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Author Topic: Ewe with twin lamb disease?  (Read 5072 times)


  • Joined Dec 2011
Ewe with twin lamb disease?
« on: April 22, 2015, 10:44:28 am »
One of my Charollais (second last to lamb) went down in the field yesterday and didn't get up.  She looked really poorly and I gave her injections of calcium and magnesium, and also twin lamb drench.  It was dark by this time and there was no way of moving her (I am on my own at present).  I was fully expecting her not to survive the night, and when I looked out this morning she hadn't moved so assumed the worst.

However when I went over to her she was still breathing so I went off to get some glucose solution for her.  She took this readily and I offered her some lamb creep, she ate the lot!  I tried her with water which she didn't want.  I called the vet who said to give her more calcium and if she's eating it sounds more hopeful, he's left a multivit injection for me to pick up.  I've given her another dose of calciject and left her with a little pile of haylage which she is eating but she still doesn't seem able to get up.

Can they keep going like this till they lamb?  How frequently should I give her calcium?  I want to move her somehow, at least into some shelter but she is a big girl!
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep


  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: Ewe with twin lamb disease?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2015, 11:30:56 am »
I can't imagine it being healthy for her to stay in one position just from the point of view of getting circulation going again in her legs so she is capable of standing; Are you able to construct a temporary shelter and move / turn her with the help of bales etc?
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  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Ewe with twin lamb disease?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2015, 11:46:19 am »
I would have thought you need to get her up periodically, so she can wee and poo properly, and to keep her circulation going.  As Kanisha suggested, prop her up against some bales until you can get her in.  Does she have twin lamb or hypocalcaemia?  How often have you given a twin lamb drench?  you would need to repeat that aggressively (every 4 to 6 hours) until she has her strength back.  If she isn't drinking then I would syringe some water into her mouth to keep her fluids up.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Ewe with twin lamb disease?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2015, 02:56:16 pm »
You need to keep her hydrated and keep her rumen working - not just hard feed but hay or grass.  Move her every few hours, even if it's only to prop up her backside, scrape out the soiled bedding and replace it with fresh straw - she'll get very sore skin otherwise.   If you have badgers in your area put an enclosure around her or, if you can get someone to help, tip her gently into a wheelbarrow and take her back to the shed.  Badgers will attack a recumbent sheep or cow.


  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: Ewe with twin lamb disease?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2015, 11:48:06 pm »
You may need to speak to you vet about an injection to induce her. Usually if they're down more than 24 hours bringing them on to lamb gives them the best chance of survival. Depending how far she is off lambing you can often get live lambs if she's not been down too long.


  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Ewe with twin lamb disease?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2015, 06:52:09 am »


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Ewe with twin lamb disease?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2015, 11:37:29 am »
Good advice from all.

To move her a bit, I know you said you are on your own but could you do this?  Go to her back end and lift her onto her back legs for a while (so she's down on her knees.  You would have to hold her there.  Then put that end down and repeat with the front end.  She really does need to get rid of gas, pass urine and droppings.  You might also be able to move her from the side and prop up a bit with a bale.  As she gets sensation back, you can perhaps get her standing properly, propped with bales.    Her legs will be numb by now so she won't be able to get up on her own. Rub her legs every couple of hours, and move her even if it's only from side to side, and readjust the position of her legs.  She's a big sheep, so it's going to be difficult.
My favourite trick for getting the rumen working and some interest in food is the Digestive biscuit. Break it into quarters and pop it into the side of her mouth.  She may take a while to show interest but persevere.
I know what hard work it is having to manage the sheep without help - when it happened to me I got rid of all my big girls and kept with the primitives.
Good luck with her.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 11:40:07 am by Fleecewife »
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  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: Ewe with twin lamb disease?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2015, 11:56:13 am »
If you really cannot move her (and I know how difficult that can be), get some hurdles and make a safety pen around her.  Good luck :fc:


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