Lamb Won't Eat...Bloated? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Here is another problem we are experiencing. We have an orphan bottle lamb that we got from a sheep farmer friend. He was doing just fine but all of a sudden he stopped eating and seems to be bloated. We have given him some B12 to encourage his appetite and gave him some propylene glycol. What do any of you use for bloat?

-- JoAnn (, February 21, 2001


How old is the lamb? Is he having normal stools or loose? Try a little pepto bismal, about 15-20cc and you can try a little baking soda in water, 1/2 teaspon in 4ozs. water.That should help him expel any gas. I don't know a lot else. We have from the vet Therabloat for the sheep. Do you have a vet you could talk to on the phone? Maybe Vicki the goat lady could help you more. I couldn't find anything in archives on bloat in bottle lambs or kids.My book ,Raising Sheep The Modern Way, by Paula Simmons says it can be caused by overfeeding milk. Suggests to cut back on milk and give one small feeding of milk (2 ounces) containing one tablespoon(lamb under a month) or 2 tablespoons(lamb over one month) of human antacid medication containing simethacone. If lamb won't take the bottle give with small oral syringe.

-- Kate henderson (, February 21, 2001.

For lambs under month old give it one tablespoon of a human antacid. Two tablespoon if over one month. The thing to look at is the cause. The problem with bottle babies is overfeeding or eat to fast. Make sure the hole in the bottles nipple is not too large. This will cause them to eat to fast. Good Luck.

-- David (, February 21, 2001.

Hi, JoAnn! You know how you burp a human baby? Well....I'm right handed so when I have a kid or lamb that looks or acts bloated, I put the critter's chest and forelegs across my lap facing left with its hind legs on the ground to support its weight. Using my right fist, I gently push into the flank, and move the rumen around a bit. It's somewhat of a kneading motion but to emphasize, do it gently. It usually only takes a minute or two to get a good belch from the animal. Depending on severity, it's usually successful but not 100%. Watch the animal a few minutes and repeat if it appears there is more gas trapped. It's important to have the forequarter elevated.

-- marilyn (, February 22, 2001.

A lamb that won't eat and seems to be bloated - is many times constipated (if you can hear him grinding his teeth - definately). We give a soapy,warm enema with a bulb syringe. Gently.

They are, often, "plugged up tight" with hard dry feces. May take several gentle enemas to soften and expel the plug. Have seen it come out as hard as pebbles.

If he is not constipated, the enema will not do harm.

If he is constipated, he will die if you don't act.

Once a neighbor came when we were giving a lamb an enema. She said "That is so gross! I can't believe you are doing that." DH said, "This is nothing. I would kiss this lamb if I thought it would save it."

You do what you have to do.

-- homestead2 (, February 22, 2001.

JoAnn look into your milk replacer. It should be all animal based products and no soy (opposite of what we will tell you once you are on grain :) Totally agree on the constipation part, the mom's licking them clean, in our case our dog, or in the case of you, a warm wash rag, also helps stimulate them to not only drink more out of the bottle but to poop. Watch a dam or ewe when her kids/lambs are nursing, she is sniffing and licking their rear ends, they wag their tails, and drink more, and urinate and defecate after nursing. If you did find him to be constipated by using the enema, a small piece of ivory soap or a fleet enema for infants both work, than a little mineral oil in the milk replacer will help. He will dehydrate if he goes much beyond 12 hours and no milk, so you will have to tube him, but if he isn't peeing and pooping, you will have to decide how much work you are willing to do to save him. Also if he is 3 weeks old, you have to worry about enterotoxemia if he has not been vaccinated, or comes from a vaccinated ewe, which starts with bloat type symptoms. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, February 22, 2001.

The ram lamb who is two weeks old has had his CDT shot one week ago. I thought he was constipated too but he ended up pooping just as regular as can be. This was after the propylene glycol. He ate last night at midnight and then again this morning. I held him back at 5 ounces. Same for noon. Hubby gave him mylanta this am after i told him about all the great advice you all gave! That seemed to help. I tried to "burp" him also with no luck. His bloated belly is going down slowly but at least he is eating. Tonight I gave him 5 ounces (he wanted more) but his belly was getting tight so I held him back. I think he is on the road to recovery. Thanks to all with your help. I will keep you posted on his condition.

-- JoAnn (, February 22, 2001.

I too am having trouble with bloated lambs. Mine are usually right at 3 weeks old and are all bottle lambs. I have never had a lamb on the ewe bloat. I am giving them maylox or mylanta with simethicon for the gas. It works wonders. My question is if it is from entrtoximia then what else should I be doing. I had this last year too and the lambs had all been vaccinated for entrotoximia. They still bloated. Seems if I catch them before they are to "big" then the simethicone works. but once in a while one will go over night and I will just find it dead in the morning. Is there a antibiotic that will help? The antitoxin does not work. They still die after getting that.

-- Jeannette (, February 25, 2002.

Once again it can't be stressed enough that folks who loose infant ruminents are alwasy the ones using milk replacer. Those who have bloat and enterotoxemia symptoms are using milk replacer. On the boards, bloat, diarrhea, death = milk replacer. Buy goats milk, buy whole vitamin D grocery store milk, then when the kids are stronger and eating something, then switch slowly to an all soy product. Better yet get a goat who weans her kids at the same time as you have your lambs coming so you can foster onto the goat or use her milk for them. If you must use milk replacer, than use an all soy product, follow the directions exactly, even if it means only feeding the 1/2 pint per day, 2 or 3 times a day as the Purina milk replacer states. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, February 25, 2002.

When I have a bottle lamb, I feed very little every few hours, 5 ounces is more than I would feed until it was at least a month old. Unless you have can get goat milk or other ewe milk the milk replacer either causes scours or bloat. We take turns going out every few hours with these bottle lambs and sometimes I mix the replacer with electrolites, also add a dash of nutmeg into the bottle. Everyone on the sheep forum uses nutmeg so I tried and it stop the scours. Your cd/t shots really do not work until the lamb is 3 weeks old and then takes another 10 days from that. Someone on the sheep forum says when their lamb is bloating from overeating disease she give them cd/t orrally. Never have and don't recommend. But there is a sheep forum you may want to ask about. It is Breeders World and then click on Sheep, they have sheep, goat, cattle, pigs. Good Luck, Debbie

-- debbie (, February 25, 2002.

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