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Author Topic: Genetic abnormalities in lamb. Cerebellar hypoplasia??  (Read 382 times)

crobertson

  • Joined Sep 2015
Genetic abnormalities in lamb. Cerebellar hypoplasia??
« on: July 22, 2020, 10:29:56 pm »
Just looking for advise / experiences with generally abnormal lambs.

We'd had a male lamb who since birth has just not been right. Nicknamed Chernobyl he had always been odd compared to the rest, smaller and slighter in build, poor confirmation, very poorly marked for the breed and quite a small narrow head, often looks a bit spaced out and has a unusual, higher pitched bleet.

However he has seemed pretty happy and has quite an attentive mum (and completely normal twin) who both seem to keep close / return often to him, every morning he is cuddled into mum etc has suckled fine, wondered around fine and occasionally comes for a pat on the head.

Now the ewes are starting to self wean the lambs it is becoming really obvious he is falling behind the rest. He isn't really growing and has gone quite thin. Last week I noticed he had green mushed up grass dripping from his mouth, checked for undershot/overshot but fine. Yesterday he looked lame so I sat him on his bum which he seemed to be in extreme discomfort with, hooves were fine and he headed straight to the corner to lie down. Tonight he was rather lethargic and since the sitting him on his bum has foul smelling liquid scour and walked slightly uncoordinated.

Any ideas? All other ewes and lambs (including his twin) are completely normal. Lambs wormed about 4 weeks ago, fully vaccinated with Heptavac.

We all know he's never been right and I'm surprised he's made it this far but I'd hate to see him suffer. I'm due to take one of the dogs the vets on Saturday and my take him too if no improvement.

Thanks in advance
« Last Edit: July 22, 2020, 10:35:21 pm by crobertson »

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Genetic abnormalities in lamb. Cerebellar hypoplasia??
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2020, 10:53:49 pm »
What’s its wool like- is it hairy ? Does it tremour/shake? If so could be border disease? Having seen calves with BVD (similar virus) they are very poor doers, susceptible to all kinds of infections, poor conformation, born small.

[/size][size=78%]Probably worth a look from the vet. [/size]

crobertson

  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: Genetic abnormalities in lamb. Cerebellar hypoplasia??
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2020, 11:01:49 pm »
Hi twizzel thanks for the reply.

I have looked into border disease but he's never tremored, fitted, has normal smooth fleece. We've had our ewes for several years, don't buy in any replacements (other than occasional tup) and they dont come into contact with any other sheep or cattle so I can't see how they would get it either.

Think I'll ask the vets to look at him anyway for my own piece of mind!

silkwoodzwartbles

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Genetic abnormalities in lamb. Cerebellar hypoplasia??
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2020, 07:09:24 am »
Curious to know what the vet says, so following. Not something I've come across so purely interested and hoping you get an answer  :fc:

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Genetic abnormalities in lamb. Cerebellar hypoplasia??
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2020, 10:16:02 am »
I'm afraid I would make a decision based on the finances :/ The lamb is IMO not likely to recover and what is the likely outcome. He may take a lot of time, money, treatment and feed to get him to a slaughter weight. I would ask fallen stock to dispatch and take him away, which is usually around £25, the vet visit and treatment is unlikely to be less than £75 and then his chances of surviving are slim where you will ave to pay the £25 collection fee in any case.
 
I make those judgements based on my sheep being comercial sheep, rather than pets. If your sheep are pets and the lamb will also be a pet then of course I would ask the vet to step in for advice.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Genetic abnormalities in lamb. Cerebellar hypoplasia??
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2020, 11:23:17 am »
I'm afraid I would make a decision based on the finances :/ The lamb is IMO not likely to recover and what is the likely outcome. He may take a lot of time, money, treatment and feed to get him to a slaughter weight. I would ask fallen stock to dispatch and take him away, which is usually around £25, the vet visit and treatment is unlikely to be less than £75 and then his chances of surviving are slim where you will ave to pay the £25 collection fee in any case.
 
I make those judgements based on my sheep being comercial sheep, rather than pets. If your sheep are pets and the lamb will also be a pet then of course I would ask the vet to step in for advice.


Agreed- a PM would be well be worth doing though. Maybe bloods before he's put down to rule out any nasty diseases that could be affecting the rest of the flock or could affect future born lambs.


R.e. borders disease very unlikely but thought it worth a mention. If he was hairy or had tremors then would definitely ring alarm bells.

crobertson

  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: Genetic abnormalities in lamb. Cerebellar hypoplasia??
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2020, 08:48:02 pm »
Just to let you guys know we took the lamb to the vets yesterday who agreed that putting him to sleep was the kindest option.

They think he definitely had some form of brain abnormality, whether this was a genetic disorder from birth, lack of oxygen at lambing, a breed on the brain or hypoplasia where the brain just hasn't formed right. They also think he had some vagal / phargeal nerve dysfunction / paralysis causing the dribbling of green mush/liquid from his mouth (possibly due to the lack of brain development).

They agree that although hes managed up to now with his very attentive mum, now she has kicked him away he'll just continue to go down bank until he died so the kindest thing was to pts.


Possum

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Somerset
Re: Genetic abnormalities in lamb. Cerebellar hypoplasia??
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2020, 08:43:25 am »
I know this was difficult for you, but I'm sure you have done the right thing. Well done!  :hug: :bouquet:

 
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