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Author Topic: Poorly ram lamb - any ideas?  (Read 7861 times)

Haylo-peapod

  • Joined Mar 2012
Poorly ram lamb - any ideas?
« on: September 23, 2012, 07:50:33 pm »
On the day he was supposed to be inspected for possible registration my best ram lamb decided to go downhill. His condition has gone on a downward spiral (he has been scouring but this might be due to the new grass after haymaking), his ears are down, he has a slight temperature (40.2C) and is off his creep feed.
 
I've given him a wormer and flukicide, he was given vecoxan (twice) in the summer with the rest of the lambs, he has had his Heptavac P vaccinations and I gave him a dose of a/b (Betamox) last night. Despite all of this he's still looking very sorry for himself and is not his usual pushy self and I'm at a loss as to what it might be.
 
I'm planning on giving the vet a call in the morning in case there is a better a/b for him but in the meantime I would really welcome any suggestions as to what it might be and what I could do for him. Thanks!

Blackbird

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Poorly ram lamb - any ideas?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 08:10:19 pm »
This sounds like what was happening with one of my wether lambs the week before last. I took him to the vet who gave him an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory steroid jab. I wonder if this might help your boy? He started to pick up the following day. It was a combination of scouring, thin-ness and a throat infection. I also gave him scour formula and rumen stimulant twice daily for 4 days, and he seems much improved. Fingers crossed, your boy will start to pick up soon  :fc: :fc:
Where are we going - and why am I in this handcart?

Haylo-peapod

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Poorly ram lamb - any ideas?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2012, 07:52:08 am »
Thanks Blackbird, sounds like a good plan, I'll give it a go.
I'm pleased it worked for your boy, as you say it might well be the same thing.

Haylo-peapod

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Poorly ram lamb - Fluke
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2012, 11:04:14 am »
Well, it's now become clear that the problem with my boy is fluke. I'm absolutely gutted it's happened. The vet said I needed to dose for fluke in September but it seems I was too late and this little man has gone downhill quickly.
 
I had used the white wormer which includes a treatment for fluke BUT the problem is that it only treats adult stages and really all stages need to be prevented.  So everyone out there if you don't already know, if you have land that is muddy and likely to have the snail responsible make sure you use a flukicide (only) that treats all stages of fluke.
 
My boy is still very dull and is scarcely eating. I've given him pro-rumen and he's had a tiny amount of haylage but not really enough to sustain him. He has bottle jaw so I'm not sure if this will make it uncomfortable to eat. 
 
I have a few questions: 1) what are his chances of recovery or should I be considering the other option?, 2) if he does stand any chance of recovery how long will it take for him to show any sign of improvement? 3) is there any type of food I can offer him that he will be more inclined to eat? I wondered about weetabix but then was concerned this might clog him up?
 
Any guidance would be very much appreciated. Thanks Guys!

Blackbird

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Poorly ram lamb - any ideas?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2012, 11:22:39 am »
Sorry you're boy is so poorly. At least you've got a diagnosis which is better than not having a clue what's wrong. Very useful to know about using a separate flukicide not just a white wormer (vet didn't find fluke in our FEC samples thank goodness). I certainly don't know enough about fluke to know what are his chances are but here's what I did for my poorly wether.

His main problem was the scouring, so he needed rehydrating - on the vet's advice I gave him the pro-rumen mixed with Pfizers Scour Fomula, 250mls, twice a day. I also drenched him with live sheep's milk yogurt and porridge oats liquidised, about 100ml at a time. He was hunched and shivering, so I stuck a dog coat on him at night, daft though it may seem. After a day, he accepted some freeze-dried grass that we give the horses and I tempted him to eat a few leaves - dandelion and young rose leaves. After 2 days, he started to look better and began grazing again. A week later, he was back to normal and you wouldn't know there was anything wrong with. I hope your little ram pulls through OK.
Where are we going - and why am I in this handcart?

Blacksheep

  • Joined May 2008
Re: Poorly ram lamb - any ideas?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2012, 11:56:45 am »
It may be worth giving him a B12 (Intravit) injection to help boost his appetite and promote recovery of his liver.  Energy drenches (we have used liquid malt extract and molasses solution successfully with a badly injured tup that couldn't eat initially) are also a good idea to keep him going and give him a chance to start recovering. It is probably down to supportive nursing/feeding to give him the best chance now the fluke has been treated. Is he up and moving about? If he is in but up to going out to a small patch of grass to see if he will graze then that might help him.  Good Luck

Haylo-peapod

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Poorly ram lamb - any ideas?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2012, 09:05:31 am »
Many thanks for your suggestions guys.
 
The vet did give him a vitamin injection so I presume (hope) that would include B12 (?). Fortunately he will eat haylage if I put it in his mouth and on occasions he will eat some when I put a pile in front of him. I am also giving him pro-rumen.
 
He did seem a bit perkier yesterday afternoon and even had a tiny amount of creep so I am hoping he might be turning a corner. The frustrating thing is that we are now away for a few days so have left his care in the hands of our neighbour who I'm sure will do a good job but it's never quite the same. I just have everything crossed that he pulls through.
 
Blackbird - I may be mistaken but I didn't think that fluke could always be picked up from a FEC. It might be worth double checking with your vet to be on the safe side.

