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Author Topic: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?  (Read 18536 times)

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« on: January 16, 2012, 11:36:50 am »
First time mum gave birth in the early hours (a week earlier than expected). One of twins still born.

Surviving lamb wobbly on feet, lays down, stands up ok, giving the odd bleat or two and nudging mum to find milk. Mum being pretty good and looking after lamb but lamb doesn't seem to be finding (huge, and to me, obvious) teat. Looks to me like it's poss trying suck on various bits of wool, but not really trying too hard.

I don't know if this lamb has fed or not. I've shown teat to lamb and squeezed a drop of milk to help lamb sniff it out, but it's not suckling. Or not that I've seen.

I don't want to interfere and get it wrong, as it may have fed just fine, but I've heard how fast lambs can go downhill.

What best to do?

If necessary I might be able to milk mum, I have bottles, I also have sachets of milk.

I'm keeping a close eye out, what should I be watching out for?

Shepherds, please advise asap. Thanks.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012, 12:06:02 pm »
Hi there.  If the lamb hasn't suckled from the dam by now then it probably won't - it will just get weaker and colder.  The best thing to do is to milk the ewe (if she won't stand for you then sit her on her rump) straight into a warm bottle, then feed the lamb. Don't wait to fill the bottle, just a couple of ounces at first to get something inside the lamb. The dams own colostrum is better for the lamb than packeted, and it has to be colostrum not milk replacer.   If it can't suck then you need to tube it.  Lambs need to feed fairly quickly, and they must have colostrum within 6 hours or so, as their ability to digest it decreases with time.
It may have fed - feel its ears to see if they are warm or cold, and see if its sides are filled out or drawn in.  Check the sucking reflex by putting a clean finger in the mouth - you can also check its temp that way.
If it has got really cold then it will need glucose rather than milk.  Once it has fed from the bottle it should manage from the dam, but watch at first.  Trying to force a lamb onto the dams teat is incredibly frustrating and doesn't usually work.   Good Luck.
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OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2012, 12:33:03 pm »
Lambs ears cold, one v cold. Sides look droawn in to my eye. Trying to suck bottle ok but not keen to have it in it's mouth at first.

I can't milk the ewe, have got the tinyest drop but she is strong and won't stand.

Am about to make up a feed from sachet.

??



jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2012, 12:54:06 pm »
Is there someone who can help you milk her- whereabouts are you. I have an Udderly Ez hand milking machine that was designed for just this.
Yes, get something into that lamb and warm it up. Can you put a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel for it to lie on, which will allow you to keep it with the mum. Or do you have a heat lamp you can set up in with her.

 Then clip the fleece from around the udder so that there isn't any wool to suck on instead of the teat. Hopefully it will sort itself out, you just need to keep it going until it does,

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2012, 01:02:14 pm »
Lamb took a little from bottle, seems bit lethergic now, still bleating a bit in reply to others in field.

I've never seen the sachet stuff before, seems v grey and watery compared to the little I got from the mum which is fairly thick and more yellow.

On my own, no one help. Doing a hot water bottle now. Have put more straw bed in.


jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2012, 01:11:04 pm »
Sounds like it might need tubing with glucose - as Juliet suggests.
Vets?

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2012, 01:34:49 pm »
Took the hot water bottle out there, then it sat in another place.

Lamb tried to suckle but still missing the teat. I've clipped a bit of wool from mum, will go out there again shortly.

If I can't get the lamb to latch on then I will need to bring it in? (as will be cold this eve), in which case I'll need advice on keeping it warm/fed please.

Thanks for the suggestions so far.


doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
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Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 01:39:46 pm »
Vet help needed now I think
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2012, 01:48:51 pm »
What will the vet do - right now, nothing that I can't do, and I am doing, here.

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2012, 01:54:05 pm »
Wish Id seen this sooner. If the lamb feels cold, take its temperature, if it falls below 37 degrees, you need to warm it or it could go into shock when it is fed. Always tube a lamb if you think there is the slightest chance it will suck from mum - you want it to get used to its dams teat, not a rubber one. Get some colostrum in it asap - i use volac because it is generally quicker than fannying about trying to milk a ewe and then making sure that milk is 37 degrees when yer in a hurry. You could always tether the dam and literally place it on the teat if the lamb cant find it.

Have you got needles? Id be getting ready to adminster glucose at this stage. 

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2012, 02:02:40 pm »
The vet could tube, or inject glucose into the peritoneal cavity, if you don't feel confident doing that.
Feel inside its mouth. If that's cold, the body temp is being lost cos no food as fuel, externally heating doesn't do enough in this instance.  It needs that fuel - glucose as emergency and colostrum too. If it gets too cold and weak it won't be able to suckle.

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2012, 02:06:15 pm »
Wish Id seen this sooner. If the lamb feels cold, take its temperature, if it falls below 37 degrees, you need to warm it or it could go into shock when it is fed. Always tube a lamb if you think there is the slightest chance it will suck from mum - you want it to get used to its dams teat, not a rubber one. Get some colostrum in it asap - i use volac because it is generally quicker than fannying about trying to milk a ewe and then making sure that milk is 37 degrees when yer in a hurry. You could always tether the dam and literally place it on the teat if the lamb cant find it.

Have you got needles? Id be getting ready to adminster glucose at this stage.

My thoughts exactly.....
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SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2012, 02:09:25 pm »
Just to clarify - I wouldn't be administering colostrum if it was cold and unable to hold up its head. Thats glucose into the peritoneal cavity and warming.

Handy chart here: http://www.sac.ac.uk/research/themes/animalhealth/animalhealthwelfare/sheep/lambing/mortality/exposure/

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2012, 02:14:44 pm »
My finger inside mouth - mouth does not feel cold. It is frosty outside. It's body feels warm but it has cold ears. Please advise where I should be looking for it's coldness - ears, body?

Lamb has taken some more feed from bottle (sachet). It is holding it's head up to suck the bottle, and sucked that fine.

It has moved to another place to lay and won't stay where the hot water bottle is.

I can't say for sure it hasn't got colostrum from it's ma - it just hasn't been successful in latching on whilst I have been looking.

Apol if posts read a badly - trying to get these typed/posted asap.


SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2012, 02:17:12 pm »
Rectal thermometer is more accurate than finger in mouth.

If it is looking more liveley now is the time to get it to suck.

I have a strange hunch it might be impaired visually, actually, bit best not think about that, just get the bugger to feed. 

 

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