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Author Topic: cade lamb problems  (Read 318 times)


  • Joined Nov 2017
cade lamb problems
« on: June 07, 2019, 10:56:10 pm »
hi, having sought advice here before i thought i would give my recent experience as when i needed advice there was so much differing advice about.
isnt it the way poor soon to be castrated lamb ( 7 weeks north ron) took a turn and got what i diagnosed as abomasal bloat (no vet available to visit). i have bottle reared lambs before and sadly lost a few. This lad was well grown and strong, it turned out my neighbours who fed him while i was out for the day had an issue but didnt tell me. That eve he was off his feed and bloated (they maybe let him drink too fast). The next day he was still willing to drink from the bottle, but lethargic and i injected with antibiotic (to kill gut bacteria fermentation) and anti inflammatory. as well as ranatidine (oral which i had on script for a goat on daily arthiritis meds to stop gut ulcers). He def seemed improved 30mins after the ranatidine- indeed he was snoozing without tooth grinding, and even chewing the cud. BUT by the next morn he was weak, tooth grinding again, off food and scouring badly. I rang the vet. I had taken him off milk the day before thinking that would make the scouring worse but the vet said milk was needed for the lamb to have energy so i commenced milk (force) feeding. By the end of the day the lamb was actively seeking the bottle again. He did so all night and the next day his scours had stopped and he was feeding as normal.
what i did-day one 20ml oil in electrolytes (actively drunk)
penecillin and anti inflammatory injections and oral ranatidine (zantac)
electroylytes every 2 hours, to replace milk feeds (wee lamb 50ml a time- if not drunk vet recommended tube feeding)
day two- give milk every other feed- lamb relapsed and not feeding again
i gave zactran antibiotic on the second day ( i already had it for pneumonia) under advice from vet and the alternate force syringing of electrolyte and milk. By 4pm lamb was actively seeking bottle for feeding and continued to strengthen from then on.
conclusion: i use ranatidine for my own stomach acid pains and used for a goat on daily metacam to prevent ulcers, but there is no research on its benefits to sheep with gut issues. I always use anti inflammatories along with antibiotics now after research shows response in illness is better with pain relief, ranatidine will prevent side effects from anti inflammatories.
I have used zactran for respiratory issues and it had a very quick effect. The vet said to use it (despite research saying it would not target bugs in the gut). Yet the lamb came round within 12 hours- maybe all illnesses affect the lungs so this drug helps. I have started to see this as a saviour drug but my research does not show it to have a generic effect so only good for respiratory issues.
My 7 week old ram lamb is acting like he was not at deaths door two days ago. Anyone else have experience of using a) ranatidine and b) zactran. i am glad i had both in my medicine cupboard,but i wish there were,some research  to see wnat the wide ranging effects of these drugs might be to farm animals.  i wish everyone a healthy lambing and long may us small scale sheep keepers encourage our vets to keep up with medicine research for our animals! :)
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: cade lamb problems
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2019, 05:38:26 am »
Hi, no experience with the drugs you mention, but it struck me that on day 2 of the bloat you say he was cudding.. I think if it was me I would of either totally restricted his intake to either milk only, or hard feed only, but not the 2 combined. At 7 weeks old I would of probably stopped milk. Your vets advice confuses me saying that the lamb would need the milk at that age as most bottle fed lambs would be weaned or close to it by then?

I wonder if your neighbour fed milk that was heated up too much? Glad the lamb has survived tho :)


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