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HomeFarming NewsA risk of reduced availability/high cost of strong iodine for navel dressing
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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A risk of reduced availability/high cost of strong iodine for navel dressing

A veterinary body has warned that there is “a risk of reduced availability/high cost” of strong iodine for navel dressing in spring 2023.

The Sheep Veterinary Society – which is based in the UK – has issued the warning on foot on production ceasing at the main source in Chile, which, the vets say, could cause prices to quadruple.

Lower iodine concentrations (often quoted as below 7%) are considered to be less effective in drying and disinfecting the navel, the group has urged farmers.

Navel dressing is important; however, remember that most cases of joint ill and other bacteremic conditions follow the invasion of bacteria via the tonsils or intestinal tract from a heavily contaminated environment, the group outlined.

A statement from the body reads the most important things flock keepers can do to avoid these conditions are:

  • Ensure an adequate supply of quality colostrum;
  • Manage the body condition score and nutrition of pregnant ewes;
  • Ensure good colostrum intake;
  • Provide a clean and dry lambing environment.
Vet consultant comments

During a webinar on lambing demonstrating best practices for sheep farmers, hosted by the National Sheep Association earlier this week, Fiona Lovatt of Flock Health LTD – a sheep veterinary consultancy business – capitalised on the above statement:

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“Navel treatments are important. We have heard that there is an issue with iodine potentially this year particularly, so it may be very expensive.”

“We know in recent years, there have been a number of iodines on the market which have not been decent 10% BP, good iodine.”

“A brown liquid with some iodine in it is not necessarily good enough for treating lamb’s navels.”

“So, therefore, the key most important thing is that the navel dries really quickly. So this 10% iodine will have some sort of alcohol in there to really dry the navel quickly.”

“If you cannot get hold of iodine, there are a number of different items available. Talk to your local vet or agri merchant about.”

“It is important that you know what is in there and you can see that it dries the navel quickly. Make sure that it is properly covered all around that it is not just straight on, which is why some people recommend dipping navels over spraying,” she concluded.

Previous article on That’s Farming on Plan, prevent and protect: The 3 Ps of lambing success

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