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Author Topic: Twin Lamb Disease, Advice needed  (Read 7371 times)

Hillview Farm

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Surrey
  • Proud owner of sheep and Llamas!
Twin Lamb Disease, Advice needed
« on: April 01, 2014, 11:48:27 am »
Hello all,

I sadly have a four year old ewe who has come down with Twin lamb, she has been scanned with Triplets and has 95% bagged up. I noticed over the weekend she was shuffling and that she didn't finish her cake and as another ewe walked past she was knocked and couldn't get her back end up so OH to the rescue. I made a point of making sure she got her full share of cake but she couldn't stomach it.

Spoke to the vet and put her in a pen on her own with adlib hay, water and cake and she is just nibbling away. Been giving her Glycol three times a day and gave her some calcium as ordered by the vet. she can get up and move around but not often so I lift her up and she'll instantly pee (she poo's laying down) she Is extremely hot to touch and any bare areas without wool feels sweaty, Is that normal? she seems ok in herself as she cuds etc.

Can anyone share any experiences? or give me any more advice, The vet also said to only let her rear one lamb, Is that him thinking in a commercial mind? she has a large udder so hopefully she'll have plenty of milk.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Twin Lamb Disease, Advice needed
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2014, 11:59:40 am »
First off, if they live long enough to lamb, in my experience TLD ewes generally come 100% right as soon as the lambs are born. :relief:

She's eating, cudding, pooing and peeing (and yes, keep helping her with that - and make sure she's drinking plenty of water too, even though it means you having to help her pee more often!), so that's a very good sign.  The ones that die give up and/or their rumen stops working, so she isn't in that category at the moment.  :relief:

She's hot.  Ok - how warm is it in the shed where you have her?  Can you increase the ventilation?  It could be simply that she is overheated due to her condition, the amount of wool she has on, and the warmth of the indoor environment.  (And again, make sure she is drinking plenty of fluids ;))  Is she on straw?  If the straw has been soiled and she's lying on that, she's got a little furnace underneath her - try to keep where she's lying clean and dry ;)

She could of course also have some sort of infection causing her to have a temperature.  I'm always the first to chant that we shouldn't use antibiotics without knowing we're dealing with a bacterial infection, but this ewe needs all the help she can get, so I'd be giving her a course of Pen & Strep.  And, even though vets and doctors tell me I'm loopy, I'd simultaneously feed her a priobiotic yoghurt to re-establish her gut flora.  Again, can't do any harm and IME is really helpful.
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

Hillview Farm

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Surrey
  • Proud owner of sheep and Llamas!
Re: Twin Lamb Disease, Advice needed
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2014, 12:10:48 pm »
Thank you Sally! I don't think she is far off lambing at all, she has started to grind her teeth and had a small amount of discharge so  :fc: Am I right in thinking that when she starts to lamb and she has her oxytocin let down, she may get even more floppy? I think I saw somewhere it is the hormone that makes them 'relax' and it can make joints go weak? I may be dreaming this!

TBH I don't think there is a lot I can do about the shed, it is as open as possible but there is very few ewes in there to warm it up. Its been a hot few days down here and I've been sweaty! Yes she is on straw and I've bedded it up nicely and keep adding straw every time she passes.

The only thing I could do is move her into the yard outside (my nursery) it open and on concrete so it would be cool but I would worry about sitting her outside to be rained on etc. I will get her some anti's as like you I think she needs all the help she can get and i'll pop to the shop and get her some yoghurt!

Thank you sally!

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: Twin Lamb Disease, Advice needed
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2014, 12:38:53 pm »
take her temperature to determine if she is infact running a temperature..
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

fsmnutter

  • Joined Oct 2012
  • Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire
Re: Twin Lamb Disease, Advice needed
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2014, 01:16:24 pm »
Sounds like you're doing all the right stuff. Worth checking her vulva every time you check her, as they often don't strain to lamb as they lack the energy, so you may have to literally pull her lambs out, so the discharge may be the only sign you get of her starting to lamb.
All the best when she does, she should perk up quite quickly.
Suzanne

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Twin Lamb Disease, Advice needed
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2014, 01:20:53 pm »
I have now started to continue to give Prop Glycol to any of my goats that have had PT for a few days after birth, also Calciject if they seem a bit wobbly. It just gives that bit of a boost when they really need it. Also Inject Vit B for stimulating appetite.

I wouldn't leave three lambs on her, if indeed all three are born alive. (but then I never do, so you may know your ewe better). She would need concentrate anyway if she was to produce milk for three.

Hillview Farm

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Surrey
  • Proud owner of sheep and Llamas!
Re: Twin Lamb Disease, Advice needed
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2014, 01:29:13 pm »
Without sounding disgusting I do pop a finger in each time to see if there is any movement and at the moment I cab only fit one in, looks like the lambs have dropped. Will do and get the thermometer and rake her temp and will move her to a different place (cooler)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Twin Lamb Disease, Advice needed
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2014, 02:03:07 pm »
I forgot to talk about letting her rear more than one lamb.

