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Author Topic: Lamb that can’t walk properly  (Read 940 times)

tommytink

  • Joined Aug 2018
Lamb that can’t walk properly
« on: March 12, 2020, 07:58:07 am »
Last ewe had twins yesterday. She was not progressing so pulled first lamb. It was a job as it was a tight exit. Second lamb was coming backwards. Pulled as well. She cleaned them but noticed when second lamb tried to stand his back legs weren’t working properly. I thought something was broken. He also got a bit cold so fully dried him and put him under lamp.

Had vet out who detected no breaks. No dislocation. He did have sensation in his feet. They said either pts or could try an anti-inflammatory as they said it could be swelling around nerves. After he got warm he was eager to move and get a drink which we helped him with. Because of this I felt he should have a chance.

Throughout the day and night we helped him get a drink but the although she will allow him to suck with us there the ewe really doesn’t seem to like him. When he moves towards her she shies away and nudges him back with her head. But the nudges are getting harder. The other lamb is a lot bigger but pretty quiet. I understand the birth was probably difficult for them all. The second lamb with the leg issue looks quite underdeveloped compared to the first. The ewe had a shot of AB/AI midday.

This morning she has not eaten her cake which is worrying me as they usually hoover it up. She ate it yesterday, and had hay, drank and was passing out the other end okay. Could the poorly lamb being there have an affect on her? Someone suggested tying her to the pen if she wasn’t taking to it, but would think that would only be if the lamb was independently trying to drink and getting pushed away.

The vet said leave the lamb till Friday and if no better pts. I don’t know whether to take him out of the pen now and bottle him and see if she improves? If I do that do I just put him in a pen by himself? I had him in the one next door to her last night for a few minutes and he just tried to get back in. Sad as he baas sometimes when she baas and tries to go to her but she is not interested. It’s like she thinks it’s not her lamb, or as we think she senses he’s not right and doesn’t want to bother with him.

I feel like we are finishing lambing these girls as we started  :'(
Voss Electric Fence

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Lamb that can’t walk properly
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2020, 08:45:06 am »
Sounds like she’s rejecting it and knows it’s not 100%. If she’s butting it I would take it away and bottle feed for it’s own safety, put it under a lamp, and then re-evaluate tomorrow whether to put it down or if it has got up then carry on bottle feeding.


Did the ewe cleanse ok? She’s had abs so not much else you can do. Maybe try some coarse mix if she’s not touching ewe nuts. Sometimes they will go off their feed for 24 hours after lambing especially if they are feeling a bit sore.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Lamb that can’t walk properly
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2020, 09:06:36 am »

Is the lamb improving in terms of standing and walking? If that is a yes I would keep them with the ewe and persevere with the feeding. If it is not improving or likely to worsen because the ewe is attacking it then remove and bottle feed. Massage the legs. It's not uncommon with multiple births where some lambs are bigger that one might need some time to get legs working properly.


Is the ewe taking hay? Leave feed with her and monitor.

tommytink

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Lamb that can’t walk properly
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2020, 09:23:23 am »
I’ve popped him in the next pen with the lamp on him. She’ll still let him suck but only because we’re helping but I’m worried she’s going to hurt him. Got some powdered colostrum but think I’d need some milk replacer now he’s 24 hours?

She’s laid down and let me stroke her head which isn’t normal. Looking at the info I have about problems it says metritis causes sheep not to eat and look depressed with no interest in lambs. She does show interest in the first one though. It also says they’d often have a swollen vulva and smelly discharge which I can’t see. As you say I gave her the jab yesterday so not sure what else could be done. She did clense okay. Two after births. And I did check her and she didn’t have any more. And I used a long glove so wasn’t putting bare hands in or anything and no sign of infection.

Little lamb is on all fours this morning and his back right seems to be firmer in place. The back left still looks like it’s double-jointed but he’s more walking than scooting about. I will massage and do a bit of physio on him. He definitely has energy. Our main concern is that he’s not in any pain but whatever the vet gave him lasts for 48-72 hours.

I’ve got some some show mix which we got for the ram which I think must be the coarse mix. It looks like a cross between normal ewe nuts and hamster food.

