After-hours/Emergency Phone: 07 573 7606

07 573 7606

Te Puke Veterinary Centre Ltd

Facial Eczema

16 April 2018

Spore counts remain dangerous with high counts recorded at Maketu, Pangaroa, Kaikokopu and Otamarakau. Numerous clinical cases are being seen and many deaths have resulted from facial eczema. Conditions remain favourable for spore growth especially on the flats, and the risk of Facial Eczema is high. Preventative measures should continue to be taken.


See below for the current Facial Eczema risk for the Te Puke area. For more detailed information on the most recent spore counts close to you, please click on the indicator below. 


Te Puke District Facial Eczema Danger Indicator



Facial Eczema (FE) is a debilitating disease in cattle and sheep which causes lowered production, skin irritation/peeling and even death. Pithomyces chartarum is a fungus which grows in the dead litter at the base of pasture in the warm moist conditions of summer and autumn. Its spores produce the toxin (sporisdesmin) which result in liver damage and the clinical signs of FE.

There is no cure for FE so prevention is the only way of protecting animals. If you are seeing animals
that are showing the clinical signs of FE, it is likely there is a large percentage of the herd/flock that are subclinically affected (no outward signs, but still getting liver damage). Prevention is based largely around dosing animals with zinc oxide (either with water treatments or boluses), use of a pasture fungicide, or using alternative sources of feed.


Spore counting pasture is another key part to prevention and provides us warning as to when the high risk periods are upon us. A prevention plan needs to be in place before eczema spores are found.


For further advice around the management of facial eczema, please contact us at the clinic.


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