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Author Topic: Suddenly blind ewe  (Read 9124 times)


  • Joined Aug 2009
Suddenly blind ewe
« on: April 18, 2012, 01:41:45 pm »
Went up to the sheep this morning and found poor old Buttercup, the 13 year old ewe who lambed stillborn twins five days ago has become blind. Both her eyes are opaque and she seems unable to see much at all, walking into the fence etc.
She seems well enough in herself, feeding her foster lamb, grazing and has eaten the ewe nuts I put in front of her.
I have 'phoned my vet who says it's likely an eye infection ( overnight, in both eyes :-\) and to bathe the eyes. I asked if Brolene eye drops would do and he said fine. (He's a decent vet but in this case???)
The eyes don't seem to irritate her and there is no sign of infection, runny eyes, gunge etc. Any thoughts?


  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: Suddenly blind ewe
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2012, 01:45:27 pm »
Can't be of much help except to say that there was a thread on here recentley about a lamb going blind and I think the opacities cleared up quite quickly with drops.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 01:48:19 pm by suziequeue »
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  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Suddenly blind ewe
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2012, 02:19:40 pm »
He is totally right (your vet) and it is an eye infection.
www.berry land

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Suddenly blind ewe
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2012, 03:49:46 pm »
We use Orbenin eye ointment for this, applied at least once a day, twice if you can.  Open the eyes right up so the ointment gets in well under both top and bottom eyelids.  Your ewe will need a bit of extra attention until she can see again, to make sure she is feeding enough and finding the water.
Because both eyes are completely opaque you may find she takes a while to heal up, and there could even be a bit of corneal damage, although the only sheep we had that bad did eventually get rid of the scars.
This is contagious so watch your other sheep and at the first sign of redness in the eyes or opacity start treatment with the Orbenin (which isn't cheap  :()  Your vet may suggest a different treatment as may others on here - hopefully someone knows something less expensive but as effective.
Incidentally, it won't have developed overnight, but you have perhaps missed the early signs.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

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  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Suddenly blind ewe
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2012, 03:54:41 pm »
I would use Orbenin as it only needs a few applications. Alternative is opticlox also from vet and needs a good 5 days worth. Very contagious....all will get it I'm afraid unless you are very lucky!
www.berry land

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009


  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Suddenly blind ewe
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2012, 04:10:44 pm »
Thanks all. I've never seen this before so will keep a good eye out for the others. I may well have missed it in the last few days as have been worried about the lambs in this weather ::)


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Suddenly blind ewe
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2012, 04:44:30 pm »
We had quite a bit of infective keratitis our first year on the moorland farm.  We tried various treatments, and no treatment. 

Almost all the sheep made a complete recovery; we were not convinced that any of the treatments made the recovery faster. 

After that we had a few cases every year, and apart from keeping any sufferers in a safe paddock where they wouldn't fall down a hole or something, we did nothing and they always got better.

I should say that we never tried the Orbenin FW suggests, so I'd try that on her recommendation if I had sheep with it again  :)
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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


  • Joined Jul 2008
  • Ceredigion
  • Dust yourself off when life throws you down.
Re: Suddenly blind ewe
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2012, 05:15:15 pm »
I think Pink eye is the more common term. Eye drops help and it needs to be down regularly. Just watch that the ewe does not walk into things, it might help to move her to a smaller area where she has less area to travel for food & water.
You will probably find others will get it, but it is at the end of the day just another thing sheep can get, hopefully it will not spread too far. :thumbsup:
Penybont Ryelands. Ystwyth Coloured Ryelands.  2 alpacas, 2 angora goats, 2 anglo nubian kids, 3golden retrievers a collie and a red fox labrador retriever, geese, ducks & chickens.


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