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Author Topic: 4 year old sheep knee problem  (Read 6775 times)

FriesianLambs

  • Joined Feb 2015
4 year old sheep knee problem
« on: February 12, 2016, 10:12:19 pm »
I've been given a four year old sheep in my care. Her left front knee is locked and she can't stretch it. She's also pregnant and due in march.

Now, I thought it was a lack of Vitamin D but her age...

She's been given a Vitamin shot, a form of antibiotics and I've been massaging her knee and just slightly moving it. She responds to pressure between her hooves.

Today we moved her to our house so I can keep an eye on her, help her when lambing comes and I thought about suspending her to get her to use her muscles again. I put a broad band behind the elbows and she did walk a bit as I supported her but it hurt a little bit as she ground her teeth when she lay down.

I really want to try and help this girl. She eats, she drinks and she does move around. Who has any ideas on what might be wrong? How can I treat her? And what way can I support her so she can stand?
Voss Electric Fence

fsmnutter

  • Joined Oct 2012
  • Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire
Re: 4 year old sheep knee problem
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2016, 10:20:26 pm »
If she's responding to pressure between her toes, sounds like a foot problem.
If unsure, I'd ask the vet to look at her, as any illness is likely to affect her ability to lamb herself, and the health of the lambs, and her health at this time, illness or problems that may put them off eating such as sore feet/legs while pregnant can be fatal.
You haven't said you have given her painkiller, but you have said she's in pain.
I would think you need someone experienced in sheep, preferably your vet, to look at her feet and treat any foot problems, and if the vet sees her, they can examine her all over and treat any other problems detected appropriately, but sounds like she will at least need some pain relief.
If she is choosing to lie down rather than walk around much, you could make things worse by trying to assist her with slings etc. I'd focus on addressing the pain and the reasons for it and she should then choose to walk by herself without assistance.
Let us know how you get on.
Ps I'm not sure if you have company with her, but sheep often can get distressed, making any health problems worse, if removed from the flock, so maybe you could make sure she has a friend to keep her keen while you look after her in the "hospital wing".
« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 10:37:47 pm by fsmnutter »

FriesianLambs

  • Joined Feb 2015
Re: 4 year old sheep knee problem
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2016, 10:27:53 pm »
But if it's the foot, why is her knee locked? You can't move it beyond 90 degrees.

The feet seem fine but I'll have a look tomorrow. Maybe I missed something.

She only had a moment of pain when she lay down after we lifted her up. I think the band was hurting her or it was too intense. She's been down for at least 2 weeks and only now am I in the position to get her up daily. So I'm thinking about how can I support her with a form of harness that feels comfortable for her.

fsmnutter

  • Joined Oct 2012
  • Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire
Re: 4 year old sheep knee problem
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2016, 10:43:28 pm »
If the knee is that locked, she has likely had an infection or a trauma, which may have been a long time ago. Responding to pressure in the feet may be because she has a foot problem as well (often will get overgrowths, dirt trapping and infection if not using the leg as it is not touching the ground and wearing the foot and dirt away) or because the leg is just painful overall.
If she's been down for 2 weeks, she really needs further investigation by a vet, as it sounds much more serious than a sore leg which will often just cause a limp.
Sheep are prey animals and try to hide pain. If you have detected pain once, but she has been down a long time, she has likely more pain than she shows you.

FriesianLambs

  • Joined Feb 2015
Re: 4 year old sheep knee problem
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2016, 10:47:51 pm »
Ok. Thank you.

I just didn't realize because she's very lively and happy. I've seen sheep in pain and I thought this was just a response to us forcing her to move a bit more than she's used to lately.




verdifish

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • banffshire
Re: 4 year old sheep knee problem
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2016, 10:49:19 pm »
Basically what you are being told is call the vet or your being cruel!  I'm sorry to put it this bluntly but sometimes needs must. 

