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Author Topic: Dead lamb  (Read 6051 times)

shetlandpaul

  • Joined Oct 2008
Dead lamb
« on: May 02, 2009, 11:16:35 am »
We found one of our three Shetland lambs very cold and limp yesterday morning. We warmed him gave him glucose and tube fed him. we also gave him I'm antibiotics. he was quite active yesterday morning and afternoon. He wilted a lot yesterday evening. he became UN responsive and  was breathing very hard thou he sounded clear no crackles. at about two this morning he started losing liquid from his nose and died at about 3-4. My daughter who is usually very soft and cries over anything stayed up to help look after him and was the calmest Ive ever seen her.

 the question is was there anything that we could have done to save him.

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: Dead lamb
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2009, 11:26:57 am »
I am sorry to hear your news.....it is so devastating to lose such a young animal. It sounds as if you did everything in your power to help the wee thing. I cant offer any clues (not experienced enough) but can you say if you saw the lamb pass urine/and or faeces?

Perhaps if it was infection, the anti-Bs you gave were maybe  just not enough to cover him. Also, you mentioned you warmed him and fed him. Is there not a stage of hypothermia when you must feed/glucose before warming? perhaps this is what you actually did but just wrote it the other way round?

Fluid from the nose mmmmm........ could be pneumonia or blocked digestive tract....
Sorry not much help! Emma x
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

shetlandpaul

  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: Dead lamb
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2009, 11:36:56 am »
the vet told us to just add the glucose to the first tube feed. it was weeing and passing Pooh. i suspect it pick up the pneumonia as it was chilled during the night. The vet did not think it would survive but we always hope to prove  them wrong.

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: Dead lamb
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2009, 02:13:38 pm »
yeh I know,    sometimes as small holders we can give that extra bit of attention which can make the difference. Then we can say we won!!! We beat it!! Sadly sometimes we can not do anything more. The only consolation is that the pneumonia took the lamb quite quickly. Perhaps there was an underlying problem which could have been a far more traumatic way to go had the pneumonia not speeded the inevitable. ... I am afraid I am one of those people who would rather a fast dispatch than heroic futile attempts to fight what may be better for the animal, although saddest for us.

I always say I'd rather have an animal put down months too early than a day to late!

non the less, I am sorry you lost this battle.
Emma x

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

hexhammeasure

  • Joined Jun 2008
    • golocal food
    • Facebook
Re: Dead lamb
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2009, 04:31:53 pm »
I was always taught that If you have a cold/hypothermic lamb you must ALWAYS warm it before you feed it with a tube as the act of converting the food to energy uses up the last of the lambs energy. We had some lambs that died like that a few years ago the Vet said it was pnuemonia so we injected the lambs with Ovivac P. It seemed to have worked in that we had no more deaths that were obviously from pneumonia
Ian

shetlandpaul

  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: Dead lamb
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2009, 04:33:46 pm »
it was a good lesson for the daughter. and me. Its funny what you will do and spend for something that was going to be a meal one day. thou i suspect he would have ended up as yet another pet. As this is our first spring with larger animals its good to get experience at diffrent things. were not the only soft ones there are a lot of older crofters up here that are very soft.  

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: Dead lamb
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2009, 06:20:18 pm »
I was always taught that If you have a cold/hypothermic lamb you must ALWAYS warm it before you feed it with a tube as the act of converting the food to energy uses up the last of the lambs energy. We had some lambs that died like that a few years ago the Vet said it was pnuemonia so we injected the lambs with Ovivac P. It seemed to have worked in that we had no more deaths that were obviously from pneumonia

This is a common misconception and is the cause fo death in many lambs. What you do depends on the age of the lamb.

If the lamb is UNDER 12 hours old, you must warm it first and then feed it. If it is OVER 12 hours old you must feed it before warming. I can give the technical explanation for this if any one wants it.

If you follow this rule of thumb you will save more lambs.
The SHEEP Book for Smallholders
Available from the Good Life Press

www.viableselfsufficiency.co.uk

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Dead lamb
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2009, 09:08:07 am »
I'd like the technical explanation please. I remember things better if I understand the reason rather than just remembering the rule.

Thanks in anticipation.

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: Dead lamb
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2009, 02:45:09 pm »
OK,

If the lamb is under twelve hours old it will have, within its body, brown adipose tissue - basically an iternal energy source for emergency use. In this case you can warm the lamb first as it has an energy supply within it. The lamb will need energy as soon as its metabolism gets going again and the brown tissue provides the energy needed. At this stage the cold is what will kill it.

Over twelve hours old and the brown tissue is all gone. So as soon as the lamb starts waring up it needs energy. Unless you provide that before warming by feeding, then the lamb will become hypoglycaemic ( low blood sugars) go into fits, where it pushes its head back an paddles with its legs and then it will die. You must feed first to prevent this.

Is that clear enough?

The SHEEP Book for Smallholders
Available from the Good Life Press

www.viableselfsufficiency.co.uk

shetlandpaul

  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: Dead lamb
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2009, 04:55:30 pm »
but that did not happen in my case. the lamb picked up before coming down with the infection. he was a day old. i was planning to give the injection into his stomach but the vet said to mix it in with its feed. your probably right about getting glucose in first as the book says that you should not tube feed if it can't hold its head up. we warmed him gently with hot warter bottles and a hair dryer.

 

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