Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Sore teats :-/  (Read 10659 times)


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Sore teats :-/
« on: May 02, 2016, 09:32:50 pm »
Hi folks,

I'm sorry to upload gratuitous t1t pictures to the internet, but let's face it, I'm not the first!  ;D   I'll phone the vet in the morning, but in the meantime, what do you reckon to this?  :-\

I'm not sure if this is just over-hungry lambs who've caused damage with their teeth, or something worse. The whole teat feels quite stiff, but I can still get normal looking milk out. Her other teat looks similar but not nearly as bad.

She's got three lambs in tow at the moment, and two have been taking top-ups. Should we take one or more off her to give her an easier time, or would that be counter-productive? Also what treatment would you recommend?  She's had blue spray and sudocreme tonight. Anything else we should try?

Also this one is on another ewe, and I wonder if it's the same thing but just caught earlier. There are definite hard pustules just under the skin. I should say that none of the lambs are showing any signs of orf that I can see. Again, any ideas what this is, and what we should do about it?

Thanks folks!  :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: May 02, 2016, 09:34:26 pm by Womble »
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2016, 09:42:26 pm »
Can't help as am a newbie too :-D

But dude, your poor sheep being photographed like that, did they consent? Are they over 18?

There's a word for men like you :-P

Seriously hope it's.nothing too bad and it gets better soon... Poor sheep's  :sheep:


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2016, 09:45:04 pm »
Looks like orf and an infection as a result. Spray em blue and treat with ab  :thumbsup:


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2016, 09:49:08 pm »
Since you are already feeding 2 of the lambs I would take them off ,  since you have been topping up it implies that she doesn't have enough milk so the lambs have been over rough , chances are she won't let them suckle on the really bad teat .   May even be orf on the bad teat , lots of cream  and milking if you can or mastitis may develop


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2016, 09:51:13 pm »
Oh dear.  This is the trouble with leaving triplets on; they myther on, and if the ewe doesn't kick them off, damage results.

Personally I'd take off one lamb at least, use udder salve to treat the teats (I'm not sure about lambs eating Sudocrem!) and be very vigilant about mastitis.  When I've had ewes in this condition, I'm afraid mastitis has been the outcome :(
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2016, 09:59:41 pm »
1st kidder goats often get small pustules like that on their udders - and it isn't orf (if it is the lambs should have it on  their mouths too), but it could well be simply staphylococcal dermatitis (false goat pox). It is not painful and milk yield should not be affected. I have found that a quick spray with Bactakil is very effective, but it is almost certainly not what the vet would advise... it may well go of its own accord, I have never seen it in my sheep, but then I do not check their udders unless I have reason to (mastitis etc).

The first one is over enthusiastic lambs, have seen it before and one of my ewes did get serious mastitis after it and had to be culled... If the lambs take the bottle - I would take them off, maybe bar one, as she probably does not have enough milk for three... how old are the lambs and how close to weaning?


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2016, 10:05:11 pm »
She probably won't let them suck that side much but if you take them off she'll very likely get mastitis, although she very likely will anyhow. Blue spay first them when dry, lots of cream and draw regularly to check for mastitis and if she does develop it draw and tube her regularly to have any hope of saving the quarter.


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2016, 11:40:41 pm »
Thanks all.  Sometimes I wonder if my only purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others!  ::)

The lesson this time is just how quickly this can happen. The lambs are all still thriving even though she was only letting them feed from one side. I do think (hope?) it's just bite marks rather than orf - wouldn't the lambs have it too if it were orf? Hopefully we've caught this in time and they'll heal without developing mastitis; time will tell  :fc: .

  • I've taken two of the triplets off her tonight, along with one of the twins from the other ewe who's starting to suffer.
  • I've also milked out the affected quarter (I could do this quite easily without causing her pain), and will continue to do so to hopefully prevent mastitis.
  • I'll pick up some udder cream in the morning, and will speak to the vet about possibly giving a long acting antibiotic as a preventative.
One question - the separated lambs are currently in the shed and were bawling their heads off until I turned off the light! Am I right in thinking I should put them back out tomorrow in the field next door to the ewes, so they can still see their mums?
« Last Edit: May 02, 2016, 11:42:51 pm by Womble »
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2016, 06:21:28 am »
If the lambs come happily to you for their bottle I would have them near, but not that they can get to her.

And yes I would give a course of Pen&Strep to the ewe to prevent mastitis, especially if she is tame enough to let you milk her. Which you also need to continue...


  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2016, 08:26:07 am »
Best of luck Womble and you do provide a very interesting example so please let us know outcome. 


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2016, 08:45:03 am »
OK, pen made, all lambs separated and fed (the twin had never had a bottle before, so that was fun). Ewe milked. Off to work for a sit down!

This morning's lesson - never try to carry a lamb through a gate with a bottle of lamlac under your arm. Second shower required this morning to wash it out of my ear and hair. Doesn't actually taste too bad though!  ;D
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2016, 01:07:13 pm »
If you put the lambs back so they can see and hear their mothers ,their just going to bleet all day and try to get back together


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2016, 01:38:15 pm »
Point taken Shep.  Practically though, I can't keep them out of earshot, and if they can hear Mum but not see her, they'll cry for each other all day anyway. As it is, with only a fence between them, Mum seems happy enough, and so are the lambs as long as they have full tummies. We'll keep this under review.

I noticed this morning that one of the lambs has unusually sharp teeth, and a weird way of biting / pulling at the bottle teat rather than sucking it, so maybe that's been the problem. Perhaps she started doing that because Mum was short of milk, but in that case why did neither of them want much in the way of top-ups? (We were offering the bottle as much to check they weren't hungry as to actually feed them anything).

The vet has prescribed Betamox Alamycin LA (vet changed their mind) to hopefully prevent mastitis from developing, along with Metacam as an anti inflammatory and pain killer. I also picked up a lifetime's supply of udder cream. Very disappointed to discover the instructions didn't tell me to slap it udderneath.

Also, penning the lambs next to the ewes has worked fine. The ewes aren't stressed at all and just go about their business, whilst the lambs are fine as long as well fed. They have a covered bed, creep and water, and have made very little noise today :thumbsup: .
« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 08:02:38 pm by Womble »
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2016, 02:07:30 pm »
I would do as you have Womble and leave the lambs just a fence or hurdle away from their dams.  This is how I wean at 4 months too - no noise, no stress.

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  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Sore teats :-/
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2016, 03:08:22 pm »
@Womble I thought they would be much worse than that, by the description, still nasty though but I have seen worse (not in my own sheep though). How strong is the lambs suck? We had a cow with blisters on her teats and we took the calf off and discovered that its suck was so strong that it was blistering her teat, we left the calf off and bucket reared it, then the vet treated the cow and she got better.  My question is could it be the fact they have 3 on them? ( or don't they?) also how strong is the lambs suck, of course it could be ORF though. Have you spoken to your vet about it at all?
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.


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