Detection of dermatophilosis and lice (Bovicola ovis) on flayed pelts and cockle on the skin of live lambs

Detection of dermatophilosis and lice (Bovicola ovis) on flayed pelts and cockle on the skin of live lambs
Peer reviewed

Abstract

Pelts from lambs submitted to an abattoir were obtained at monthly intervals from December to August. One half of each freshly flayed pelt was examined for cockle, lice (Bovicolu ovis) and dermatophilosis, and the observations compared with defects attributable to cockle and dermatophilosis in the corresponding pickled half-pelts. Formalin-fixed samples from pelts identified as having cockle were examined microscopically. Cockle was not detected macroscopically in flayed half-pelts despite being obvious in 4% of the pelts after pickling. Lice were detected in 17% of the flayed half-pelts. Dermatophilosis occurred in 12% of flayed half-pelts, presenting most commonly as small lesions in the dorsal midline regions of the lambs. However, only 4% of pickled half-pelts showed defects attributable to dermatophilosis. In other groups of lambs, cockle was detected in vivo by examining the skin over the upper shoulder region after close shearing of the wool. This method of detection showed sensitivity of 80% and specificity of 100%. The results of this work provide a basis for the monitoring of dermatophilosis and cockle in live lambs.

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