FriesianLambs

  • Joined Feb 2015
Re: 4 year old sheep knee problem
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2016, 10:53:16 pm »
Oh wauw thanks :o. Yeah that was a bit too blunt.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: 4 year old sheep knee problem
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2016, 11:07:41 am »
If a prey animal grinds its teeth then it's in great pain.  The only time we've ever had a ewe suffer from twin lamb disease was one that had a thorn in its foot, hidden by wool.  It was only when she started to limp and we found the abscess that we realized there was a problem.  She survived and so did her twins but it took a lot of care, including a high energy drench, antibiotics and painkiller, cutting greenery from the verge to tempt her appetite, giving her water in an old frying pan so it was under her nose and mucking out under her and rebedding several times a day. 

Sbom

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: 4 year old sheep knee problem
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2016, 11:20:07 am »
Ok. Thank you.

I just didn't realize because she's very lively and happy. I've seen sheep in pain and I thought this was just a response to us forcing her to move a bit more than she's used to lately.

Thought you said  she's been down for two weeks??  Not so lively and happy then....

Needs pain relief and vet. Cheaper to pop her in trailer and take her to them.

I'd be very concerned about lambs if she's been down so long...
 :fc: she comes good



Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: 4 year old sheep knee problem
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2016, 11:54:28 am »
Yes scoot her down to vets, She's quite possibly got twin lamb and or calcaemia  (sp)and also the extra weight of  the babies  pulling on her frame. What does her breath smell like?  Hope she mends for you .




FriesianLambs

  • Joined Feb 2015
Re: 4 year old sheep knee problem
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2016, 09:57:37 pm »
I have been lifting her and holding her myself for a few times a day and she managed to stand on her own for a few minutes. She gets fed pellets twice a day with vitamins and has access to hay and fresh water. She managed to get up herself yesterday and even walk(limp) around for a bit. Tomorrow I'm going to get some antibiotics.

Just to be clear, she's not currently my sheep. I'm looking after her because one of her owners got sick and they also manage a horse stable and are very short staffed. The decision for a vet lies with them.

But just so you know I am doing everything in my power to help her and save her. I have a wireless camera on her and I want to create a lift system so I can lift her more easily and also hold her up for longer.

Please no more remarks on me being cruel. That really hurts as I really do try.

The knowledge is just so limited here and I had hoped I would have more luck with shepherds abroad as you seem to know more and have ingenious solutions.

Her breath smells like a sheep should by the way.

And to any other it would look like she's just lying down ruminating but I found that knee. And without me supporting her, the weight for one front leg is just too much

verdifish

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • banffshire
Re: 4 year old sheep knee problem
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2016, 10:17:43 pm »
Hi. Have you asked the owners to call the vet? 

shotblastuk

  • Joined May 2013
  • Proper Gloucestershire !!
Re: 4 year old sheep knee problem
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2016, 10:20:00 pm »
You really need the vet to check this girl over regardless of who's decision it is. Sounds like there may be an underlying problem. If she's in your care then it is your responsibility I'm afraid.

Sbom

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: 4 year old sheep knee problem
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2016, 10:22:39 pm »

This!!

If the knee is that locked, she has likely had an infection or a trauma, which may have been a long time ago. Responding to pressure in the feet may be because she has a foot problem as well (often will get overgrowths, dirt trapping and infection if not using the leg as it is not touching the ground and wearing the foot and dirt away) or because the leg is just painful overall.
If she's been down for 2 weeks, she really needs further investigation by a vet, as it sounds much more serious than a sore leg which will often just cause a limp.
Sheep are prey animals and try to hide pain. If you have detected pain once, but she has been down a long time, she has likely more pain than she shows you.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: 4 year old sheep knee problem
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2016, 10:29:22 am »
I've been known to make a frame from a hurdle placed flat across two straw bales, padded, to support a ewe who was off her legs and needed to be supported upright with her feet on the ground.  You need to go in and move her every hour or so - so I used to put her on it for an hour three times a day.

This was a very poorly ewe, though; I'm not sure a ewe who is otherwise fit and healthy wouldn't just struggle and damage herself.
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

 

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