Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Hi all,could someone help my poor sheep please?  (Read 14131 times)

Lilly54

  • Joined May 2011
Hi all,could someone help my poor sheep please?
« on: May 14, 2011, 02:12:58 pm »
Hi everyone, I'm hoping some of you very kind sheep lovers could help me with Gertie, my sick 7 year old sheep. She lambed 9 days ago but before she did she was 'off colour' for a couple of days but still had the energy to evade capture until she gave birth to twins. She wouldn't feed her twins but didn't seem to mind them lying with her and they're still with her now but are bottle fed.
From the day she had them she was off her food and everything she did eat caused a huge amount of cud spill so we treated her with a twin lamb disease drench,a multi-vit injection, pro-rumen, yoghurt,B-vits, bi-carb,honey,a painkiller and LA200. She picked up and the cud spilling stopped after 5 days of intensive treatment and she got to the point where she was eating hay and even let the lambs suckle for a few minutes so we thought we were home and dry, however on Thursday morning I found her on her side and hardly breathing. Panicking, all I could think was calcium so I injected her with 70mls of caliject and 5mls of a b-complex and held my breath. 
Luckily she came round although wouldn't eat that day so it was back to drenching. The next day she ate herself but we kept on with the drenches to be sure.
Yesterday she tried to stand but could only get up on her back legs so we've been trying to help but as yet she's still not able to stand up herself. Is this normal after a calcium drop? Is there anything I can do to help her stand or anything else you can think of that she might need. I'm worried sick about her. Today I bought some calcium/mag and vit D supplements and crushed one in her drench to see if that would work but TBH I'm at a loss as to what else I could try. Thanks for listening and for this great forum where I've been lurking for weeks.  :)

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Hi all,could someone help my poor sheep please?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2011, 03:30:29 pm »
I don't think you'd do her any harm to repeat the doses of calciject and vit B. What you're describing does sound like milk-fever or calcium/magnesium deficiency.
If she hasn't eaten properly for that long you probably need something from the vet/feedstore to get her rumen going again.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Hi all,could someone help my poor sheep please?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2011, 04:25:19 pm »
Listeriosis?

Lilly54

  • Joined May 2011
Re: Hi all,could someone help my poor sheep please?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2011, 05:46:16 pm »
She responded to the TLD treatment and had recovered to the point where I was thinking about enlarging her pen so she could get a little grass instead of the hay and dried food but then she went down again. She did respond within 10 minutes after the caliject so I'm pretty sure it was  hypocalcaemia. She started eating herself the day after the caliject and looks alert with ears up, it's just she can't stand up. She's at the stage where her back legs are up but she's getting around on her knees and I thought she'd be up standing by now. I've given her another dose of combivit and another 30mls of caliject to see if that makes a difference.
I'm tring not to lose hope and don't want to give up on her as we've come this far, it would just make my day if she stood up. If she hasn't by Monday I'll probably get the vet out. I thought of listeriosis but she's improved with both the TLD treatment and the caliject so I put it out of my mind. She was standing and walking fine until the hypocalcaemia happened.  >:(

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Hi all,could someone help my poor sheep please?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2011, 06:08:33 pm »
Firstly, you need to stand her up and hold her up while she burps, pees and poos, then lay her down again somewhere clean, or change the straw under her.  Stand her whenever you are passing, and hold her up for anything from 5 to 20 mins, depending on how much time you have.
For emergency energy, dissolve some glucose or dextrose powder in water (a heaped tablespoon in about 100mls plus a small pinch of salt) and give orally by syringe, or I have made a porridge with something such as ewe pencils or coarse mix soaked and even cooked, until it's broken down enough to be administered by syringe ( without a needle) orally.  I use a 50ml syringe with a catheter tip (the long slightly tapered sort which comes with lamb feeding tubes)  Squirt some gently into the back of her mouth, give her time to swallow (rub her throat until she does), then repeat until you can't get her to take any more.  Repeat that as often as she will take some, as long as her rumen is working - if she smells acidic rather than the slightly sweet smell of normal sheep's breath, just give her liquid glucose - if you don't have the powder you could dissolve a bit from a licky bucket.  Calciject works like a miracle to get a sheep back up, but then she needs sustenance to keep her going afterwards.
To get her to start eating again, small pieces of digestive biscuit pushed onto her tongue from the side of her mouth might interest her.  She will not be able to produce milk for her lambs.
If you can get her back on her feet, have a good look at her teeth, back ones as well as front - if she doesn't have them all then that would explain the problem and she would not be suitable for breeding again - but she will survive quite happily for many years without the stress of lambing.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 06:12:46 pm by Fleecewife »
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jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Hi all,could someone help my poor sheep please?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2011, 06:12:20 pm »
This reminds me, I once fed a sick goat with runny Readybrek and syrup, using a twin-lamb drench bottle. Same idea, the vet recommended the porridge mix to give her rumen something to work on.

