The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: Anke on October 28, 2011, 10:33:41 pm

Title: CCN in 4 year old ewe
Post by: Anke on October 28, 2011, 10:33:41 pm
One of my ewes looked a bit off colour on Thursday pm, but nothing that would point to anything in particular. This afternoon she was walking very slowly and quite stiffly, and what looked to me - she was blind! She walked very slowly but still bumped into two other ewes lying down! But whenever I got near her she walked away, no chance of getting her in... went back just before it got dark as I was really concerned that something was wrong, and she had walked herself into a corner of the fence and got her head stuck... we managed to load her into the trailer (by then pitchblack - where is the moon when you need it!), and phoned the vet - he diagnosed CCN/Vit B deficiency over the phone. I had not thought of this, as I was associating CCN with young/growing lambs! Has anyone else had this in adult ewes? All of my ewes got their fasinex last Sunday...

Well we have injected her with both antibiotic/steroid and Vit B stuff, but she is lying down in the trailer now, her heart is beating for Scotland, it seems to resonate in the trailer, heavy breathing too... not sure if she is going to make it through the night. Vet was reckoning 60/40, so not so good.

My great worry is that she has not eaten or drunk anything today - I have tried to syringe a bit of water down her throat. She is not fighting me, but most of the water comes back out on the side of her mouth. Is there another way of getting water into them? I do not want to drench her, it may just choke her.
Title: Re: CCN in 4 year old ewe
Post by: Maggie on October 28, 2011, 10:55:47 pm
Hi Anke,
I haven't come across anything like this, but just wanted to give you some support and say I'm rooting for you and your sick ewe... I hope she pulls through.   I hardly ever see my sheep drinking water, except for the sick one I have right now..... I have to top the bucket up often, so I know she's drinking.

I did have a google up and found this, but it's probably what you know already, and the article implies that if you catch the condition early enough - which you did.....  then the outlook isn't so bad. Good luck... (

Title: Re: CCN in 4 year old ewe
Post by: Hopewell on October 29, 2011, 12:30:04 am
I have seen CCN in an adult sheep. It got B1 vitamin intravenously and when I next checked on her I couldn't tell which one in the field she was as she looked completely normal. I think you now have to give an injection of combined vitamins as I don't think B1 is available on its own.
Title: Re: CCN in 4 year old ewe
Post by: SallyintNorth on October 29, 2011, 01:09:34 am
Hi Anke.  Yes we had CCN in adult Swales on the moorland farm.  Mostly they did seem to come right; prompt administration of very large doses of combined B vitamins (and then twice daily for several days) is definitely key.

That NADIS article Maggie found is full of interesting stuff.  It mentions that overnight yardage (and consequent change in diet) prior to dosing can cause metabolic changes resulting in CCN.  You mentioned that they'd recently had fasinex; I don't know if they'd been penned for a while?  It does also mention that damage caused by the dosing gun can cause CCN-like symptoms.

Personally I would not force water but would continue to offer it by syringe or just patting or dribbling some onto her tongue by hand; she'll take a little even if most of it comes out again. 

But if you are worried about dehydration, you won't choke her with drenching if you use a drench gun and use it correctly; as you know it needs to go in the side of the mouth, head raised slightly from the horizontal, neck nice and vertical (so prop her up if she's lying down) and, most crucially, dispensing the fluid beyond the 'bolus' (widthwise lump) across the tongue.  Or you could tube her as you would a lamb, or get the vet to fit a drip.

If she continues to not eat, watch out for ketosis, as you would for a ewe with metabolic disturbances pre-lambing.  I don't know if a vet would recommend a Twin Lamb Remedy, Rehydion or Pfizer Scour Formula - or something more appropriate that I haven't thought of! - to get some electrolytes into her if you are worried.

Good luck with her.
Title: Re: CCN in 4 year old ewe
Post by: Anke on October 29, 2011, 08:05:22 am
She died during the night. When I gave her her second shot of the Vit B stuff late last night she had gone down and her heart rate was really fast. In the end it could have been the shock of moving her into the trailer.... shame she was an entirely trouble free ewe to date, 5 good lambs out of her, but I had hoped for a few more...

This is the first time a sheep of mine did what sheep are supposed to do .... keel over and die despite all your efforts! (and on a Friday night, she won't be collected until Monday - now the discussion around the Saturday morning breakfast table will be where to keep her until Monday!)  Oh well, livestock and all that...

Off to milk the goats....

Title: Re: CCN in 4 year old ewe
Post by: SallyintNorth on October 29, 2011, 08:36:48 am
Oh, bad luck Anke.  You did everything you could.  {{{hugs}}}
Title: Re: CCN in 4 year old ewe
Post by: Rosemary on October 29, 2011, 09:11:17 am
Shame - sorry to hear about your ewe  :( :bouquet: