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Author Topic: When do I give up and have my sheep put down?  (Read 7454 times)

JMB

  • Joined Apr 2011
When do I give up and have my sheep put down?
« on: March 24, 2013, 06:49:47 pm »
Hi.
I'm still nursing Happy Lamb who seems to have had fluke. I've been nursing him for over a week.
Thanks to all your ideas on TAS I've been trying lots of things to get his appetite up, and although he doesn't eat sheep food yet he does take drenches and a variety of things to help him, like natural yoghurt and ivy.
He seems quite alert and bright eyed, but when he stands up he sways about and looks like he's drunk.
This is a deterioration from the beginning of the week.
I'm well aware that his liver may be too badly damaged, but I was trying to hold out for as long as I could to see if he recovers.
At what point do I give up though?
I'm more than happy to keep up the TLC but I'm not sure how long they can can take to recover, or if I'm being impatient, or if I'm prolonging his suffering.
Any advice would be helpful.
Thank you again
Joanne xxxxx

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: When do I give up and have my sheep put down?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2013, 06:52:19 pm »
That is something only you can decide really - none of us can see the animal on here and you'll know if killing it is the kindest thing to do.


If you do decide to kill it, take the decision and get it done, its kinder. I find a .410 is a useful thing to have.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: When do I give up and have my sheep put down?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2013, 07:27:01 pm »
The decision has to be yours, but i can say that recovery will be months  not weeks, in another post you said he is not drinking water so dehydration may be a problem  , vitB12 is given as an appetite stimulant.

MrsJ

  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: When do I give up and have my sheep put down?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2013, 07:31:37 pm »
It's a hard decision when you've given him so much attention and care.  You could ask your vets advice?  Will be thinking of you either way. 

JMB

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: When do I give up and have my sheep put down?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 08:28:10 pm »
Yes I know it's only my decision.
I suppose I'm hoping someone will come along and say 'oh yes mine did that but it recovered in 3 weeks...'
Sheep make terrible patients. One minute he's chewing away on the syringe and looking quite happy and my optimism returns, and then gets up and wobbles about and we're both totally fed up.
Xxxxx

MKay

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: When do I give up and have my sheep put down?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2013, 10:28:32 am »
I'm sorry if come to this quite late, has copper deficit been ruled out?

With regards to your original question, we let the animal decide, when they give up you'll know. And I would strongly urge you, when you do make that sad choice do not call a farmer, put the little chap in the car and run him to the vets, for a sheep mine only charge the cost of the drug-3. Its more for you that him but why not.

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: When do I give up and have my sheep put down?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2013, 02:24:26 pm »
So;


You'd take an already stressed animal, put it in a car, take it to the vets etc so that it can have an injection that will kill it as opposed to calling someone who will kill it instantly without the need to move it/stress it further?


Nice.

Blacksheep

  • Joined May 2008
Re: When do I give up and have my sheep put down?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2013, 02:58:22 pm »
Have you been able to give him a different flukicide yet?  Just thinking that if not and the last one didn't work then he could still have a fluke burden affecting him now.  If you are sure  that he has now had effective fluke treatment I guess liver recovery would take a little time yet, but you would hope to see gradual improvement though.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: When do I give up and have my sheep put down?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2013, 04:11:28 pm »
If his back end doesn't seem to work in tandem with his front end it could well be swayback.  Not so much copper deficiency in the ewe but high levels of minerals like iron and manganese in the soil which inhibit her uptake.  Affects the nervous system of the foetus and there's nothing to be done for an affected lamb.  A Swayback Year generally follows a very wet or very dry summer when the grass has struggled to take up minerals from the soil in the usual quantities.  We saw this occasionally some years ago but decided that some ewes were more susceptible than others and culled them and their bloodline out.  It gets worse as the lamb gets heavier.  I, being soft-hearted at times, used to leave them with their dam on a flattish field with no hazards (stream to fall into, etc.) until they were clearly falling over more often.  At that point they'd generally have felt the sun on their backs and maybe even had a few tries at a bounce or two.  Then I'd get the vet in - lamb is dead before the needle's been withdrawn.

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: When do I give up and have my sheep put down?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2013, 04:25:39 pm »
 I guess there is never a right or wrong decision only what feels right at the time. Sometimes being in that place of wanting to help and animal who clearly hasn't given up yet is a very hard place to be. Is he taking enough to keep his guts going? Is the wobbliness due to weakness from lack of food or is this because of something else. if its fluke and there is liver damage then my understanding is that its a very slow road to recovery.  Would it help if he had a friend for a little competative eating?
At the end of the day if he can't maintain his weight or  a functioning digestive tract then I think the decision has been made for you. Personally I would opt for a needle everytime. stress can be felt in many ways and sometimes the presence of a person offers comfort and for some animals having a person  that they know and trust there is helpful and all that is necessary. sheep are animals that feed off the emotional environment of others no surprise that they can  get that same emotional connection from people if they are sufficiently used to their presence.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 04:44:19 pm by kanisha »
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: When do I give up and have my sheep put down?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2013, 05:15:14 pm »
Personally I would opt for a needle everytime. stress can be felt in many ways and sometimes the presence of a person offers comfort and for some animals having a person  that they know and trust there is helpful and all that is necessary. sheep are animals that feed off the emotional environment of others no surprise that they can  get that same emotional connection from people if they are sufficiently used to their presence.


I'm not entirely sure if the vet will dispense drugs to euthenase so that means either: Load the poor thing into a car/van and bundle it off to the vets, where it will undoubtedly hang about in a waiting room being sniffed at by dogs etc or have the vet out and I dunno about your vet, but mine charges 60 to come out.


I'd get someone local with a gun or captive bolt to do it every time, the lamb needn't move from where it is, or get stressed, then one bang and its dead. Its probably  not practical for people with small flocks, but really, if you are going to keep numbers of livestock, you ought to have the means to dispatch them quickly.

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: When do I give up and have my sheep put down?
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2013, 05:26:37 pm »
cost is a consideration for some. as I said personally I would opt for the needle everytime.
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: When do I give up and have my sheep put down?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2013, 05:28:56 pm »
If we take a lamb in for euthanasia, our vet will come out to the car (round the back / agricultural entrance) to do it.  And no, they don't make us wait either, if we've called on ahead.

Or, in a case like this where it's time but one more hour or less, or even day or less won't make a huge difference, you could always ask the vet if they'd call in and do it as they are passing - generally they don't then charge the full callout fee.

Or the hunt or the local fallen stock collector will dispatch on farm.  They often can't come straight away but will usually be there within 48 hours.  For a case like Joanne's, a favourite lamb, I'd ask the local hunt.  They help people with old horses and are very understanding.

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

JMB

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: When do I give up and have my sheep put down?
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2013, 05:38:52 pm »
Thanks for all your help.
Sadly, I called the vet out and had Happy Lamb put down today. I think he'd finally had enough.
They did ask if I wanted to bring him in to the surgery, but he couldn't walk and it seemed an extra stress for him.
The vet said it was the right thing, he had no fight left in him.
I cried alot and I'm sure they'll be more tears to come but I did feel relieved when it was over. The worst bit is saying goodbye.
And I do think that all the helpful advice on mineral drenches and things helped me to make his last few days a bit more comfortable for him. He loved the lucozade and yoghurt!
Thanks again
Joanne xxxxxcx


colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: When do I give up and have my sheep put down?
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2013, 05:42:10 pm »
 :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug:

If your are not sure then it isn't time. When it IS time you just know. Like you found. Well done for doing the right thing by Happy Lamb  :-* :-* :-*
Have your tears they are needed, remembering you will soon be sniggering at the memories of the mischief he caused :hug:
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


Bring the peace back

 

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