Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Urgent advice required  (Read 6869 times)

Frieslandfilly

  • Joined Apr 2009
Urgent advice required
« on: February 09, 2012, 11:23:01 am »
I went out to the paddock this morning and one of the sheep is 'down' I have bought her in put her in a pen with plenty of straw and a heat lamp in case it is the cold, we have had sustained frozen ground for about a week now. They have regular hay and nuts at night, her temp is 38.9 and she is not in lamb. She wont eat or drink and cannot stand up even with help, have tried a warm bottle of lamb milk, not interested, what else can I do. Worm count was checked in the summer, count was negligable so not wormed.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Urgent advice required
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2012, 11:34:44 am »
The first thing I would do is to give her a long-acting antibiotic suitable against pneumonia as this is a big risk in any sheep which is down.  That doesn't help her immediate problem but prevents a further complication developing.
Is she thin? Feel along her spine and her hip bones.
What age is she?  If old, check she has teeth.
She may be being bullied by the rest of the flock so she can't get to the food.  With both these possibilities she will need some energy.  A dose of Calciject from the vet may well help to kick start her, but that has to be followed with food, and digestive biscuits, pushed a tiny piece at a time onto her tongue, checking she crunches them, might help.  If she can't do that, water with sugar or glucose dissolved in plus a tiny amount of salt will help - syringe it onto her tongue from the side and check that she swallows.
To stand her up, this might take two people to hold her (without putting any pressure on her abdomen), but she will need to stand to burp and pee and to keep her blood circulating and prevent pressure on nerves, every two hours.
As you don't know why she is down my overall advice is to consult the vet.  You could phone for advice or you could load her into a vehicle and take her to the vets, but with whatever you do you need to act promptly.
Is there any chance this might be fluke? mention that to the vet too.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 11:40:49 am by Fleecewife »
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woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Urgent advice required
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2012, 11:53:04 am »
Exactly what fleecewife said....and get vet advice asap! Are you completely 100% sure she is not in lamb? as if she is could be twin lamb disease.
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Frieslandfilly

  • Joined Apr 2009
Re: Urgent advice required
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2012, 12:03:58 pm »
OK, she is 9 months old and one of only two so no problem with bullying, I have just managed to get her to take some sugar water which has shown the first bit of improvement for 4 hours she is trying to get up but only back legs working at the minute. Stools are normal and she has just weed! Read somewhere about calcium and snowcovered ground being a problem, she was in with a young ram (he was 6 months when he went to slaughter, it is possible he was fertile by then?? Although she does not look pregnant and there is no milk at the teats nor are they swollen in any way, am i looking for the right signs?

Fowgill Farm

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: Urgent advice required
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2012, 12:47:36 pm »
I don't know much about sheep but if your ground is frozen chances are your drinkers are too (my neighbour says sheep don't need drinkers but i've seen them using the lower cow troughs) and it may be a mixture of dehydration and cold (you say they get nuts at night well too many nuts and not enough water can lead to salts building up(this happens with pigs), would persevere with hydrating her with sugar/salt solution and ask the vet to put out an anitbiotics jab for you/someonelse to collectand a pack of electrolyte mix both won't do her any harm and may do some good. Ringing and talking to the vet costs nowt so get on the phone.
Hope she's ok
Mandy  :pig:

BadgerFace

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Sussex
Re: Urgent advice required
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2012, 12:55:17 pm »
she was in with a young ram (he was 6 months when he went to slaughter, it is possible he was fertile by then?? Although she does not look pregnant and there is no milk at the teats nor are they swollen in any way, am i looking for the right signs?

Very possible he was fertile. I would get some twin lamb drench into her ASAP, even if she is not in lamb it will still help. I think you need either a vet or an experienced sheep keeper to have a look at her.
Breeder of Pedigree Torddu Badger Face Welsh Mountain Sheep & Anglo Nubian Goats

Frieslandfilly

  • Joined Apr 2009
Re: Urgent advice required
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2012, 01:12:35 pm »
Ok thanks everyone, I will let you know how she gets on

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Urgent advice required
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2012, 01:31:46 pm »
She could well be in lamb, and being so young with no special care this could be the cause of her collapse.  Calciject injections need to be given promptly and if this is the problem her recovery will be within about 20 mins after injection.  I haven't used twin lamb drench but it would also need to be given promptly.

What age was she when the ram lamb went for slaughter and when was that?  She may well not show much extra size, especially if she is otherwise thin, and she would only show udder swelling a few days or up to a couple of weeks before lambing.

It is as well to assume that ram lambs are fertile from 4 months and to separate them out then.

