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Author Topic: Orphan lamb not drinking, also blindness in lambs?  (Read 7849 times)

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Orphan lamb not drinking, also blindness in lambs?
« on: April 03, 2012, 08:44:06 am »
Hi I wonder if anyone can help me. I have 6 orphan lambs that I picked up last Tuesday morning, 3 are Texel X and the other 3 I can't quite remember but they are black spotty speckley possibly suffolk x. I have questions about 2 of them...

1 of the smaller lambs (around 9 ish days old) isn't a great drinker, he came to us fine but doesn't seem overly interested in drinking. In the morning he drinks better, normally around 200ml but this then decreases as the day goes on (fed 4 times a day 7am, midday, 5pm and 10:30pm)... down to about 50-100ml on each of the next 3 feeds. He was panting slightly which seems to be a bit better but still not breathing as normal, will get up and stretch but just doesn't seem interested in drinking? He is warm under a lamp and his tummy always looks full... Any ideas what it could be, he had a shot of pen&strep on saturday lunch but it didn't really make any difference.

The 2nd question I have is r.e. blindness in lambs... how often does this occur? Again the lamb was picked up in good health, she is probably 12 days old, but over the week her eyes have become very white and cloudy, they are not weaping or wet. She doesn't really react when you pass a hand over them, she is drinking brilliantly and in every other respect is a healthy strong lamb.

If anyone can help it would be much appreciated :)

Moleskins

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • England
Re: Orphan lamb not drinking, also blindness in lambs?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2012, 09:14:10 am »
We tried with some orphan lambs and the one wheezed a lot when drinking and had to pause between drinks.
He lasted about 3 months but didn't thrive.
I have a theory he was tube fed before we got him, the milk given at that stage somehow got into his lungs and that was the root cause. I think  the way it got into his lungs was because the milk was put in too quickly and came back up the outside of the tube into the lungs.
Good luck but in my experience orphan lambs are hard going and a certain amount of heartache.
Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Orphan lamb not drinking, also blindness in lambs?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2012, 09:17:52 am »
Thank you... that sounds similar although not sure if he was tube fed, the farmer didn't say he had been and all but one of the lambs had been on a bottle, he was one of the lambs that had. I guess it's just little and often.

To be fair the other 5 including the query blind one are absolutely thriving, I would think by the end of the week they will all be ready to go into a bigger pen without the lamp as the rest are jumping around in the small space they have :)

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Orphan lamb not drinking, also blindness in lambs?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2012, 10:11:57 am »
 The blindness could be due to an infection, or ingrowing eyelashes.
 It is worth trying some antibiotic eye cream.
 The one I use is Orbenin, obtainable on prescription, about 5/tube. The beauty of it is that it is long acting so you only need one application.
 To apply it, you do not aim the nozzle directly at the lambs eye. Instead, pull down the lower eye lid and apply the cream to the inner surface of the eyelid. That way you will not poke its eye out when it struggles. When you release the lid it spreads the cream over the whole eye.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Orphan lamb not drinking, also blindness in lambs?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2012, 11:26:53 am »
If she is a texel X she could well have inturned eyelids, the lashes then scratch her cornea every time she blinks. She will go blind very quickly. Get a vet to check her out and treat her asap.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Orphan lamb not drinking, also blindness in lambs?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 02:02:20 pm »
Sorry should have been a bit clearer... the query blind one isn't texel x... would her breeding make any difference? I can't make my mind up if she is blind or not, or whether she's partially sighted...

The little one that wasn't drinking much had 200ml first thing then another 125ml and seemed slightly better so fingers crossed.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Orphan lamb not drinking, also blindness in lambs?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 02:06:48 pm »
The lamb I had last year was given 150 mls 5 times a day and he steadily got bigger.  Small lambs aren't always able to take as much as 200 mls at a time. Try giving him less but more often if you have the time.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Hermit

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Orphan lamb not drinking, also blindness in lambs?
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2012, 02:15:51 pm »
I had an orphan lamb which was blind. The vet said it was a vitamin defficiency, B  if I remember rightly. Also please consider a chest infection for the badly breathing lamb , a phone call to the vets will help.

fleurky

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Orphan lamb not drinking, also blindness in lambs?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2012, 11:10:58 pm »
Hi there,
I am new to this bringing on a 'spare' lamb myself, but with the several I have had (mostly scraps, half have not survived) I have been quite sure two were blind.  One had inturned eye lashes  - open the eye up wide with your fingers - you may see ingrowing fine eye lashes (mine were at the bottom pointing up).  A few attempts at teasing them out with salt water and cotton wool balls seemed to do the trick.   Both lambs appeared blind initially - or at least partially sighted for a while - now they seem ok. Aparently the lashes can abbraise the eye causing temporary loss of sight. This might be it, possibly?
The other little one sounds very much like watery mouth (ecoli) to me.  I have one with the same symptoms, have taken her to the vet and she has had  another dose of anti bio's and is on electrolytes briefly.  If her tummy is tight, like a  drum, or rattles like a balloon full of water I suspect this is what it is.  Vet asap! Not great prognosis though.  I've lost 3 and am still battling with the forth.
Gah, lambs, they are soooo tricky.
Talking of which, I can hear one shriekking in the field next door. Best go investigate =/

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Orphan lamb not drinking, also blindness in lambs?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2012, 06:16:28 pm »
Hi everyone well thanks for your replies... a little update- the blind lamb is a lot better, we had some eye drops for the dog after she bruised her eye and thought we had nothing to lose by putting a drop in her eyes each day... she is still blind in one eye but the other she can definitely see and they are both a lot less cloudy than they were, so it's looking much better.

The little one that wasn't drinking has been slowly drinking more each day, the others are now on 400ml 3 times a day but may keep him on 4 feeds for a minute longer. He is drinking about 250ml each feed which is a lot better than the 50-100ml he was on when I posted here last, so am chuffed to bits :)

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: Orphan lamb not drinking, also blindness in lambs?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2012, 09:39:43 pm »
Well done, keep up the good work.  Every lamb is worth the effort - if you have the time.  It is a great feeling if you can pull something round that would otherwise have died.  Good luck.

 

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