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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

Recapitulation of Causes of Failure in a Cure

Recapitulation of Causes of Failure in a Cure.

Although nothing is more certain than that the process now detailed is with care, punctuality, and attention, not only a positive cure, but also a lasting disinfectant, it must be continually borne in mind, that if one sheep be omitted or is insufficiently dressed, the greater part of the labour will be lost.

It is imperative, therefore, that the person superintending the operation should be keenly alive to the responsibility devolving upon him. He will have to look after everything, and everybody, and he must see that the dressings are correctly and carefully made up and applied to every doubtful and infected sheep on the run. It is utterly needless for careless sheepowners or superintendents to attempt to cure sheep of scab.

page 168
To those, however, who will take the necessary pains, but who are as yet little acquainted with the process of dipping, it may be useful to mention briefly the chief causes of the numerous failures which have occurred in the attempts made to cure sheep with tobacco and sulphur. They may be enumerated as follows:—
1.Leaving sheep, especially crawlers, which are unable to follow the flock to the dip out on the run, and thus omitting to dress them, or neglecting to destroy the carcases of infected sheep which may have died on the run. Before dipping is commenced every crawler should be killed and burned, and a careful account should be taken some three or four times at least, immediately before dipping, of all sheep on the run, to ascertain their actual number beyond the possibility of a doubt, with which the number dipped must be made to tally exactly, while a thorough search should be made for dead sheep, which should be burned where found.
2.Using Inferior Tobacco.—There wall be little or no difficulty with respect to the quality of imported manufactured or leaf tobacco, and the colonial leaf must be well sweated and tough in texture.
3.Omitting to keep the mixture at the proper strength and heat.—The overseer until he can thoroughly depend on the man at the boilers, must see personally that the proper quantities of tobacco and sulphur are weighed out, and the replenishing of the dips and heat of the mixture are correctly attended to.
4.Neglecting to form a "diseased" flock of those sheep which are very badly scabbed.
5.Allowing sheep to pass from the dip before the mixture has been thoroughly applied to them, or before it has had time to do its work, especially as it becomes cool. The overseer ought to time the operation, watch in hand, and the heat should be frequently tested with the thermometer.
6.Neglecting to dip within the proper time.
7.Being in too great a hurry to draft, or class sheep which although apparently clean, have not served their proper probation, and taking sheep from one flock and putting them in another. This is very imprudent, as it may happen that though the cure is perfect in one flock it is not in the other, and thus both lots would be again contaminated.