I found this page about bottle feeding. Is this what I should follow? https://www.lamlac.co.uk/lambing-advice/view,feeding-lambs-milk-replacer-getting-it-right_13.htm

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Lamb that can’t walk properly
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2020, 09:50:22 am »

Get a bag of milk at the feed store and follow the instructions on it. As it has been sucking it should have had colostrum. Once you remove and start bottling there is no going back.


Check the bag on your ewe is ok. Give your vet a ring if you are worried.




bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Lamb that can’t walk properly
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2020, 11:44:23 am »
I think I would ask your vet for a long acting antibiotic for the ewe, it sounds like she's porly. The ewe is rejecting the lamb and I would think his precence there is upsetting her. I would take well away from the ewe as even though she doesn't want him she will answer its calls and upset the lamb. Try bottle feeding him and he may improve, lambs grow fast and heal quickly!

tommytink

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Lamb that can’t walk properly
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2020, 12:12:20 pm »
Ewe had a couple of nibbles of the mix. Left the bucket in there. She has taken some hay. Got both lambs on teat. Bigger one is either a lazy sucker or full. Not sure how much milk she has, she doesn’t look as swollen as one of the others with twins, but when I checked there is milk there on both sides. Going to pick up some milk replacement anyway, so will take some of the strain off her as well only having one to worry about.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Lamb that can’t walk properly
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2020, 01:28:59 pm »
You could always pick some grass or ivy for her to get her eating but if she’s not looking any better tomorrow might be worth a call to the vet.

tommytink

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Lamb that can’t walk properly
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2020, 04:09:23 pm »
She’s eaten some grass and a bit more hay. Don’t think she’s drinking much if at all.

Will continue monitoring her and may just give vet a quick call. Going to get her temp first.

On a side note regards bottle feeding. I have Nettex non-vac bottles. I cut the tip of the teat of and nothing came out when tipped upside down. Lamb didn’t seem to get anything out of it when sucking. OH sliced more off but think it was too much as when I tipped bottle upside down it ran out of hole. Or is that right? 

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Lamb that can’t walk properly
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2020, 04:15:45 pm »
Yes, I don't like using those bottles for exactly that reason, unless the lamb sucks nothing comes out..

I use the Ritchie teats, they screw onto pop bottles but if the lamb won't suck you can gently squeese the bottle and it fills the lambs mouth with milk and hopefully stimulates it to drink, or swallow some milk at least

tommytink

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Lamb that can’t walk properly
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2020, 04:57:51 pm »
So it definitely shouldn’t pour out when held upside down then?!

Lamb was sucking teat okay. Any tricks to get them to suck on one of these? (Apart from buy a different bottle, these are the only ones I’ve got for today at least).

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Lamb that can’t walk properly
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2020, 05:03:54 pm »
Sit on a bale and lie the lamb across your legs, put the teat in its mouth then hold it in the mouth by cupping under the chin/holding bottle at the same time. With your other arm hold the lamb still. The lamb needs to be hungry though. I too use the little screw on teats, they are yellow with a red rubber teat, much better than the non vac ones for little mouths.

tommytink

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Lamb that can’t walk properly
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2020, 05:39:34 pm »
I might pick a couple up of the red teat ones tomorrow then and try and make do with these until then.

Regards feeding. Lamlac has max 1 litre a day. He already had something from the ewe this morning although I don’t know how much. Because he’s little I was going to do 5x 200ml feeds. What sort of timings would be good? Someone said they don’t get up in the night and just do last thing and first thing (although don’t know what times these are). Was thinking 6am, 10, 2, 6 and 10. Is 10 at night till 6 in the morning too long to wait? Should I space them out more? I don’t have children so have never had to bottle feed anything before.

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Lamb that can’t walk properly
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2020, 05:44:14 pm »
I find that you really need a good gap between feeds or they just won't take the bottle. I usually start with 200ml feeds and as soon as they take 200ml, put it up to 250ml the next feed. The first feed you'll be lucky if they take 100ml.

I feed mine at 7am, 11.30, 4.30 and 9.30. I keep them on their own in a dog crate with a heat lamb until they take the bottle then they can join the others.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Lamb that can’t walk properly
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2020, 06:08:11 pm »
Your vet should really have given a painkiller - you just pulled out two lambs from her when she probably wasn't ready yet and she will be in a lot of pain. That's what metacam is for, sadly most (male)vets and sheep farmers don't think that sheep deserve painkillers after a difficult birth!

 

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