Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Colic in bottle fed lambs  (Read 170 times)

Hayleyhub

  • Joined Jun 2021
Colic in bottle fed lambs
« on: June 01, 2021, 10:52:21 pm »
Hi I am new to this forum so first thanks for having me...
I am a new sheep owner and have 6 beautiful boys which I keep as pets and a few ewes too.
The farmer where I live had a ewe give birth 3 weeks ago today and unfortunately 1 died and the other was tiny I mean so tiny 1.2 kilos I asked if I could please try and save her and she agreed all has been going well until yesterday she seemed in pain and was kicking out we took her to the vet who said probably colic gave her antibiotics and pain relief and buscapan... she seemed to perk up but today has been bad again she is eating but just seems very unhappy and in pain I gave her another injection of buscapan today and she has antibiotics due tomorrow and another buscapan but I still feel she is bloated any help would be greatly appreciated thanks and sorry for the long post  :sheep:

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Colic in bottle fed lambs
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2021, 09:36:59 am »
At the top of the sheep section (above your post) you will see a post about bloat, which is the common term for what you are describing in lambs and sheep.  You need to get rid of the trapped gas asap.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Colic in bottle fed lambs
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2021, 09:47:33 am »
Any possibility that the milk, bottle or teat are other than completely clean?  Adding a spoonful of natural yoghurt (made from unhomogenised milk if at all possible) to the bottle can help to reeastablish the correct gut flora, and to counteract any interlopers finding their way into the feed.

Any possibility that the milk has been too hot on any occasion?  They can take a few days to recover fully if this has happened.

Is it possible that milk is getting into the wrong stomach?  This can happen if she is given too much milk at one feed, so that the abomasum overflows, and also if the oesophageal reflex, which closes the oesophageal groove to direct the milk into the abomasum, didn't get established, often coupled with her head being held too vertical while she is fed.  (Should be just above the horizontal.)

If increasing hygiene, a bit of yoghurt, smaller feeds, checking the temperature and holding her head in the correct position don't improve things, I would put her on PFS (Pfizer Scour Formula) for 48 hours.

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

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Colic in bottle fed lambs
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2021, 11:05:00 am »
Just to add to Sally's comments - how much milk are you feeding in one go? If she was only 1.2kgs at birth, she will not take a whole bottle at 4 weeks old in one feed (i had a goat kid of that weight this year, and she took almost a couple of months before she was taking 500ml in one feed - she was on 5 feeds a day for quite a while), her abomasum isn't big enough.


I would take her off milk, put her on rehydration fluids and hay only for a couple of days and then start again with smaller bottle feeds, but increase the number of feeds.


Also she is on milk replacer or real (goats) milk? If on real milk, do not feed shop bought homogenised milk, the homogenisation interferes with the digestion, as the fat globules are all smashed up.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Colic in bottle fed lambs
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2021, 12:52:07 pm »
Agree with everything Anke has written, and would add :

Shetland lambs rarely get big enough to take 500ml at one feed

Almost all shop milk is homogenised these days - check the small print.

Changing the milk can cause upsets - in particular, I have had lambs be very poorly and even die changing from cow's milk back to ewes' milk.  (I used to feed my own orphans on our own Jersey's milk, but after these experiences, I would mix Hillie's milk with powdered ewes' milk for lambs who might get adopted so that they were able to cope with going back onto ewes' milk if fostered.)

Some powdered milk for lambs is made from ewes' milk, and some is not.  Switching between the two may cause upsets.
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

 

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