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Author Topic: Newbie question about bloat  (Read 4731 times)

princesslayer

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Tadley, Hants
Newbie question about bloat
« on: May 11, 2015, 10:25:34 pm »
Hello all,

I'm guessing bloat is recognised by round hard tummies in lambs. Does it make them behave any differently? Any other symptoms?

And what's the consequence of bloat, can they die of it?

I don't think any of mine have been affected so far, they're all on mothers milk and eating significant amounts of grass I think, at 7 weeks old, no creep. Does it become more likely as lambs get older and eat more grass?

Thanks
Keeper of Jacob sheep, several hens, Michael the Cockerel and some small children.

Yeoman

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • South Northamptonshire
Re: Newbie question about bloat
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2015, 11:13:03 pm »
Yep, they can die of it - and very quickly.  I'm not 100% sure of the physiology involved but I had a case recently and it looked very much like the gas stopped one or more of the major organs (lungs) from working.


Not sure of how much of a problem it is when the ewe is looking after the lamb as their general mobility self regulates the flow of milk into the lamb.


Swollen and hard tummy are the obvious signals.  Later, discomfort and pain.  In the case I had recently, these final signals came very late in the process - within an hour or so of death.


It seems to be a tricky one to deal with...massaging seems worth a try but after that you're into tubing olive oil or something similar.


Best course of action is to avoid it in the first place.  Anyone any experience of lambs with their ewe getting bloat?

Porterlauren

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Newbie question about bloat
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2015, 11:52:04 pm »
Gripe water (like you give to babies) can work well.

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Newbie question about bloat
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2015, 09:03:40 am »
I don't think there is any reason why a lamb that is still on it's mother and is not on creep feed should get bloat.  It's only when you introduce non-natural feeds like artificial milk or overdo the creep feed that you can unsettle the natural balance.  Or rather it's more the "how" they are fed, not the "what" - e.g. milk meals that are too large (little and often is better, as it would be from their mum), or consuming large amounts of creep in one go.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Newbie question about bloat
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2015, 09:56:13 am »
We lost a lamb a couple of years ago that bloated after getting into the calf creep feeder. Tried all number of treatments but he gave up about 10 hours after I bought him in. Another pet lamb bloated last year after a guts full of creep and milk, the day before they were due to be weaned...

This year however we found a ewe lamb bloated right up in the field, got her in and vet came as he was passing by. She hadn't had any creep for 3 or 4 days, she was only on grass (which she'd been out in the same field for 4 weeks). Vet said the unusually high sugar levels in the grass caused it as he had another lamb the day before with same type of bloat. Tube down into her stomach relieved some of the gas and she had a tonic called Birp from vet which helped loads too. So whilst it isn't common, it can occur in lambs that are just out at grass. Luckily we caught her early and she was fine. 

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: Newbie question about bloat
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2015, 10:39:25 am »
A cannula (large bore needle) directly into the rumen to release the gas will give immediate relief of pressure, not sure about doing it yourself but if nothing else works you've nothing to lose.

princesslayer

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Tadley, Hants
Re: Newbie question about bloat
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2015, 10:17:31 pm »
 Thanks all, great info as usual!  :thumbsup:
Keeper of Jacob sheep, several hens, Michael the Cockerel and some small children.

Jode

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Newbie question about bloat
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2015, 10:49:10 pm »
We had a horse with colic last week. Very similar symptoms to bloat and caused by sweet grass. Incurred 460 vet bill. My dad was telling me about a fil m he has just watched currently on at the cinema where the sheep gorge on clover and all go down with bloat. The shepherd comes along and pokes a spike in their bellies to release the gas and they all get up and carry on grazing!!!! Maybe we should have tried that with our horse!!!!

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Newbie question about bloat
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2015, 11:07:10 pm »
The vet came out to our lamb I mentioned expecting to put a needle in her side, I wanted to see him do it in case I had to do it again. She didn't need it doing though, but as above our fields have a bit of clover in which is probably what caused the bloat.

Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: Newbie question about bloat
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2015, 11:28:24 pm »
Wet dewy grass?

princesslayer

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Tadley, Hants
Re: Newbie question about bloat
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2015, 09:53:27 am »
Could high sugar content cause faster fermentation in gut thereby producing more gas?
Keeper of Jacob sheep, several hens, Michael the Cockerel and some small children.

Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: Newbie question about bloat
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2015, 11:14:32 pm »

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: Newbie question about bloat
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2015, 07:28:59 pm »
We had a horse with colic last week. Very similar symptoms to bloat and caused by sweet grass. Incurred 460 vet bill. My dad was telling me about a fil m he has just watched currently on at the cinema where the sheep gorge on clover and all go down with bloat. The shepherd comes along and pokes a spike in their bellies to release the gas and they all get up and carry on grazing!!!! Maybe we should have tried that with our horse!!!!
The film is 'Far from the Madding Crowd', filmed where I work.  Don't forget the camera does lie!

BALLOCH

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Newbie question about bloat
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2015, 09:07:56 pm »
I have had a pet lamb this time at 3 weeks got bloated and wouldn't take bottle,or only 50g.I tried every potion ,from oil,baking powder,gripe water ,probiotic yoghurt,ginger and water,and also wormed her.She wanted milk but couldn't drink and she looked in pain and her tummy sounded full.In the end the vet gave me metacam and buscapan which is used for colic in horses,We also gave a shot of long acting antibiotics.Within a few hours she was back on the bottle,and running around and been a lamb again.She is grazing and has hard feed with older sheep,has creep but not really taking,she is now on 3 small bottles aday and after each she gets gripe water and probiotic yoghurt which she sucks out of the stringe.Fingers x shes doing well again and the vet says I was doing all the right things.

 

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