Pneumonia in Wild Sheep

Pneumonia is the most prevalent and devastating disease syndrome in bighorn sheep. Some wild sheep populations have a history of large-scale die-offs because of pneumonia outbreaks. Some of these outbreaks happened directly after contact with domestic sheep or goats.

Historically, domestic sheep and goats have evolved in herd situations where these organisms are commonly found. Wild sheep are especially vulnerable to pneumonia as they have not had the same exposure. Domestic sheep and goats located near wild sheep territory can therefore pose a problem if not managed appropriately, with proper barriers to prevent interactions between wild and domestic species.