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Ovine Pulmonary Adenocarcinoma – OPA

Ovine Pulmonary Adenocarcinoma is caused by a virus leading to a progressive and fatal infectious lung cancer of sheep.

The virus is spread from infected sheep by aerosol and nasal discharge. It is often seen in older thin sheep. There is no treatment.

The signs are very similar to chronic pneumonia:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weight loss
  • Excessive watery fluid from the nose
  • Sudden death
  • Secondary infections such as Pasteurella are common.


Once signs are evident the disease is fatal.

The definitive diagnosis is made by post mortem examination of the lungs.

If there is suspected OPA ultrasound examination of the lungs can be considered.

If you wish to discuss further, please call our Farm Team on 01772 861300