®Registered trademark. Schering-Plough Animal Health Ltd.
Phone: 0800 800 543. www.msd-animal-health.co.nz


Vaccinating with Toxovax has been shown to help prevent losses caused by Toxoplasmosis induced abortion storms and the lowered reproductive performance of affected ewes.

Vaccinations need to be timed around the date you plan to introduce the ram.  Your vet can help plan an appropriate vaccination schedule for your farm to take control of your flocks performance.

Toxovax is a single dose vaccine that provides breeding ewes with lifetime protection against the effects of Toxoplasmosis. Vaccination with Toxovax increases lambing percentage by an average of 3% and decreases the incidence of dry ewes by an average of 14%.

Toxovax is a live vaccine, has a short shelf life and is made to order. Please order your Toxovax from your vet clinic at least four weeks before you need to use it, which should be at least 8 weeks before mating, to ensure supply.


Toxoplasmosis in susceptible breeding ewes causes abortions, stillbirths and neonatal deaths. Research indicates that ewes infected with Toxoplasma in early gestation experience fetal death and resorption. This is often mistaken for ewe infertility and results in the unnecessary culling of otherwise fertile animals. Ewes infected in mid-gestation or later are likely to abort, or give birth to stillborn or weak lambs that fail to thrive.


  • Occurs everywhere in New Zealand.
  • Ewe hoggets and two tooths are most at risk.
  • The life cycle of Toxoplasmosis involves wild birds and rodents who have cysts in their muscle and are then eaten by cats. Cats then pass out the infective stage of the life cycle directly onto pasture or hay via faeces. Sheep grazing on this contaminated pasture or hay can pick up the disease, and if this occurs for the first time during pregnancy, abortions can occur.
  • Any susceptible ewe that contracts Toxoplasmosis during pregnancy is at risk:
    At early gestation - embryonic loss or reabsorption.
    Mid gestation - fetal death, mummification and abortion.
    Late gestation - birth of weak, non-viable lambs.

Often the farmer sees a reduced scanning percentage and a lot of late or dry ewes. Abortions are not always seen.