Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Lump in neck  (Read 4510 times)


  • Joined Oct 2014
  • Perth, Western Australia
Lump in neck
« on: March 15, 2016, 05:30:32 am »
Hi all,

Would be very grateful for views/experiences on what could be causing a hard, large golf ball shaped lump in the neck of my 18 month old damara ewe.  It's on the right hand side below the jaw.  She's had it about two weeks and as there are no sheep vets round here I rely on friends who keep sheep/goats/alpacas, and their concensus was that it's a cyst.  Apart from sounding a bit hoarse when she bleats (there must be a joke in there, nay?) she's absolutely fine - eating and drinking as normal and bossing the alpacas around.

But it seems to be getting bigger and I think it's already big for a cyst.  Will try and post a photo....thanks for any help.


  • Joined Oct 2012
  • Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire
Re: Lump in neck
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2016, 10:02:39 am »
Could be an abscess, or even caseous lymphadenitis (CLA).
Very important that you get a vet as an abscess in the jaw area may compress or infect important tissues such as the windpipe or carotid artery/jugular vein, and caseous lymphadenitis is highly contagious and external abscesses can be the tip of the iceberg with further abscesses in vital organs.


  • Joined Oct 2014
  • Perth, Western Australia
Re: Lump in neck
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2016, 03:08:34 am »
Hi fsm,

thanks so much for your reply.  Trust me, if I could get a vet on this I'd do it like a shot, but although we live in a very rural area (5 acre blocks) and lots of people keep sheep, goats and alpacas, there isn't a single vet in the area who'll help with sheep.  There is one that will come out to alpacas and claims to cover sheep but in fact doesn't, but the only other one who'd do sheep at a pinch got struck off last year for inadequate record keeping of drugs   :o.  (I must admit if I'd know the vet situation I probably wouldn't have got sheep at all, but hindsight is a wonderful thing).  So I'm really on my own.....and very grateful you're here  :wave:

Having done some more research, I'm wondering if it could be a goitre as damaras are hair sheep? 

CLA is certainly a possibility - the vaccine over here is 5 in 1 excluding CLA, and there is a 6 in 1 but it's not easy to get hold of so she hasn't been vaccinated against it.  Is it fatal?  I have two pregnant ewes in the same paddock...  Would an abscess make her feel unwell/off her food as there certainly isn't any indication of that!

I'm wondering whether to try and drain off a little bit of the fluid to see what's in there, but I'm worried about breaking the skin, especially with no antibiotics.

Thanks for any other thoughts, very gratefully received!


  • Joined Oct 2012
  • Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire
Re: Lump in neck
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2016, 10:18:40 am »
Goitre would be central on the bottom of the neck.
I expect cla is most likely, although sheep can have abscesses that aren't cla, and usually the body closing them off will keep the worst infection out of the body, but as I said they can press on or invade important tissues.
Cla can cause abscesses in internal organs which can cause wasting, potentially death.
As cla is quite possible, I would be very careful about draining it as what you drain will be highly infectious. You could also hit things like the jugular vein in that location causing fairly rapid death by bleeding.
Ideally a vet should be testing this animal for cla, draining the abscess with removal and burning of any discharge to prevent spread of infection and giving antiinflammatories and antibiotics.
If eating and breathing fine, and you cannot get a vet, I would leave it be, monitoring for any weight loss or other lumps or signs of illness.
I would also seriously consider whether to continue keeping sheep, as it is vital for their welfare that you are able to get veterinary care if needed. Eg. if one of them were to break a leg, or go off food etc, then not getting immediate veterinary attention will cause suffering and potentially death.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Lump in neck
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2016, 12:43:39 pm »
I would keep her isolated.  Look up internet for pics. of other sites on body where CLA may occur and check them out.  If it starts to ooze spray with a/b spray.


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