Ontario Small Ruminant Veterinary Conference – Mikayla Ringelberg

On June 17, 2019, I had the opportunity to attend the first of a three-day Ontario Small Ruminant Veterinary Conference held at the University of Guelph. Researchers, industry experts, producers, students, and of course veterinarians from all around the world came to participate in these share their knowledge on current issues surrounding goats and sheep. Topics for keynote speakers include, but are not limited to iceberg diseases, lameness control, kid and lamb survival, udder health and milk quality, and welfare improvements. I wanted to attend this conference because I don't have any experience with goats and sheep meaning that there was alot to learn. I attended the Iceberg diseases keynote lecture and was most interested in the scrapie disease. As I learned, scrapie affects the central nervous system and is fatal. Usually the first signs of scrapie is seen when the animal is 2-5 years old. Once the first symptoms are seen, the animal only lived a matter of months. Actions are being done to eradicate scrapie from Canada. Some breeds are less susceptible to the disease, but an alternative is blood sampling to identify sheep at risk. Another interesting topic was respiratory lesions. Stats were given about the prevalence across Canada, and pictures showing the severity of the lesions.

Last summer I had the opportunity to work at a farrow to wean sow operation and was involved in decreasing piglet mortality so one of the sessions I would be interested in learning more about, but didn't get the opportunity to this year was kid/lamb mortality. I would highly recommend attending this conference to everyone!