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Wirevax: Guard Your Sheep Against Wireworms

Every single one of your sheep is a valuable asset, but many farmers are losing sheep on an annual basis to preventable diseases and parasites. The best way to combat these problems is to vaccinate and immunise your sheep before they become vulnerable. For immunisation against wireworms, in particular, we have Wirevax.


Wire worms, also commonly known as barber pole worms due to the pattern on their bodies, are a variety of stomach worms. The infective larvae are generally picked up in the pasture during grazing. They then make their way down the sheep’s digestive tract and, in roughly three weeks, develop into adult worms which then lay new eggs. These eggs are then deposited in the pasture through the sheep’s faeces, thus spreading the infection further.

The wire worm feeds by piercing the lining of the sheep’s abomasum (or true stomach) and sucking its blood. This results in a disease known as haemonchosis which includes symptoms like anaemia, oedema and more. In severe cases, especially with higher worm load, sheep have been observed losing 200 to 600 ml of blood per day.

Signs to look out for

Apart from the few symptoms mentioned above, you should also be on the lookout for signs of unexplained lethargy, dehydration and pale mucous membranes around the eyes. The pale mucous membranes, together with pale gums, are clear signs of anaemia.

Another common symptom is bottle jaw. Bottle jaw is characterised by the swelling of fluid beneath the jaw, caused by a shortage of protein in the sheep’s bloodstream. Bottle jaw is associated with numerous other diseases, but it can be a sign of haemonchosis if it presents with the other known symptoms.

If symptoms such as pale mucous membranes and gums are present, even if wireworm infection has not yet been confirmed, it is best to begin vaccinating all your sheep to ensure you curb the possibility of infection as early as possible.

Vaccinate with Wirevax

To immunise your sheep against wireworm infection, three injections of Wirevax are required with intervals of three to four weeks. For the rest of the risk period, you can easily maintain the immunisation with booster shots every six weeks. As an added benefit, there is no withdrawal period for milk or meat, so the use of Wirevax will not disrupt your production process at all.

For more information on Wirevax and other vaccines as well as various other agricultural products and services, simply ask the experts. What you need, we know!

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