Ark Veterinary Centre

Abortion in sheep

Aug 23, 2018
Abortion in sheep

Over 75% of abortions are caused by either Toxoplasmosis or Enzootic Abortion (Chlamydophila abortus) and is estimated to cost as much as £85 per aborted ewe. Aborting ewes are very infectious and one ewe can infect a large proportion of the flock which can then go on to infect more and so on. For EAE the sheep infected one year may abort the next year and can become healthy carriers still shedding and so infecting other ewes.

This makes prevention, not only better for the ewe, but also far more economical with a vaccine costing a fraction of the price. The differences between the 2 infectious agents are summarised in the table below.
Below are common examples of what Enzootic abortion and Toxoplasmosis can look like. Although there are some differences in the signs with each infection, the only way to know for sure and is for the vet to take samples from the placenta and foetus and send them away to the lab.



Enzootic abortion


Infectious agent

Bacteria-Chlamydophila abortus

Coccidia – toxoplasma gondii

Source of infection

Aborted material and carrier sheep

Faeces from  infected cats (straw, hay etc.)


Long acting alamycin

In feed coccidiostat

Control measures

  • Cull aborted ewes
  • Buy in EAE free replacements*
  • Vaccination - Toxovac
  • Medicated feed
  • Keep only adult neutered cats
  • Vaccination                                – Cevac Chlamydia

We recommend that you get your orders in for abortion vaccines now! The new ordering system means that we can place your order and select when it can be delivered to the practice and then picked up at your convenience. So by ordering now, and telling us when you want it,  you can be sure it will be in stock and set aside for you when you need it!