Pre Lambing Checks – Heptavac P Plus vs. Ovivac P Plus

Hello Readers,

So i thought I’d start off with a few older photos. These photos where taking during lambing at the beginning of this year (2016). I was helping out with herding and loading the ewes to be brought back to the farm, ready to be checked and in for lambing. I was taught how to inject the ewes subcutaneously (I did about 100 in one day).

This injection was ‘Heptavac P Plus’. After some research into this injection tonight I came across a forum discussing the difference between ‘Heptavac P Plus’ and ‘Ovivac P Plus’. I started to look into the difference between the two and how they can prevent pasteurella pneumonia (organism in tonsils – disease released when animal is stressed) and clostridial disease (organisms for this found in soil).

The Heptavac P Plus contains antigens from seven clostridial species. This provides immunity to the lambs via colostrum during lambing. This vaccination is given during pre lambing checks as it must be injected with enough time to make its way into the milk. I also found that this injection is the most expensive of the two.

The Ovivac P Plus doesn’t contain the antigens from as many clostridial species (only 4). It is usually used for store lambs as they need the extra immunity they are not receiving from a ewe’s milk. This boost of immunity increases chance of survival, especially in the winter months when there is a peak in number of cases of these diseases.

I rang the farmer I did this with back in January/ February time, who I have worked with throughout the year. He told me he sold some store lambs a few years ago and knew that the customer injected the lambs with Ovivac P Plus as a little bit of extra immunity as it moved onto a new farm. The Ovivac is cheaper so more economical to use, if just a precaution.

If any lambs from lambing/ store lambs are kept for replacement they are boosted with the Ovivac P Plus at the time of pre tupping. After this they join the regular routine of the older ewes, receiving the Heptavac P Plus pre lambing.

This particular farmer chooses to use the Heptavac P Plus on all 500-600 ewes as the ewes are in constant contact with each other in sheds during lambing so does not want these diseases spreading through and killing his flock as it is the biggest killer of sheep – despite the large cost.

I wonder if any readers would like to share their experience with the two; what routine do you use? Is the Heptavac P Plus worth the extra money? Does anyone give Ovivac P Plus to ewes as they are in a low risk zone perhaps? I would love to hear your thoughts.


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