Fingers crossed for her  :sheep:
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Urgent advice required
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2012, 04:59:27 pm »
My ewes have suddenly started drinking, with the frozen ground plus they now get lots of haylage, some concentrate and have a lick in, so I have to top up the water bucket twice a day (until the lick went in they never touched the water!).

If there is a possibility of this ewe lamb being in lamb, she will need drenching plus calcijecting ASAP. When did the tup lamb leave? If it is coming up for five months since he went she could be nearly lambing, and even if she only caries a single would struggle in the last few weeks with only a maintenance ration as opposed to a pre-lambing ration.

If you cannot separate ewe lambs from entire tup lambs by 4 months, it is safer to ring them early on.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Urgent advice required
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2012, 06:31:57 pm »
We have just had our supposedly "untupped" ewe hoggs scanned - they had ram fat lambs with them a little while longer than was ideal...  10 out of 13 are in lamb...   ::)

So yes I would assume your girl could be pregnant.  She needs treating for Staggers - my vet's Guide to Staggers is reproduced here:
http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/forum/index.php?topic=12927.msg136877#msg136877

The signs of pregnancy you were looking for (milk at teats, swollen teats) are very late, nearly lambing, signs.  They can go down with metabolic disturbances long before they have any udder development or other signs of being in lamb.

I have been advised that it's best not to move them if they go down with staggers but I hear what others are saying about burping and peeing - so I'd have to take veterinary advice on that one.

I'm late coming onto the forum today so I hope your wee lass is up and eating now.
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

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: Urgent advice required
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2012, 09:59:25 pm »
Sally, term staggers is associated with Magnesium deficiency which sheep get after lambing when lactating heavily on lush grass.

I am guessing you mean calcium deficiency - milk  fever which they get before lambing.

If she is only nine months old I would say she is unlikely to be close enough to lambing to have a metabolic disorder associated with pregnancy such as calcium deficiency or twin lamb disease. I would be very surprised if such a young ewe would have taken the ram before December in which case she wouldn't be due to lamb until late April.

« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 10:04:29 pm by VSS »
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Hazelwood Flock

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Dorset.
Re: Urgent advice required
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2012, 10:13:08 pm »
Fluids are most important, if she hasn't been able to access water that would weaken her considerably. Apart from that, get the vet!
Not every day is baaaaaad!
Pedigree Greyface Dartmoor sheep.

bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: Urgent advice required
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2012, 12:29:12 am »
There is some great advice here - but in all honesty I would have been to the vets already earlier today if I was you.

Baz

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Urgent advice required
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2012, 01:00:45 am »
Sally, term staggers is associated with Magnesium deficiency which sheep get after lambing when lactating heavily on lush grass.

I am guessing you mean calcium deficiency - milk  fever which they get before lambing.
Strictly correct of course, but the farmers around here call all in-lamb or recently lambed ewe downs as Staggers, hence the vets do too.  The beauty of our vet's advice is that you don't need to know which deficiency it is, you just follow the dosing regime for the stage of pregnancy / post partum she's at.  Simples!  ;) :D
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

Frieslandfilly

  • Joined Apr 2009
Re: Urgent advice required
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2012, 10:01:19 am »
Hi all and thanks for the input, here is an update, I called the vet for advice who was next to useless compared to the advice I got on here. She was reluctant to come out from the information I had given her, as she said she probably wouldn't have much idea of what she was treating?? Given that they are about 2 hrs away and that snow was forcast plus she had been called down from upstairs to take the call so i assume they were busy, she probably thought it was not worth it!!

I will probably review my choice of vet, but there are not many farm vets around here, I called my daughter to get hold of the drench, in the meantime I gave her some sugar/salt water, sat with her and got her to stand every couple of  hours, which was quite a task as she was unable to take her own weight. We gave her the drench at 4 and again at 10, this morning she is standing of her own accord and she has drunk water from the bucket although I did have to take it to her. So all in all an improvement although she is still stood with head hung so not out of the woods yet.

On the subject of the possibility of her being in lamb, i looked up at the key dates for someone to ponder over, the ram was born in middle of Feb and went to slaughter the second week of October, so around 8 months, clearly then old enough from what has been said! The ewe was born first week of April  making her 6 months at the time he went, she was a small lamb which is why along with one other they did not go at the same time.  Is this too young?

I realise I may have been incredibly stupid so constructive criticism only please  ;D Along with a maurauding fox that has reduced my poultry numbers, a horse that has broken the bolt and got out of the stable, and a dog that has run away twice over that last couple of days, because someone left the gate open (not me) I was quite ready to jack it all in!! Today is another day though, and as the good times far outwiegh the bad I will stick with it  :P plus of course I love it  ;D

 

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