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Author Topic: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay  (Read 8278 times)

Burrwoodfm

  • Joined Apr 2012
Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« on: June 19, 2012, 09:09:33 am »
Hi Everyone - after we initially thought that our pet North Ronaldsay wether had foxglove poisoning, we now know it is copper poisoning, which I am absolutely devastated about.  The vet has just been out, and it is very advanced, and he is jaundiced. Is there anything at all I can do to help him?  The vet said it would be a miracle if he recovered, but I just can't give up on him?
Voss Electric Fence

moprabbit

  • Joined Oct 2011
  • North Notts
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2012, 09:42:24 am »
I'm so sorry to hear about your sheep. I've looked in my sheep book and it says ...'some success has been had with administering a copper antagonist ( a chemical called tetrathiomolybdate). I've very little knowledge about sheep problems - I rely heavily on this forum and on my vet, but  having 4 pet sheep myself I know how devastated you will be feeling and will want to do anything you can to help your little boy. I'm rooting for him.
4 pet sheep

omnipeasant

  • Joined May 2012
  • Llangurig , Mid Wales
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2012, 09:45:50 am »
Miracles do happen. Keep him hydrated as dehydration kills quickest if he is too lethargic to eat and drink. Everything here is crossed for him. Hope being a Ronaldsay he has the will to live which is so important.

Burrwoodfm

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2012, 09:59:43 am »
Thank you so much.  How do I hydrate him - by syringe?  He sooo lethargic - his eyes are fixed and he is breathing heavily, with this head down.

Haylo-peapod

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2012, 10:14:06 am »
Yes a syringe would work.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2012, 10:18:19 am »
A syringe will do, but a drenching gun would be better, if you have one.
It may be beneficial to add some glucose - 1level dessertspoonful/pint of water as this will give him some energy if he's not eating, and keep his rumen going. Give the water warm.
By the way, how did the copper poisoning happen? 
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2012, 10:29:14 am »
We had copper poisoning in a ewe many years ago, she was so bad she went yellow in her eyes. Our vet gave her a chemical that bound up the copper and was usually used in the heavy plant industry. We had to sign a disclaimer to say there would be no come back if she died.
I can't remember the name of the stuff but it was injected IV and was supposed to bind up any loose copper in her blood stream.
She survived and went on to breed a lamb and remained a pet for many years afterwards.
Try asking your vet if he knows the stuff or  look on internet

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2012, 10:46:42 am »
Could have been EDTA.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

omnipeasant

  • Joined May 2012
  • Llangurig , Mid Wales
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2012, 02:08:48 pm »
If you are using lifeaid or another rehydration fluid you don't need to add glucose it is already in there. If you don't have success with the syringe you need a short tube of some kind on the end to make it easier to get over his tongue, but be very careful if he fights you as he could inhale the liquid. Slowly does it. You could even try a teat on a bottle, it has worked for me.

These rehydration fluids can be bought at the vet to mix up into a litre or so.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2012, 02:34:49 pm »
Best of luck with your little sheep Burrwoodfm  :bouquet:

It's worth mentioning in this thread that some breeds of sheep are particularly sensitive to copper, while many
need copper supplementation. 

The whole of the UK is copper deficient; I'm not sure if some are more deficient than others, or all much of a muchness.

Copper is needed by sheep to thrive, and specifically and especially by pregnant ewes to develop the foetal skeletal system; lambs which were copper deprived in utero can be born with or develop swayback, as their skeleton is not strong enough to support their growing bodies.

Many general purpose sheep mineral drenches contain copper; copper is also often present in sheep feed and can be administered by injection, bolus, capsule or other medical method.

Too much copper is more dangerous than insufficient.  Some breeds of sheep are naturally adapted to manage with no additonal copper and can be poisoned by being given dietary or medicinal copper.  The most well-known such breed is the Texel.

Much higher levels of copper will be present in cattle feed - generally enough to poison most sheep if eaten routinely or to excess.  Many cattle licks will also contain copper at levels which would be dangerous to sheep.

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

Burrwoodfm

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2012, 12:50:32 pm »
Hi Everyone.  Thank you so much for your replies.  We lost him shortly after my post yesterday.  I am absolutely heartbroken.  I have never known a sheep like him.  He was silly tame - would sit with you, kiss you, was desperate to be around people.  Unfortunately we only had him for just under a year.  He was a stray that the RSPCA picked up, so nothing was known about his past.  I know that North Ronaldsays are hugely copper intolerant, and we are exceptionally careful with ours.  However, I don't know what he was fed before he came to us, and if the feed had copper in it, then it would have built up in his liver over the years I believe (he was about 4 years old).  Some kind of stress must have caused a liver bleed and released the copper into his system.  The vet said that he very rarely saw that kind of jaundice in sheep.  I know he didn't hold out much hope for him.  He's left a huge hole in our lives - sounds silly for a sheep doesn't it, but he really was special.
Thanks again for all trying to help. 

omnipeasant

  • Joined May 2012
  • Llangurig , Mid Wales
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2012, 12:56:40 pm »
Oh I am so sorry to hear that you lost him. What a shame. Top marks for trying though.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2012, 01:33:41 pm »
So sorry to hear you lost your sheep  :bouquet:

It doesn't matter what species they are, some animals just find their way into our hearts.   :-*
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

feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2012, 01:51:31 pm »
So sorry :bouquet: at least you tried to save him, they leave such a big hole in our lives don't they

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2012, 02:08:16 pm »
So sorry  :bouquet:

 

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