6 day old lamb down but still bottle feedinggreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Hi.. I'm posting on behalf of a friend who assisted in the delivery of a very large lamb 5-6 days ago..he started off ok. Then she said he seemed constipated and was sort of bleating pitifully when he pooped. (very hard and dark) That was 2 days ago..the lamb is now down..won't lift his head or stand but he can still feel his feet cause he moves them when she touches them..the vet had no ideas!! She said he's still 'feeding like a trouper'.Any help would be appreciated! (It's laming season in New Zealand in case this seemed like an odd time for lambing!) Thanks!
-- Jennifer Nepton (email@example.com), July 27, 2001
Hope john hill from NZ can respond for you. Questions: did the lamb get any colostrum? What is it being fed now (and if milk, is it straight cow's milk)?
As examples of the types of concerns (I am by no means confident here - we just bottle-fed them cow's milk (and in later years milk replacer), and they either lived or died - there are others who will be better able to give you exact knowledge):
If it didn't receive colostrum, I believe it may need something (Glauber's salts?) as a mild laxative, and then could benefit from some live yoghurt (acidopholus, bifidis, caesii). Sheep's milk is richer in fat than cow's milk, but (I think - I'm only speaking from memory here) may not be as rich in protein, so too little of one and too much of the other may tend to bind the little guy up.
-- Don Armstrong (from Australia) (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 2001.
This lamb sounds as though he did not successfully pass his first poop -- the dark hard poop he did pass was the outer end of it. Without passing the bowel-filling "meconium", this animal's gut is clogged and impacted. Typically, when meconium does not pass, the young animal goes down, becomes weaker and weaker, and eventually dies.
Make a warm soapy water enema, and put this into his rectum (a worming syringe minus the needle can do the job) until he passes a good quantity of poop -- there may be a "plug" of meconium still blocking the passage of stool.
It's pretty hard to get them back from the brink when they go down like this -- but, since he's still willing to eat, there may be hope.
-- Anita Evangelista (email@example.com), July 27, 2001.
I agree with Anita. I raise sheep. I always make sure they poop with in the first day or I get nervous. It will be black tary poop. Then I always go out and ripe rears and make sure everything is coming out okay for at least a week. They will get yellow poop thereafter and it is sticky and can clog up the rectal. So.. go with the anemia and then about the colustrum. I sometimes can't find colustrum and use the replacer kind. Actually, I give all lambs a big drench of replacer and lamb strength which has alot of Vit. E in it. I just lost a bottle fed baby after bottle feeding for 60 days then it was on pasture but because it couldn't get its Mother's colustrum I tried to steal some from other mothers but the only other mothers delivering at the time were ewe lambs and I had used us all my frozen colustrum. I really didn't think much of it but this baby grew great with the bottle replacer except even with vacinations it just didn't have an immunity . If this particular lamb is having problems have your friend ask about selenium deficieny in the your area. We supplement with mineral but some people in this area also give selenium shots. The back legs will be weak and shaky in an older lamb, a baby baby will be down and out.
-- Debbie (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 2001.
That would be my question also, if he went down after birth, it sounds like he previously was up for a day or so. This would lead me to believe also that he is impacted, a simply baby fleets enema works very well. Secondly if he was up just at birth and then down, then he didn't receive the Selenium he needed from his dams colostrum, and giving him 300 IU of E, something that isn't passed from dam to kid, each day. This can also be given orally with a sheep nutra drench for lambs, which usually contain more E than the goat kid ones do. Having a good supply of good quality, from older ewes, colostrum on hand is the key to healthy kids/lambs, replacer type colostrums do nothing more than clean the gut, providing no immunity to the disease on your place. Vicki
-- Vicki McGaugh TX (email@example.com), July 27, 2001.
Sorry Jennifer, I should know about lambs as I am from Ashburton but I am afraid we had a very calous attitude to the little dears, they either got up and lived or didn't. I agree he probably is constipated though his insides might have been tangled in the delivery especially as he was in pain for his first poop. I know this is too obvious to mention but it is possible to get his tail 'glued' to his bum hole for which the cure is a strong tug on his tail, making sure your shoes are out of the danger zone.
P.S. Are you at Tech Park? I hope to be there next week or so in connection with ATIS/VOLMET etc.
-- john hill (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 28, 2001.
(Yes John I am at Tech Park..software team! Posting in my spare time ;) !!) I usually log on to www.lifestyleblock.co.nz..very good site for us people with just a few animals and not much idea of what goes wrong with them ;) I've summarised the replies and posted them back to the other site. Thanks for your input...I suspected the constipation was not a good sign. Hate to see the poor buggers not make it. I'll write back to this site if she sorts the problem out for future reference. ps: I think the lamb had gotten powdered colostrum and was being feed a proper milk replacer for lambs. TOld her to check the minerals if any in the colostrum supplement.
-- Jennifer Nepton (email@example.com), July 28, 2001.
Don't worry Jennifer, I don't think the people with a lot of animals know much more!
I was with the old CAA/CAD/MoT for 22 years and doing software too now. Feel free to email me direct if you want to swap notes on our ACNZ connection.
-- john hill (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 28, 2001.
.... so .... what happened?
-- Don Armstrong (email@example.com), August 02, 2001.
I don't know ;) !! Seriously.. It was a query from someone on another site... I asked her how it was going early last week. Said the lamb was still down but it was definitly not constipated and was still drinking. She was massaging it and basically giving it 'home-physiotherapy' in case it ever came right but she hasn't posted back again (in case she had to have it put down I decided not to ask her again!) Perhaps it was trauma at birth. I think she'd said that when she spotted the lamb it had it's head hanging out of the ewe. Maybe there was some was some damage to it's neck or spinal area or something that gradually swelled up causing it to go down. (Who knows!) I'll ask again in a few days maybe...I'm still curious myself! Cheers :)
-- jen (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 04, 2001.