I have to say (and actually, did so on here somewhere earlier today) that a triplet-bearer often puts so much into growing and delivering the lambs that she really doesn't have enough left to make a good job of feeding three, or sometimes even two.

First off, I'd condition score her.  Anything less than 3, definitely take a lamb off.  Actually thin, or doesn't seem to have very much milk, or is showing any signs of less than perfect mothering (eg ignoring one or more, being clumsy and lying on them, butting them etc), take two off.

I've had several experiences where I've left a borderline ewe with 3, or even if I tried her with 2, and ended up with all three on the bottle and a ewe with mastitis.  :( 

None of the above is specific to a ewe that's had TLD.  But I guess I'd apply my 'triplet rearing rules' quite firmly to a ewe that's had TLD.

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

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Twin Lamb Disease, Advice needed
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2014, 02:43:25 pm »
There have been several studies done recently on the energy requirements of triplet+ bearing ewes and it's certaily  not as simple as multiplying up the ration for a single-bearer.  I have a ewe in the shed at present that's due to lamb on the 10th and she simply can't eat the cake ration when it's split into two feeds a day, so she's getting it in four. 

Hillview Farm

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Surrey
  • Proud owner of sheep and Llamas!
Re: Twin Lamb Disease, Advice needed
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2014, 04:58:38 pm »
Well she's feeling much better this afternoon, I moved her to a cooler spot and although she's needing help onto her feet when asked to get up she's much better. Her temp is 39.1 so that's a little low? Picking at food nicely and drinking very well!

So the wait for lambs begin! And I was only going to let her rear two if she could cope anyway

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: Twin Lamb Disease, Advice needed
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2014, 09:31:56 pm »
Don't know about sheep yet but with one of my goats  she'll happily eat brambles, ivy, dock leaves I've picked for her.
Might help to keep her interest and her rumen going.


farmvet

  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: Twin Lamb Disease, Advice needed
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2014, 10:40:19 pm »
If she's bagged up & within a week of her due date I think I'd ask the vet for an injection to induce lambing.  She would usually lamb 36hr later ( occasionally 72) & this would probably give both her & the lambs the best chance of survival

Hillview Farm

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Surrey
  • Proud owner of sheep and Llamas!
Re: Twin Lamb Disease, Advice needed
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2014, 06:50:41 am »
The vet is coming out Friday to do a blood test on a ewe so if shes not produced by then I will speak to him about inducing although I have hear horror stories about inducing and the lambs coming out in all different ways

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Twin Lamb Disease, Advice needed
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2014, 11:21:27 am »
If she's bagged up & within a week of her due date I think I'd ask the vet for an injection to induce lambing.  She would usually lamb 36hr later ( occasionally 72) & this would probably give both her & the lambs the best chance of survival

My vet has always been against inducing, as he thought that you cannot be quite sure the ewe is actually within a few days of birth... they don't always have the right raddle mark or could have been tupped again after losing their first lot early on etc etc... If the ewe is getting up and eating some concentrate/hay/drinking then you can support her with calciject and twin lamb drench until it is her time. Bagging up is also not a really good indicator of imminent birth - mine are doing it now and still have got nearly three weeks to go...

I have had a goat that was kept alive and went on to kid and then milk well after well over a week on almost entirely propylene glycol. The vet refused to induce her...

Blacksheep

  • Joined May 2008
Re: Twin Lamb Disease, Advice needed
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2014, 02:46:54 pm »
I posted earlier about a triplet carrying ewe that started to scour badly and show signs of tld a week before her due date, we did get her induced as felt it was the best chance of ensuring the most live lambs as well as the ewe as an outcome, I would want to be very sure about the due date though.  It took 48 hours for her to lamb so if your ewe is very close and you feel you can keep her going then may not be worthwhile.
I found with our ewe if you kept trying different feeds individually rather than a mix she would eat a few handfuls occasionally, grass nuts worked well for a little bit then she went back onto ewe nuts, also soaked sugarbeet can be good if they are used to sugarbeet.   We also give make an energy/mineral/vitamin drench and would keep giving this regularly.   I think as above you need to play it by ear with regard to how many lambs she keeps on her, if she picks up quickly after lambing and recovers a good appetite  so you can feed her well then she should hopefully be ok with two lambs.
One thing that we do to try and prevent tld now in triplet bearing ewes is to keep them in a separate feeding group leading up to lambing and as well as their normal feeds (at least 2 but will try and do 3 in the last couple of weeks) they have a lifeline feed block available, this is a feed block rather than bucket lick so it will be offering them more feed value than a lick. They can just trickle feed on this if they are lacking room for their ewe nut feed and have 24/7 access, so can keep themselves topped up between feeds.

 

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