Scrapie - Advisory Notes for Farmers (PB9446)

Clinical signs of scrapie


  • repeated rubbing of flanks and hindquarters against objects such as fences, posts or hay racks
  • repeated scratching of the flanks
  • nibbling or grinding teeth when rubbing themselves or when rubbed firmly on the back
  • continued scratching of the shoulder or ear with a hind foot
  • unusual or agitated nibbling of the feet, legs or other parts of the body
  • excessive wool loss or damage to the skin

Changes in behaviour

  • becoming excitable
  • drooping ears
  • increased nervousness or fear response
  • lagging behind
  • aggression
  • depression or vacant stare

Changes in posture and movement

  • trembling (mainly of the head)
  • unusual high stepping trot in early stages
  • severe incoordination
  • stumbling
  • standing awkwardly
  • weak hind legs
  • unable to stand

Later clinical signs

  • weight loss
  • death
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