Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Advice lamb, not quite right.  (Read 2808 times)


  • Joined Sep 2012
Advice lamb, not quite right.
« on: March 13, 2013, 10:20:01 am »
Looking for advice, one lamb (a freebie, thrown in), is lets say - different. I'm tempted to think prehaps water on the brain??but I could be way off.. And wondering if some anti-bots/snit -flam will help, if so which ones? That I can pick up from vets, or agri store, Or should I leave and see how he gets on.
He around 7 days, a reject case I believe, as took a while to stand. rather unsteady on feet ( more than normal) once down seems to flap/struggle due to flapping around before getting back up, he seems to always throw himself around no matter laying or standing. Exspecially his head, he needs holding for feeds otherwise he get excited and ends in heaps on the floor.
his front legs aren't quite right, though he does run around, one slightly twisted, but the front knees seem stiff/swollen, but can't feel abnormal bone or extra fuild?? I have noticed he does grind him teeth, which I believe normally comes from pain.
He is otherwise happy and full on energy, eats well, toileting all looks fine, and responseds correctly to his surrounding, just generally excited about life.

What do you peeps think?


  • Joined Oct 2012
  • Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire
Re: Advice lamb, not quite right.
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2013, 10:52:08 am »
Hi there
Hard to say exactly what's going on, but your description helps give me a few pointers.
As a vet and long term lamber, I've seen a few odd lambs over the years.
The first thing I have to suggest, given the current climate, is that any lamb with 'neurological' signs, such as the paddling and collapsing, particularly with deformities like the stiff legs, could potentially be Schmallenberg.
Now I wouldn't be too concerned about this, as it seems that once the lambs are born, that's the worst of it over, usually if they're affected badly, they'll not be doing this well, and whatever effects there are now will not get worse, as the main time they are being affected by the virus is inside their mothers.
There are a couple of other causes, such as the occasional deformity caused by other things, including 'daft lamb disease', which might be the case with odd legs and strange brain behaviour, but again, nothing likely to get worse.
I have seen a few texel cross lambs on one particular farm that seemed to do something similar, at first they would collapse to the side, and paddle their legs, but over a few days of nursing, would get better at staying up, and with a bit of walking around, would not be too bad, though on occasion would get overexcited and fall over (the shepherd informed me even at nearly a year old this would occasionally happen!) This would suggest a potential genetic defect, but they grew and fattened just fine, so I wouldn't be worried about it.
There are also nutritional defects that can cause problems, but it is usually in older sheep, though a vitamin  injection containing B12 (should be able to get a syringeful just for one lamb from your vet) could help with that, and would certainly not cause any harm.
Otherwise, I think you're doing just the right thing, keep him as calm as you can, help him out with feeding, and keep encouraging him to get up, stand and walk.
As regards the stiff legs, could be part of the general deformity/problems he has, but could potentially be a joint ill, due to having been rejected and perhaps not having the colostrum he should have. I would suggest a full course of a penicillin based antibiotic would help with that (again your vet should be able to give you doses for a single lamb).
Hope that helps, and hope your TLC brings him round :)


  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Advice lamb, not quite right.
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2013, 11:28:01 am »
Thank you for reply, I will speak to vet this afternoon and get injection & peniallin ready to pick up tomorrow. Strangely I did think schallemberg, but thought, no cant be.. But with you also mentioning it, it could be the case.
the farmer was mentioning that the next farm over had it, I'm thinking prehaps this was also a way to say he thinks lil lamb got it, but doesn't want to say it out aloud... Who knows.

But again thank you for the advice, as worried there would be no hope and he would i my get worse.

SWT-Flying Flock

  • Joined Mar 2013
    • Flying Flock Blog
Re: Advice lamb, not quite right.
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 09:20:39 pm »
Is his navel dry, I would be considering white muscle disease and joint ill.
Unique in Scotland, check out Scottish Wildlife Trust's Flying Flock and Herd of conservation grazing sheep and cattle.


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