Lilly54

  • Joined May 2011
Re: Hi all,could someone help my poor sheep please?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2011, 06:55:53 pm »
Thank you, it took 2 of us to get her up on all 4 feet but she managed to hold her weight herself once we got her balanced. She tried her best to walk but couldn't so we helped her down again and will do this as often as we can. I've made her a porridge of readybreck and a little course mix to give her as I'm sure her rumen is working. I don't care what I have to do, I just want her well again, thanks for the help and I'll let you know how we get on   :)

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Hi all,could someone help my poor sheep please?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2011, 07:20:56 pm »
Good luck  :-*

ellisr

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Wales
Re: Hi all,could someone help my poor sheep please?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2011, 07:26:04 pm »
I had similar and had to put mine outside during the day on lovely fresh grass and lift her up everytime I passed by, after a week of perserverance she did get up and walk herself but still a little unsteady it took 3 weeks of good grass through the day and mash at teatime and rest in the shelter out of the cold and frost, now you wouldn't know there had every been an issue.

Good luck and well done so far

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Hi all,could someone help my poor sheep please?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2011, 10:42:21 pm »
I have bred successfully from ewes with broken mouths, even one with no teeth at the front at all. These were 11 and 12 year old shetland ewes. With extra feed during the winter and soft hay/good haylage they manage usually ok (Toast was a favoutrite). But you would have to watch really carefully for her milk supply, and if necessary take one lamb off if she has twins. It depends on the breed, how good your land is and if you are able to give an older ewe a bit more TLC. Problem is these girls will become really special to you and make it really difficult when you have to make the decision to let them go....

Hope your girl comes round, but you probably will have to feed her lambs by bottle.

Southfields

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • Salisbury
Re: Hi all,could someone help my poor sheep please?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2011, 03:20:46 am »
Hope she gets well soon.  The only advice i can say is to get her up at every opportunity, glucose powder is cheap & effective to give her the boost.  Lots of TLC & perseverance. x

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: Hi all,could someone help my poor sheep please?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2011, 10:05:05 am »
Listeriosis?

That was my gut reaction. especially when cud spilling is mentioned. Listeria can be cured with huge doses of anitbiotics. Survival rate seems to depend  on how quickly you spot it and start treating it.

I am sceptical about the calcium deficiency theory - personally I have never seen in it sheep after lambing.

I think given how long she has been poorly and all the treatments you have given her, she should probably be seen by a vet.
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Lilly54

  • Joined May 2011
Re: Hi all,could someone help my poor sheep please?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2011, 07:20:32 pm »
I saw a sheep go down with listeriosis last year which sadly died and it was the first thing I thought of with Gertie but theres no circling or blindness or drooling this time. The cud spill stopped once I'd used the pro-rumen after the TLD drenches and although she went down again she responded quickly to the caliject. Probably I should've treated her with caliject sooner as I've heard both problems go together but I didn't realise at the time. Today she's hungry and although still on her knees, she's eating with her bum in the air so she is getting stronger and making the effort to stand.
I'm still drenching her but she's fighting me now and wants to eat herself, co-co pops mixed in with some course mix is going down a treat.I'm starting to see light at the end of the tunnel but still taking one day at a time with lots of TLC. Thanks to everyone for the help and support I'll rest a lot easier once she's up and on grass  :)

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Hi all,could someone help my poor sheep please?
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2011, 08:45:43 pm »
Lol on the CocoPops  :D Glad she's eating something and fighting you is a good sign :)

Lilly54

  • Joined May 2011
Re: Hi all,could someone help my poor sheep please?
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2011, 12:54:19 pm »
Day 7 of her intensive treatment, drenches,calcium,b-vits,course mix and the fantastic co-co pops plus rubbing and stretching her front legs and this morning she was STANDING  :D she even managed a couple of steps! Ok, I know we still have a while to go before she can re-join the flock but I'm so happy that after 2 weeks with TLD, a shut down rumen, hypo calcaemia, another shut down rumen and an inability to stand she's finally decided to live. Thank you all so much for the advice and support, Gertie and I are eternally grateful x

 

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