What should I vaccinate my sheep/goats for?


The only universally-recommended vaccine for sheep/goats is clostridial diseases, either the popular, three-way vaccine (CDT) or 7 or 8-way vaccines, such as Covexin®-8. CDT is sufficient for most farms/ranches. It protects sheep/goats against enterotoxemia caused by clostridium perfringins type C and D and also tetanus, caused by clostridium tetani.

Covexin-8 provides protection for additional clostridium, including malignant edema and black leg. Producers should discuss the need for Covexin®-8 with their veterinarians. Both vaccines are inexpensive and very effective at preventing the consequences that can result from deadly clostridial infections. According to the most recent NAHMS studies, the majority of US sheep farms vaccinate for clostridial diseases. An even higher percentage of US goat farms vaccinate for clostridial diseases.

There are other diseases for which sheep/goats can be vaccinated for, including abortion (some), caseous lymphadenitis, pneumonia, soremouth, footrot (limited availability), scours, and rabies. These vaccines should be used on an as-needed basis, based on risk and cost-benefit. Not all of these vaccines are approved for sheep and/or goats. Nor should all of them be given to sheep and/or goats in all circumstances.


Additional reading
Flock vaccinations: Sheep 201
Vaccination practices on US sheep operations (2011) - NAHMS
Goat vaccination - Alabama Extension
Vaccinating goats - Cornell University
20 vaccine application tips for sheep, goats, small ruminants