Monday 16 September, 2013
We have roughly 8 acres of grazing on a smallholding about 4 miles away. Until Saturday, all we had up there was our two bullocks, our tup and our wether, Dickie. The folk that own the place check them every day and give them fresh water. I pop up twice a week to say “hello”.
Late Saturday morning, we took the eight tup lambs up there – they’ll be there until they go for slaughter on 16th October. We moved the bullocks into the fresh field with the lambs, and went for a chat with Nemo and Dickie.
Oops! It was clear all was not well with the Dixter. Ears down, groaning, teeth grinding :-( - not good. Texted Alan to check that he’d been OK on Friday (he had) and phoned the vet. Dan went home to get the fluke drench and the wormer.
Vet arrived; checked temperature – 106. Something bad going on; Dickie very tender about the abdomen / liver area. On the plus side, he wasn’t jaundiced, his eyes were bright and his immune system seemed to be working – the high temperature indicates that the body is fighting infection.
Vet jagged Dickie with Closamectin worm and fluke treatment, pen&strep and an anti-inflammatory. I’ve to repeat the pen&strep daily for five days.
We were relieved to see Dickie have a drink of water but it’s important that we keep him eating, or the rumen will start to shut down. So, it was back up with oatcakes, digestive biscuits, ivy leaves and wholemeal bread with Marmite. Phew, he was happy to have a nibble on them all.
Dan went back up at dusk last night and gave him more biscuits and ivy leaves.
I went up at 7am with biscuits and ivy – he seemed neither better nor worse. Dan and I went back at 2pm to administer the pen&strep, taking ivy and biscuits but he didn’t seem awfully keen and I returned home feeling a bit despondent.
However, I’ve just been up again (8pm) and he’s looking much chirpier – he greeted me with a “baa”, came to the fence and tore into some raspberry leaves, apple slices and herbal horse treats. In fact, so keen was he to get to them that he nearly got his head stuck in the fence. :-)
So, hopefully he’s turned the corner. Three more days of pen&strep, but he’s a good patient. Tomorrow, I’m taking a faecal worm sample from the lambs to the vet and picking up a dose of Closamectin for Nemo; I would have been fluking him this month anyway, in preparation for tupping, but the active ingredients in Closamectin are different to the ones we’ve used here before and it’s a “better safe than sorry” job. :-)