Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: advice required - septic arthritis  (Read 5076 times)

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
advice required - septic arthritis
« on: August 02, 2012, 09:44:30 pm »
 ??? i have reached the stage that I need some input....

about four weeks ago i noticed one of my young ewes (last years lamb, who i wanted to breed from this year) was lame..with a swollen knee. there was some heat in the knee and she was very very sore.. so The vet came out gave her anti-B and anti-inflamatory...few days later the knee erupted...yerch lots of pussy cheesy discharge....next vet visit...more anti-biotics IM for twelve days. I cleaned and redressed the wound daily until there was no discharge and the wound started to heal.

For the last week the ewe has been able to completely weight bear, although she still hobbles and hops sometimes. Her leg is quite squint now. ~The knee joint is enlarged on the inside aspect and she, as yet, cant fully straighten the joint. The wound has healed and there is no heat in the joint...she seems much more comfortable....just stiff.  All along, the whole month, she has been bright and fiesty, eating well, and paying attention to all around her. Had she been off herself, the vet or i would have ended it staight away..

this is probably as a result of a dog bite..i caught the neighbours dog in the sheep with a lambs nose in its mouth  >:( >:(

My question is, has anyone had experience of this, what were your experiences.??.
Cheers Emma T xx
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

ScotsGirl

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • Wiltshire
Re: advice required - septic arthritis
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2012, 10:02:50 pm »
I don't think it is good news and I believe culling is the only answer.  I have a Suffolk ewe lamb exactly the same but no signs of injury.  She is crippled and after farm dog chased her I had to get vet.  He said either arthritis or hip displacia but either way cull her. Gave her metacam which eases the pain but will take her to slaughter in September with some of others.
 
Sounds very similar to joint ill.  Did your vet not give any advice?

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: advice required - septic arthritis
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2012, 08:22:22 am »
Yes, the vet said that if she was in a commercial flock she would be culled.... but that because I have the time and the where-with-all to do intensive nursing i should give her a chance. Both vets that have seen her have said that if she can weight bear and move well she could be ok...but that it will take time to see the full extent of her problem. Yes it is similar to joint ill...

I just wanted to see if anyone else had experience of this...and what the outcome was. Also whether the ewe had been able to breed without causing further damage or suffering.

I emphasise, if at any time i had thought that she was really suffering I would cull straight away. Yes, she was very sore in the acute phase, but even then she was as bright as a button. She was always running/hopping to me to get her treatment...and almost climbed into the sheep deckchair for her dressing changes..I have started doing a bit of passive physio on the leg to encourage maximum range of joint movement ....anything to give her the best chance.  :fc: :fc:
Emma T
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: advice required - septic arthritis
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2012, 09:05:55 am »
She may well recover fully enough to continue as a breeder, pikilily.  In a flock our size, we get one or two with this kind of conditon most years, usually in the growing lambs.  Sometimes you think they'll never come right, and usually, after some months, you can no longer tell which was the one with the wonky knee.

The only thing I don't know is whether this is the kind of injury where she'd feel the old 'war wound' in the latter stages of pregnancy - she may do, and it may make her more stiff and sore than the others at that stage.

You're clearly giving her the best of nursing, and making sure she isn't in too much pain, so if you want to give her a chance to breed again you could keep her on and see how she does. 

When will you be putting your tups out? 
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

Moleskins

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • England
Re: advice required - septic arthritis
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2012, 09:10:49 am »
I'm puzzled as to why this ewe hasn't already gone to a cast sheep sale.
I had one that we'd had from a lamb, she had a name and was friendly, as are all of ours.
However she prolapsed prior to lambing this last time, so once the lamb was reared off she went.
It's just not practical, fair to the animal or financially sensible to keep them.
Sorry.
What if this isn't due to a dog bite but inherited? You would be breeding from very poor stock.
Sorry again.
Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: advice required - septic arthritis
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2012, 12:33:47 pm »
Some years ago my neighbours had an Alsatian cross (had to be put down for biting in the end) but not before it got into my fields several times chasing both my sheep and cattle and I had both the milking cow, a young ewe, and the BWM ram limping for several weeks.  It didnt develop as badly as yours, (though I do use homoeopathy) anyway good outcome in all cases.  Full recovery and ram went on to breed 100 percent success for a couple of seasons till I changed him.
To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: advice required - septic arthritis
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2012, 01:38:50 pm »
Moleskin, i find your query and comment about inherited problems interesting..I too would never ever breed from an animal with a genetic or congenital disorder. In saying that, the four ewes I keep are bred for meat lambs...not to produce breeding stock!

I have two ewes this year, both suffolk crosses, who will be culled. One because she has had an awful lambing and the other because of persistant foot problems. 

I wasnt aware that bacterial infections could be inherited....this was definately a bacterial infection. If inheritance was an issue why would it take 14 months to show?

