Weakens the immune system
Tick-bites in sheep may result in the disease tick-borne fever (TBF), induced by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum (A.ph). TBF causes high fever and weakens the immune system.
“It is estimated that approximately 300,000 lambs are exposed to this bacteria each year. However, they do not necessarily die from the infection”, says tick researcher Lise Grøva at Bioforsk Organic at Tingvoll in Norway.
The disease itself is not fatal, but makes sheep more susceptible to secondary infections.
“Arthritis is the most common disease that can arise. Illness normally occurs 10-14 days after grazing starts. Blood tests show that almost all the lambs are infected during the season in tick infested areas.”
The direct cause of death due to TBF is often an acute pasteurella infection – a bacterial disease which can cause acute blood poisoning with inflammation of the heart sac, heart, lungs or digestive organs. It is therefore recommended to vaccinate sheep against pastuerella in areas where tick-borne fever is prevalent.
Read more at: Phys.org