NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Sheep broke upper leg  (Read 1525 times)

Petsheep092

  • Joined May 2018
Sheep broke upper leg
« on: May 24, 2018, 11:52:36 am »
Hello all,
I am new here and more of a "pet sheep" person than for business. I got a bottle baby from my best friend about 11 years ago now, and he is still with us and he is great his name is Harry and is a wether. The problem is I went out yesterday to feed and noticed he was not putting any weight on his right front leg, he is also turned out with my bottle calf who is 9 months old and I'm pretty sure she kicked him. Harry seems to have a broken leg above his knee about two to three finger widths down below his breast bone in the inside. It is swollen, i gave him some dexamethasone IM I had on hand last night to help the swelling. He is still happy, eating, upright, non weight bearing on the right front. Last night he had the injured leg reall drawn up where the tippy toes were not even hardly touching the ground , this morning he has relaxed it some more although I am unsure if this is a good thing or not, his hoof is more buckled over at the ankle so his muscles have relaxed some, which I am thinking will make it easier to plaster/really splint in (I am undecided on which to do).  He is 11 years old and my buddy, our vets do not do anything with sheep.... we have beef cows and whenever a calf breaks its leg at random it is generally the lower leg so it is a pretty simple  splint, plus they are babies so they heal faster. I plan on after work today making him a sling to keep the weight off of that one leg but still allow him to bear weight on the other three, because I know once sheep get down and is not good. And I'm hoping someone here can give me directional which way to go with this should I plaster the leg with some gauze plaster that I saw someone recommend on another topic, or should I get a PVC pipe and pad and wrap and splint that way? Obviously he is not growing anymore so that is not a concern. Also what can I give him for pain I am unsure if dexamethasone is the best choice, but I did not have anything else to give him I am out of banamine. No matter what I do split or plaster I plan on doing it below the knee and up as close to the shoulders I can get and at least right around his stomach to try to hold everything up. I'm just thinking a sling may keep him he mobile the best as he still hobbling around and laying down and getting up and I do not want him to accidentally do more damage to that leg or end up with a compound fracture. I'm hopeful that someone here you can give me some sort of Direction other than put him down, as he is still in good spirits doesnt seem to be bothered by it all, good appitete, drinking water, eating his hay and grain, and still greets me when i walk into the barn. I plan on getting some alfalfa to supplement with on the way home today when I stop to get casting or splint supplies. I know in people we encourage high protein diet to help with healing so he will be getting some higher protein grain as well.

Thank you all in advance,  and help is greatly appreciated as I do not want to do more damage than good! Of course if he gets to where he is in pain, etc we will euthanize him as I do not want him to be in pain
Voss Electric Fence

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Sheep broke upper leg
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2018, 07:56:55 pm »
While I totally understand what you are feeling , I have found breaks above the knee very difficult even in young lambs . You've said  most of the problems , a difficult place to apply plaster , his bones slower to nit , his weight .Absolutely no way you can find a vet to help , don't see why  a sheep is any different to a big calf/steer and they could give you painkiller anti inflammatory.  I have in the past under vet advice used a pair of tights to  immobilise a big lambs back leg broken very high up, strapped it to its stomach  .  But the front legs carry more weight ???     I use sheep's wool rather than cotton wool  next to the skin then the plaster or similar ,    Sorry but at 11yr old  and if I was certain it was broken then I would put to sleep .   Hope what ever you decide goes well

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Sheep broke upper leg
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2018, 09:20:57 pm »
I'd definitely want the vet to diagnose it asap. If money is no object then he should be x-rayed to see how bad the break is. There's no point trying to set it if you don't know how bad the damage is.  Personally at 11yrs old, I would call out fallen stock straight away

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: Sheep broke upper leg
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2018, 06:58:53 am »
You should phone your vet and they will assess and advise

Clarebelle

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: Sheep broke upper leg
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2018, 08:19:21 am »
I don't think it is what you were hoping to hear but I would also either try your vet again or get one that does deal with large animals. You are looking at a major internal injury which you have no real way of properly assessing without x-rays etc. I would not be confident in my own ability to treat something like that. But then I'm new to sheep, maybe some very experienced keepers would have more knowledge to impart. Good luck with it though, I know how attached you can get to pet woollies!

Backinwellies

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Re: Sheep broke upper leg
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2018, 08:44:45 am »

If this was an old dog would you try to mend it?
Linda

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harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Sheep broke upper leg
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2018, 11:00:54 am »
Although your vets may not do sheep they would surely be able to advise? Are they a specialist cattle practice?


Obviously farmers are allowed to diagnose and treat animals to a degree and the bottom line is whether you can make the correct diagnosis and give the correct treatment. From your post you seem to be asking for advice so I would suggest the best advice given so far is to contact a vet as it would appear you have an injured animal, you are not sure what to do with it and it is currently suffering. So, you must make a decisive decision asap to PTS or take to a vet for treatment. Anything less and you are failing in a basic duty.


If he has a broken leg he is already in pain and this happened on the 23rd. Whatever he has done he is in pain because he can't use it.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Sheep broke upper leg
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2018, 11:42:04 am »
Although your vets may not do sheep they would surely be able to advise? Are they a specialist cattle practice?


Obviously farmers are allowed to diagnose and treat animals to a degree and the bottom line is whether you can make the correct diagnosis and give the correct treatment. From your post you seem to be asking for advice so I would suggest the best advice given so far is to contact a vet as it would appear you have an injured animal, you are not sure what to do with it and it is currently suffering. So, you must make a decisive decision asap to PTS or take to a vet for treatment. Anything less and you are failing in a basic duty.


If he has a broken leg he is already in pain and this happened on the 23rd. Whatever he has done he is in pain because he can't use it.


Agree with this above although the animal is not fit to travel with a broken leg so the vet would need to come to you. Either get a vet to him today or call the knacker man, it's not fair to prolong any suffering.

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Sheep broke upper leg
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2018, 03:21:12 pm »
I know it's not what you want to hear, but you MUST contact a vet to confirm diagnosis at the very least. Perhaps if you give your approximate location members here can recommend someone? I've never yet come across a livestock vet that won't do similar animals - a cow and a sheep have pretty similar basic skeletons in this situation.


Prey animals are so good at hiding pain, he must be suffering for it to be so obvious. Unfortunately his age is against him both in terms of weight that the leg has to bear, and slower growth/repair. Also consider the stress that hobbling on three legs will have on the rest of his body - that front left leg is now very vulnerable.


Is he still with the animal that (probably) kicked and injured him?


In addition, one shot of a drug in three days is not nearly enough - especially as dexamethasone is not actually a pain-killer. https://www.alfasan.com/?docID=29

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Sheep broke upper leg
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2018, 05:35:49 pm »
Hi @Petsheep092


What has been the outcome for your sheep?  Such a shame that this should happen in his old age.  Being prey animals, sheep hide their pain very effectively, so although he may have appeared to be fine, that is his strategy to keep the predators away, and doesn't mean he is not in pain, which he absolutely must be with a broken leg, poor chap.
I hope you've got everything sorted out now and the vet has either treated his leg or he has been put down  :hugsheep:
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shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Sheep broke upper leg
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2018, 07:46:59 pm »
I assumed from the post wording that Petsheep092 is  Canadian or American ??   Hoping all is well by now whatever your decision

Dan

  • The Accidental Smallholder
  • Administrator
  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Carnoustie, Angus
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Re: Sheep broke upper leg
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2018, 06:58:27 pm »
OP hasn't been back to TAS since the initial post.

Thanks for all of your input, I'm locking the topic now since plenty of good advice has been given and OP is not around to engage.

 

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