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- When farm animals develop acute pneumonia the signs are dullness and difficulty with breathing (heaving sides, rapid breathing, head low and extended). Sometimes their elbows are pushed out, sometimes (but not always) they cough. But often affected animals are just found dead.
- When the disease develops more gradually (chronic pneumonia) there may be few obvious signs apart from reduced appetite and weight loss.
- Outbreaks of pneumonia can occur in individuals or in groups of animals, especially groups of lambs, goat kids and calves that are housed together.
- Pneumonia in not uncommon in groups of hoggets.
- Various types of micro-organisms work together in the lungs to cause pneumonia.
- Sudden outbreaks of severe pneumonia sometimes occur after a long journey by truck when animals have been stressed and crowded together, or after mustering in dry dusty yards in hot conditions, or after shearing sheep or goats particularly if they get cold and hungry.
- If any of your animals shows signs of pneumonia, call you veterinarian right away. Treatment is more likely to be successful if it’s given early in the course of the disease.
- In sheep, preventive measures include damping down dusty yards, or mustering when it is cool early in the morning, and providing good shelter and extra feed after shearing.
- In individual animals of any species, clumsy administration of drench into the lungs instead of down the gullet can cause pneumonia (inhalation pneumonia) that is usually fatal.