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Author Topic: swayback in a lamb  (Read 2921 times)


  • Joined Jun 2011
swayback in a lamb
« on: May 30, 2012, 11:03:34 am »
we had a lamb with swayback a couple of months ago.
poor little thing was totally off his back legs,they were just out stiff to the side.
well we did'nt have the heart to kill him,mum was very protective & staying by him.
we put him in a field shelter & mum would come in & stand over him to let him feed.
well it got to day 3 & i thought if he was still down i'd get the vet to pts.
went to the shelter & he was'nt in there,looked over the field & he was stood up on his legs,
he was very wobbly & his back legs were stiff,by the next day only one leg was slightly stiff.
the day after that i could'nt tell him apart from the others.
i just wondered if it was swayback as i'd never seen it before.
if it was i'm glad i did'nt kill that was pretty much what the internet told me to do.
anyone else had a similar experience?


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: swayback in a lamb
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2012, 12:04:20 pm »
Not swayback or he would not have recovered totally so quickly and since you don't mention treating with any medicine it sounds more physical :farmer:


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: swayback in a lamb
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 02:29:48 pm »
Not swayback or he would not have recovered totally
Yup, swayback gets worse not better.

There is a thing (I call it 'flopbot' - not sure if it has a technical name!  :D) where the lamb can't stand at first; I have always assumed it's to do with being born a little premature.  These mostly do recover, sometimes within a few days, one I had never stood for the first ten days.

Swayback usually doesn't evidence straight away; it kicks in as the lamb gets heavier and its skeletal system can't manage the increasing weight.  They tend to sway from side-to-side at the backend, rather like an animal recovering from an anaesthetic.  They don't get better but with care you may be able to rear them to a useful size.  They'd struggle on a trailer ride though, and putting them in a wagonload of lambs would be a death warrant, so you have to think about how you would get them to slaughter or get them slaughtered on farm when the time comes.
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


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