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Author Topic: Possible watery mouth in young lamb  (Read 328 times)

SafeHaven

  • Joined Mar 2017
Possible watery mouth in young lamb
« on: May 17, 2019, 09:17:47 am »
My partner came home the other day with an emaciated lamb he found wobbling up the road. Couldn’t see any sheep around or an obvious place it had come from so he brought it home. Lamb took some milk from a bottle and seemed to brighten up but then stopped. He was continuing to pee and poo but overall getting weaker, wobbly, dropping head, etc. I took him to the vet who said he was dehydrated and tubed him some electrolyte solution and gave him antibiotics. His mouth is wet so suspects watery mouth. Instructed me to alternate 180ml of electrolytes and lamlac by tube every six hours, for 24 hours, then lamlac after that. I gave him lamlac last night and his second electrolyte dose at 5am this morning. Next lamlac in a few hours, by bottle if he’ll take it, tube if he’s still weak.

Currently still very weak but diarrhoea has stopped. He’s approximately a week old. I know I’m fighting a losing battle but wondered if anyone had any tips or advice as to what I might do to help this little cherub?
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SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Possible watery mouth in young lamb
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 09:52:19 am »
Sounds like you are doing the right things.

You’ll know, I’m sure, that the chances of his making a full recovery and reaching adulthood are not great, after his poor start.  But some of them do survive, and if he had enough of his mum’s colostrum before he got lost, he may well pull through.  Be aware though, that many such grow well for some weeks, then founder after a couple of months.  Pointless to tell you not to get too attached, I know.

Assuming he rallies from this and starts to be a typical bouncy healthy lamb, then as well as milk as per the bag, he will need :

- a little fresh hay every day to chew on, essential for rumen development
- company of his own kind; once you’re sure he’s pulled through, best get a pair of orphan lambs, then if any one dies the others still have company
- after three weeks of age, vaccinations. 

You’ve got some land?  Are you thinking of growing him/them on yourself or will you need to find a farmer to take him/them?
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SafeHaven

  • Joined Mar 2017
Re: Possible watery mouth in young lamb
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 12:47:04 pm »
Hi there, thanks for the insights. Yes I do have land, and in fact, some sheep of my own, with lambs. This is my second year having sheep and still learning. Mine have never had illnesses like these, though I have read about them. With no first hand experience though, I have nothing instinctual to draw from.

I have kept this lamb well away from my little flock so as not to tempt cross contamination and wash my hands after contacting the lamb. He’s indoors in a little pen with a heater as he was slightly hypothermic.

Today he surprised me by bleating quite a bit and when I opened the door of the pen he tried to walk out. I lifted him out and he promptly went exploring my living and dining rooms. First time he’s done that. At his next feed I tried the bottle again but he wouldn’t take it, so I tubed lamlac and he went floppy again, hanging his head, etc. That caused milk to come up and he started sneezing out milk. I’m sure I tubed the right place because some stomach juice came up when I was feeding it in and his belly is full. I think he’s sneezed out any excess now and is sleeping.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 12:54:24 pm by SafeHaven »

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Possible watery mouth in young lamb
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 01:09:36 pm »
Watery mouth is caused by ecoli which is killed by oxytetracycline, so some Alamycin would help treat it, or Spectam can be used to treat too. The ecoli bacteria feeds off milk so best to switch to electrolytes until he’s better.

SafeHaven

  • Joined Mar 2017
Re: Possible watery mouth in young lamb
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 01:29:19 pm »
He had alamycin at the vets. I have more in the cupboard, but don’t know when it’s safe to give another dose if needed. I know he only had .5 ml at the vets.

Now I’m worried he’s aspirated some milk as he’s still sneezing out milk and his breathing is a little noisy, where it wasn’t before. I tipped him forward and more milk came out his nose, so whether it’s from his belly or his lungs, I don’t know. He was struggling when he was being tubed so maybe it got pulled up a little and milk went where it shouldn’t. I really don’t know.  God this is hard.

Is there anything else I should do?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Possible watery mouth in young lamb
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2019, 07:37:04 pm »
As well as making sure the tube is in the stomach not the lungs - measuring the length you expect to need, watching it going down the front of the neck; if you can’t see it it isn’t right, and listen for absence of breath sounds once the tube is in position, all of which I am sure the vet showed you - you need to be sure you don’t overfill the tiny stomach, or the milk will overflow into the rumen and make him ill again, and or back up the oesophagus and into the lungs.  Also he must be in the correct position and holding his head up when you feed or gravity will take control and take the milk where you don’t want it.  He absolutely should’nt be lying down when you tube.  And all the milk in the tube needs to have gone down into the stomach before you withdraw the tube, or again, it will leak out as the tube comes up and go in the wrong place. If you’ve overestimated, the stomach is full and there’s still milk in the tube, put your finger over the open end to make a vacuum, and hopefully most of the milk should stay where it is as you swiftly withdraw the tube. 

If he’s bright and bleating now, I’d be working on getting him to take the bottle.  He will probably inhale a little milk while he learns, and it’s not ideal, but you can’t tube him forever.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SafeHaven

  • Joined Mar 2017
Re: Possible watery mouth in young lamb
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2019, 10:56:11 pm »
It’s a total roller coaster. He had pretty much collapsed at 6pm. Like a rag doll. We had to go out but I was sure he was dying. Decided to give him some electrolyte as a parting shot. Came home to a live lamb who had moved in his cage. Helped him to his feet and put some hay in front of him. He lit right up and started munching hay. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Then gave him a bottle with some electrolyte and he drank it. He’s been on his feet, bleating and holding his head up by himself. I really don’t know what to expect from minute to minute.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Possible watery mouth in young lamb
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2019, 07:47:10 am »
Keep on with electrolytes and don’t feed milk until he is better. The milk will make watery mouth worse if that is indeed what he’s got.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Possible watery mouth in young lamb
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2019, 12:38:33 pm »
Sounding very promising. :fc:   

I’d usually give them 48 hours on electrolytes (PSF or rehydion) only (not do a half and half), as twiz says, but you said the diarrhoea had cleared up?  In which case he should be fine on milk now. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Possible watery mouth in young lamb
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2019, 02:30:59 pm »
I would also add some natural yoghurt to the milk to add some good bacteria after all those antibiotics.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

 

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