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Author Topic: How do i know if he's in pain?  (Read 2045 times)

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
How do i know if he's in pain?
« on: August 03, 2010, 03:54:23 pm »
some of oyu know we had a ram lamb born at the beginning of april with an oversized set of testicles.  have had the vet and also animal health peole look at him when he was born and both said he seemed ok - might be some of his intestine inside or just birth deformity or ??  in other words, no-one really knows what's wrong.

to cut a long story short he has been fine and managed to do everything the other have done, but recently, ie in the last couple of days he's lying down a lot more and not joining in quite the same.  now when i say 'oversized' i really do mean it.  they are only about a centimetre off the ground and the girth is as wide as his thigh - he has to walk differently to accomodate them.

we always knew that he would go to the abbatoir and also that he wouldnt make it as long as the others and we had decided to take him next week and have him booked in.  have also arranged to take him in a dog crate as it will be easier for him as he wont get moved around so much - and therefore less discomfort/pain we think.

anyway, my dillemma has come about in the last 24 hours as we had a really expereinced sheep person visiting yesterday and she thinks that we shouldnt wait til monday (6 days time) and we should have him either put down by the vet or else we should phone the knacker-man (dont know the real title) and have him come and put our boy to sleep.

now i care very much about all our animals and spend a lot of time with the sheep so i have kept a really close eye on him and i didnt believe that he has been in pain - certainly a bit awkward sometimes but he's been eating, drinking and playing along with the rest.  but like i say last few days he is acting a little differently, not least of which is that he mostly seems to want to keep his distance from the boistrous play - but then so would i if i thought my danglies were going to get bashed (and i'm not even a bloke!).

so what do i do?  do i get him put down in the next day or so (whenever i can get someone to do it)? or do i wait till monday?  and if i wait till monday, should i do something now?  i was thinking to maybe put him in one of the stables (with/without a pal?) or make a wee pen up for him in the field so he can still see everyone but is separate from them?

i'm in a real dillemma and want to do the best for him but i dont know what that is!

BTW, their field is at the bottom of our garden so keeping an eye on him is really easy to do
Voss Electric Fence

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: How do i know if he's in pain?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2010, 06:48:15 pm »
well i'm a bit more concerned now cos I've just spent a bit of time googling and found an image that looks a bit similar and it is called epididymitis (aka Brucella ovis) and that doesnt seem to be good at all!

now not sure whether he should be entering the food chain at all!  have emailed animal health for advice.......

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: How do i know if he's in pain?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2010, 07:17:36 pm »
I can quite understand your quandary egglady. Sheep in pain tend to grind their teeth. They might also hang their heads, bite or scratch at the painful part, or lie down a lot.
Looking at pictures can be alarming and not always helpful.  Was there a list of symptoms that went with the picture?  In particular, your lamb has had the problem for all of his life - is this typical of Brucellosis?
A hernia ie gut in the swelling, would more likely occur where the umbilical cord was rather than right back by the scrotum.  Really the vet should have been able to give you a better idea.
We once had a tup lamb which wee'ed like a ewe lamb.  Took it to the vet who announced it was a hermaphrodite ie both sexes at once.  Turned out it had an open urethra but was otherwise totally male.  I'll look up in my sheep books later - must dash.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: How do i know if he's in pain?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2010, 08:20:07 pm »
thanks fleecewife, there wasnt a list of symptoms as such, it just said that the testicle was enlarged - which is deffo the case!  and has been since birth - gowing with him as he's gotten older and bigger.  he has been lying down more than usual but not seen his grinding his teeth.  i've got some work to do in the field tonight sio i'll keep a watchful eye.

what do you think about making him a separate wee pen with thick straw so he has a soft bed to lie in?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: How do i know if he's in pain?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2010, 11:46:26 pm »
We once tried making a pen out in the field for a ewe and she went berserk - hated it.  He might like a nice big pile of straw where he usually lies though - although his chums might take that over.  What you do will depend on how he is.  You know him and have spent time watching him whereas the experienced sheep person presumably didn't examine him closely - or did she?  If it is a hernia, the danger would be strangulation and he would be in acute pain and then he would need to be put down immediately.  If that were to happen, take him down to the vet yourself, don't wait for him to visit (would take a long time and costa bomba) if you have a suitable LandRover or similar.  When it's not an emergency the knacker will come and use a captive bolt - ours are very  nice and professional.  They then take away the body.
However, it doesn't sound, from this distance, as if your sheep has such a problem, so unless there's a sudden change I would stick with Mon to the abattoir and ask them to keep the contents of his scrotum for you to see.  There is always a vet at the abattoirs and he/she would be on hand to identify the problem for you.  If it were a massive infection or something really weird then he might be condemmed (not to death - too late for that by that time  :) ) but to be removed from the human food chain.  I think you'll find that all goes well though.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: How do i know if he's in pain?
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2010, 12:01:23 am »
All I can offer is my sympathy, I dont know enough about it to make a comment, but I can see where your coming from.  Poor little blighter.

I have one with really really small berries, but not one with massive ones like you mention.

I'd go with the instinct of 'if he looks relatively comfortable and not in pain then we are doing OK'

Its interesting to know that you can get an inspection after, cheers Fleecewife.

Ta

Baz

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: How do i know if he's in pain?
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2010, 08:56:50 am »
ah now that's useful - thanks.  like i said, i was starting to be concerned about him entering the human food chain (well specifically MY human food chain actually!!) but if i can ask them to look inside the scrotum, from what i've read, they should be able to identify if it is the epididymitis problem or not, so that reassures me a wee bit.

i did think about the straw where he usually lies, but he has about 3 different places so dont think that would work.  i'll keep my eye on him and i think if he goes downhill between now and sunday evening, i'll put him in a stable and decide from there what i'll do, on the basis that if he isnt feeling too well, he should (!!) make less of a fuss.....does that sound logical?

also, i'm going to take a photo and post it on here so you can see that i'm not exaggerating (as most folks think i am)

 

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