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Author Topic: My 5 week o;d sheep has been scouring for 2 weeks, and tired everything! Help!!!  (Read 10112 times)


  • Joined Jul 2013
My 5 week old lamb is scouring, has been ongoing and tried everything! Firstly it started like 3 weeks ago, and has never acted lethargic and always active and full  of life, eating lots of hay and some grass. 2 days ago, I've been giving it some electroyltes mixture twice/three times a day, about 900ml a day, and some yakult for humans which is meant to be good for lambs with these issues, a small bottle a day which is 65ml. Ok and totally stopped it's milk. When we gave it the electrolytes we mixed it in warm water then when we wanted to use it we put the bottle in hot water to warm it. (Does that kill the electrolytes?) So it started pooing a bit harder, but today and last night its gone back to diarrhea, and we haven't given it any milk. Its still frolicking around, etc, but when you give it a drink its belly makes noses. Also this morning I gave it 500ml of electrolyte mixture and I gave it now milk (around 10 hours later) as it hasn't had milk for days, and I had seen its diarrhea today is really bad again; and before I gave it the milk, it already had a huge stomach, like it was bloated! Should I keep giving it electrolytes, am I mixing it wrong, do I give it the one shot not refrigerate it? Should I not let it eat hay? What do I do!!!!! Please help, Ive run out of options. :sheep: :'(

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Have you consulted your vet?


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Yep, you need to talk to the vet, if it's been going on for 2 weeks. You risk it dying if not.


  • Joined Jul 2013
I did, and they recommended the electrolytes, it has been on..


  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Lincolnshire
Can cocci hit at such an early age people? Vet needs to examine and poss take a fecal sample. Can't survive much longer like that  :(  One thought, did your lamb get plenty of colostrum?


  • Joined Aug 2011
You dont say if you have either wormed it or given in vecoxan, which would be the first things I'd do.


  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales

This is an orphan right?Change your brand of milk?  Or switch to goats milk (I think some folks on here have suggested that)?
Give it creep feed if it doesn't already have any.  I think I would not let it have grass, only hay and creep and the electrolytes and the probitiotics.
Do the electrolytes not say on the packet how to use/mix them?  If not, ask your vet.


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
If it is an orphan it probably did not get enough colostrum, and has e.coli (as in rattle belly) - is the diarrhoea evil smelling and greyish? You may by now have so much damage to the digestive tract that the little fellow is unlikely to recover... I had two this year and we had to give up after a couple of weeks - antibiotics and anti-inflammatories did not do the trick.


  • Joined Jul 2013
I'd make sure its not cocci or some other nasty and then i'd drench with a bit of kaolin and morphine. I have used this with huge success under the advice of an old sheppherd i used to know. It does wonders to help the digestive tract recover! Good luck!


  • Joined Apr 2013
In NZ a product called scourban (pink chalky thick liquid that can be given direct or added to the milk) is available from vets, this is given a few times over a couple days and usually clears the scouring up very quickly.  I think it is  sulphur based and think that some vets dont suggest it anymore but mine does and it works - it may be similar to the kaolin?

There are also products that are better than straight electrolytes called i think diarrhrex (??) name may be wrong.  These have worked better for me than straight electrolytes for scouring lambs and are ussually available for calves with the scours - there are plenty of medications available for scouring from vets and farm shops. 
If there has been a long gap since you gave it milk, you will need to be very careful about giving it milk again as this will also upset its stomach  and may cause more bloating- and here in NZ they say never change the milk type - as they are made from different products and can cause bloat if changed.  As your lamb learns to eat grass, bloating can be a problem - there are lots of threads on bloating in lambs during weaning onto grass in this forum if you search it.  Hay is good to calm the stomach and i agree with the others continue that  with creep fed, lamb muesli in moderation till it is used to it and go carefully with the grass.  Tend toward drier foods than scour making foods.

Others will know - i have forgotton but a lamb of five weeks probably if you are giving it hay, creep etc should be ok weaned from the milk - not ideal but better than scouring constantly.  Generally i think with the electrolytes the container says give it for a limited period of time - is that right?  Best check that or ask the vet.  B12 injection may be useful - you will need to ask your vet.

If you do get it back on the milk safely, cooler milk with some yoghurt (add to each feed otherwise the whole bottle goes thick) will help prevent bloating and upset stomach.

I reckon like the others check with the vet re worms, cocc, etc.  But likely just a sensitive stomach that over time will settle with some help re scourban or similar and the right feed. But it will be a daily managing thing until it settles

Is your lamb losing weight ? Have you talked more with the vet?

Sally in the north where are you??!She will have some ideas!  Good luck.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
If it had been due top coccidiosis I'd have thought it would have died by now.  We always try and milk off a few youngish ewes with single, vigorous lambs to have a store of colostrum that's specific to our farm.  We use the best quality powdered colostrum we can get hold of if we don't have enough.

If it survives after all that it's unlikely to be a good doer.


  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Queensland, Australia
There's exceptions to every rule. I can't say I know for sure what foods might have made the difference with my lamb but so far she's a good doer weightwise despite having a lot of near fatal issues, including scouring nonstop for her first few months. Kept growing like a fluffy maggot though! I like Damaras, great sheep IMO. Wasn't her fault she was so ill.

I gave her native raspberry leaves, great stuff for killing diarrhea among other issues, but really she ate so many things both good and bad it's a miracle she's alive now. Had a guest who kept leaving packets of tobacco around, the fully chemicalized stuff, and she'd tuck right in. Yogurt was not something that went down well with her. Yakult's not been something that's worked for us with sensitive stomachs. But my experience is limited to non chemical treatments and all so I don't have any advice for you, sorry. Best wishes with the lamb though.


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