Blackbird

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Poorly ram lamb - any ideas?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2012, 11:26:06 am »
Thanks Haylo-peapod, I understand fluke can only be detected (and not very relaibly) at a certain stage through FEC samples. Vet's view was that it wasn't the sort of land to be particularly concerned about fluke - I also checked with my neighbours either side who keep sheep and they say they've never had it. We're on the top of a hill on land that's well-drained and sloping - no livestock kept at the bottom where any water drains to so  :fc: limited fluke risk. Good luck with your ram, I'm sure your neighbours will take good care of him.
Where are we going - and why am I in this handcart?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Poorly ram lamb - any ideas?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2012, 11:51:38 am »
Sorry to hear about your boy Haylo-peapod.  :bouquet:

You can get caught out with the immature fluke scenario in cattle too - we all fluke them as they come in for the winter, but should fluke them again 6-8 weeks later to catch those flukes that were immature at the time of the first treatment.

Cattle usually recover from fluke once treated but in sheep the liver doesn't regenerate quite so well.  :(

Vets say that recovery is uncommon once the sheep has the bottle jaw symptom - but not impossible.  So it's definitely worth trying but don't beat yourself up if he continues to deteriorate despite your best efforts.

Things I've found important when conducting vet-defying recoveries in the past include:

  • warmth and keeping dry - but well-ventilated
  • keeping the sheep upright and not lying on the rumen
  • hydration
  • TLC
It doesn't sound as if your boy is recumbent, but if he does start to flatten, prop him between two hay bales to keep his body upright.  You'll have to reposition him every time you go to him, probably, but at least he'll be getting some upright time for his rumen to work.

The hay bale props will help with keeping him warm too.  If his ears are cold, and/or the inside of his mouth feels cold, pile some hay or straw over him and the hay bales like a duvet.  I have been known to use a hot water bottle with a favoured tup... ::)  (Yes, he lived, so I am unrepentant.)

If he isn't drinking, spoon or drench some fluid into him every time you see him.  Plain water will be a big help, or you can put some glucose in it, or make a very thin live yoghurt soup (thinned with water not milk.)  Using the PSF or similar will also replace electrolytes if he isn't eating much.  The fluid should be tepid or even warm, not cold, especially if he has cold ears.

Sitting with him, talking to him, stroking him if he likes that, reassuring him will all help.


Best of luck  :fc:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Haylo-peapod

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Poorly ram lamb - any ideas?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2012, 12:24:04 pm »
Many thanks for all the tips Sally, that's really helpful.
 
I'm pleased you mentioned the cattle, I was wondering whether I should be dosing my Highlands.
My OH is reluctant to get too involved with the cows after being beaten up by a friends Belted Galloway bull in the spring, but now we know we have a problem with the sheep we have a duty of care to protect the cows aswell. I'll just have to get our faithful neighbour roped in to help out some more and get them dosed up.

Tilly

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • "Possibilities and miracles mean the same thing"
Re: Poorly ram lamb - any ideas?
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2012, 12:43:11 pm »
 Hi Haylo- peapod,
Well  :fc: he soon improves..It sounds as though you have done all you can, and now lets just hope he starts eating.
The only thing that I can add ( I am no expert) is to offer him some minerals, ivy, willow leaves etc .anything to tempt him.
-perhaps put him out for a while, if it`s not  :raining: ,and see if he will pick a little  grass.
 
We have had sheep here ,on the Marshes ,suffering from Fluke so I do take extra care on this front.
 
I have seen ewes even show the lump under the jaw ,which I guess is what you are referring to, which they can ,and do recover from.
 
Hope your Lamb is strong enough to fight this, and recover.

Tilly :wave: 
 

Haylo-peapod

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Poorly ram lamb - any ideas?
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2012, 01:41:45 pm »
Thanks Tilly, it's always good to get any tips, anything is worth a try. I think he's a fighter (our GFD's generally are) so  :fc:
 
It's good to know that you have come across ewes that have recovered after developing the lump under the jaw. Did they ever get back to full fitness or did you struggle to get weight back on them?

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Poorly ram lamb - any ideas?
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2012, 06:21:16 pm »
Many thanks for all the tips Sally, that's really helpful.
 
I'm pleased you mentioned the cattle, I was wondering whether I should be dosing my Highlands.
My OH is reluctant to get too involved with the cows after being beaten up by a friends Belted Galloway bull in the spring, but now we know we have a problem with the sheep we have a duty of care to protect the cows aswell. I'll just have to get our faithful neighbour roped in to help out some more and get them dosed up.
  I know its the wrong place   CLOSAMECTIN  POUR ON CATTLE you just pour it down the spine  , does fluke , worms , lice :sunshine:     Iv'e seen many sheep  with bottle jaw recover, it takes a long time  :sheep:
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 06:26:30 pm by shep53 »

Haylo-peapod

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Poorly ram lamb - any ideas?
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2012, 09:45:55 pm »
Many thanks Shep, the Closamectin sounds like a really good option for the cattle - far easier than drenching.
Also, it's good to hear that my ram lamb 'could' eventually recover from the bottle jaw - hopefully he'll be one of the lucky ones.

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Re: Poorly ram lamb - any ideas?
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2012, 12:57:20 am »
Earlier this year our vet gave a group of us a talk and said that in 30 years of treating farm animals he'd never seen a case of fluke in this county.


He's had to eat his words.  One of my neighbours has ten cases out of 200 ewes.  His cull list has never had so many.
Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts

 
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