Small stock production: Dips to control sheep scab and goat mange

In a previous article we looked at the symptoms of sheep scab and mange on goats. In this article we look at solutions, medication and dips.

When working with chemicals, use your common sense. Always treat chemicals with care.

Follow the mix and dosage instructions on the label or the insert leaflet to the letter. I cannot stress this enough. Irresponsible use of chemicals has dire consequences. If you are in any doubt, or you don’t understand the instructions fully, ask for help.

Take the proper precautions when you work with chemicals and treat them with respect. These chemicals help you, the stock farmer, keep your animals parasite- free, but they are poisonous.

Never play around with the doses because you think the chemical is not working, or needs strengthening. You are a farmer, not a chemist.

Wear protective clothing to prevent skin contact with the chemical and use a mask to avoid inhaling droplets or mists. Decent overalls, gumboots, plastic glasses or dark glasses, and a mask, or other suitable cover, over the nose and mouth will do the job.

Keep the chemicals in a safe store or container to which only you have the key.

sheep scab
Keep fouling of the water in the dip tank down by holding animals overnight in a pen or kraal. Deprive them of food, but provide them with ad lib access to clean water.

ACTIVE INGREDIENT AND TRADE NAMES: Amitraz is the active ingredient in Triatix (Triatix EC, Triatix 125 or Triatix 250); Supatraz 25%; Taktic TR; Taktic Cattle Spray (also for sheep and goats).

How it works: Amitraz is a neurotoxin that works by destroying the nervous system. It kills on contact and is considered a powerful agent in mite control.

It kills ticks, lice, mange mites, sheep scab mites, itch mites and goat mange mites in sheep and goats. It generally has low toxicity to non-target species but is toxic to fish. Never use Amitraz on horses, mules or donkeys.

The concentration used for plunge dipping small-stock for sheep scab and mange is higher than the concentration used for tick control.

ACTIVE INGREDIENT AND TRADE NAMES: Diazinon, a member of the organophosphate class of chemicals, is the active ingredient in Cooperzon 30 and Dazzel NF.

How it works: Diazinon works by targeting the parasite’s nervous system. It kills sheep scab mites, blowfly maggots, sheep lice, goat mange mites and goat lice.

Diazinon is toxic to fish, bees, birds and other wildlife.

There is a 30-day withdrawal period for meat after dipping with diazinon.

sheep scab
All the animals in every age group must be dipped in a sheep scab outbreak. Mites are persistent one animal can re-infest the flock. The very young can be dipped separately to avoid accidental drowning.

ACTIVE INGREDIENT AND TRADE NAMES: Deltamethrin, a pyrethroid, is the active ingredient of Decatix 3 and Dectomax.

How it works: Deltamethrin paralyses the nervous system and kills the mites through contact and oral ingestion.
Deltamethrin is the most powerful of the pyrethroids. It kills sheep scab mites, sheep and goat lice, sheep keds.

It is listed as having low toxicity but is considered toxic to bees.

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