I do think that if there was an inherited problem the vet ( a sheep specialist) would have noted this and advised accordingly when he visited. However i will revisit this prior to any breeding.  :thumbsup:


Sally, the ewes would go to the tup end Oct/begining of Nov. At the moment i have six ewes and will be down to four at end of summer (including the Hobblit  :-J )
Emma  T x
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

Welshcob

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: advice required - septic arthritis
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2012, 02:01:00 pm »
Pikilily,

I think moleskins meant inherited in the general sense (which is what you understood too, like an animal with congenital or genetic disorder, you don't want to breed from them), but not inherited bacterial infections.

In my experience, although there's a few bugs that can be transmitted in utero, the infection develops much earlier (i.e. first few days of life of the lamb/calf), and even then the symptoms are mostly similar to something ascending the umbilical stump (like navel/joint ill), it is quite hard to differentiate between true congenital and acquired in the first few hours of life.

Reading your post, it seems odd that the joint hadn't been flushed before it erupted. It is an easy enough procedure and helps removing as much pus/bacteria from the joint from earlier on. By the time the joint erupted, I am fairly certain significant damage to the cartilage will have occurred and your ewe might or might not recover 100% motility in that joint. It all depends on the extent of the original damage, and how much inflammation is still there. This could lead to a condition called ankilosis of the joint, which per se isn't painful but it is a stiffening of the joint and it won't be able to bend as before. The ewe would still be lame, but not a painful lameness if that makes sense? Ankilosis is fusing of the bones in the joint, making it whole and not flexible and it is very likely to occur following cases like yours.

It is not inherited, so if you are confident your ewe is not (repeat, not) in pain, you could try and breed from her, because she shouldn't get more problems than any other ewe with a more fortunate start in life.
Especially because you say she's bright and cheerful, and especially if she keeps eating well, I'd give her a chance like your vets said.
However, if the original septic joint was bacteriemic (bacteria in the blood stream) at any point, the bugs might have spread to other sites and, without you knowing, currently creating more damage elsewhere in her body. If she goes downhill again, or shows another swollen joint, I'd just get rid of her. At that point it's not fair anymore.

Hope it goes well though!
 :wave:

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: advice required - septic arthritis
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2012, 04:57:15 pm »
Hi Welshcob, thanks for the comments. I think the extent of exudate was not apparent when the vet first visited...or it really increased before the first anti-B (micotil) was fully active in her system...

She had metacalm IM which helped her comfort levels in the early stages. I have done a test; with vet approval; and given her bute....it has made no difference to her movement/lameness...so we can deduce that she is not in a lot of pain at this stage.
I will watch her closely -
Emma T
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

Mallows Flock

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Shepton mallet
    • Somerset Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
Re: advice required - septic arthritis
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2012, 09:59:17 pm »
I feel very fortunate that so far in my flock I have only ever had one very very early stage case of Strike, a few incidences of lameness and a ewe with a wart! I forget this sometimes until I read others posts that put my mere 'irritations' into perspective! I wish you the best with your sheep! :thumbsup:
From 3 to 30 and still flocking up!

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: advice required - septic arthritis
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2012, 12:03:40 am »
I'm puzzled as to why this ewe hasn't already gone to a cast sheep sale.
I had one that we'd had from a lamb, she had a name and was friendly, as are all of ours.
However she prolapsed prior to lambing this last time, so once the lamb was reared off she went.
It's just not practical, fair to the animal or financially sensible to keep them.
Sorry.
What if this isn't due to a dog bite but inherited? You would be breeding from very poor stock.
Sorry again.


Quite. 5% of your ewes seem to take up 80% of your time. Is those that need to go.

Mallows Flock

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Shepton mallet
    • Somerset Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
Re: advice required - septic arthritis
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2012, 12:12:46 am »
Gasp. When I think of my mini flocks and how much time they take up.....
The cades - bottle feeding, creep feeding etc etc
The Shetlands.... chasing, CATCHING and removing blackthorn after their greedy endeavours
The ewes... battling to get car and trailer through without them mobbing me and preventing me getting through at any speed/ease
the rams.... much time spent trying to get them OUT the trailer when it's actually ANY of the others I want in and not them!
They use of 99% of my time. LOL. I can't get rid of them ALL!!!!!  :-J
From 3 to 30 and still flocking up!

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: advice required - septic arthritis
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2012, 02:26:46 pm »
Just a wee update.

The Ewe with the gammy leg ended up going to market for meat. I was sad to see her go, but felt that it was unfair to ask her to carry lambs over winter with a wonky (potentially achy) leg!

She found it awkward to lie down on the affected side...and sometimes hopped and skipped to keep up with her chums...but was otherwise a fit healthy and 'happy' beasty!!!

The Vet said this was definately not an inherited disorder, that it was definately an infection as a result of penetrating trauma, nd that had she come completely sound and mobile there would have been every good reason to use her as a breeding ewe.

After 250 in vet bills and numerous hours of care I feel I gave her the best chance I could.

Emma T
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: advice required - septic arthritis
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2012, 05:15:42 pm »
Sorry she had to go but you gave her a very fair go  :thumbsup:

smee2012

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: advice required - septic arthritis
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2012, 06:57:58 pm »
 :(  At least you gave her the best chance you could. Did your neighbour offer you any compensation, given that it was their dog that caused the damage?

 

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