

If you suspect an outbreak of a disease within your flock then please call us immediately.  We will examine your sheep and take any samples necessary to achieve a diagnosis.

Routine screening

There are many diseases that we routinely screen for, examples include Maedia Visna virus and EAE for accredited pedigree flocks.  In addition to these tests we are also able to offer a complimentary diagnostic service ‘FlockCheck 2011’ testing for toxoplasmosis and enzootic abortion in ewes (please note the lab fees are complimentary, but you will be charged for vet time).

Post-Mortem e.g. aborted lamb

We are happy to perform routine ‘gross’ post-mortems on farm or at the surgery.  However if you would like an extensive post-mortem (e.g. if your ewes are aborting or you are having high lamb losses) then please contact us and we can arrange for you to take the animals to the VLA at Preston.  (Please call us first so that we can fax through the necessary paperwork to VLA before you arrive).

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