I have a bottle baby who is 6 days old (mom is the ewe who went down when the vet had left a dead baby inside of her.) She received some colostrum, but likely an inadequate amount. We've been feeding her since the beginning. Mom has no milk left, but baby continues to try to stimulate.
At first I thought the diarrhea was overfeeding, but I am leaning towards it being this: "Cryptosporidium
Cryptosporidium parvum is a protozoa that can cause diarrhea similar to that of rotavirus infection. Cryptosporidia can cause diarrhea in lambs and kids 5 to 10 days of age. Affected animals are often active, alert, and nursing. The diarrhea is usually very liquid and yellow. No consistently effective treatment for cryptosporidiosis in ruminants has been identified. Anectodotal reports suggest that decoquinte (Deccox®) and monensin sodium (Bovatec®) may be useful in the control of Cryptosporosis. Ammonia and formalin seem to be most effective at removing Cryptosporidium from the environment. The best control of cryptosporidiosis comes from lambs and kids getting adequate immunity through colostrum soon after birth."
I had started the lamb on 1cc of penicillin yesterday, but after thinking that it might be this illness, is penicillin necessary?
It kinda sounds like all I can do is continue to feed her (should it be watered down? or just electrolytes?). Have any of you used pepto bismol or immodium? is it worth it?
What would you do here? (just wait and see if she pulls through the next 7 days?)
The milk replacer could be a problem. Whole cows milk or goats milk is better. I have found that scours occurs more often using the replacer. If it is not the replacer, and it is bacterial, then you will need something specific. Neomycin has worked well for me when scours was due to bacterial infections. If your not sure, take a sample to the vet.
You can take the lamb off milk completely, get the system cleared by giving electrolytes if the scours clear, reintroduce the milk...if they return it is likely the milk and you need to look to alternate milk.
Okay, I stopped the milk replacer this morning and have given her electrolytes only. For how long should I do this? I'm feeding her every 4-5 hours right now. Just stick with the electrolytes for the rest of today?
Also, the ewe was licking at the bottle when I was giving it to the lamb. It probably wouldn't hurt to give her a bit, would it?
I am going to get some probiotics today, for both the lamb and the ewe. In what form does this come? How do I administer it?
Deb, she's doing really well. She was pretty upset out there this afternoon and did not want us removing the dead baby from her pen, but physically she is doing really well. I gave her a final dose of penicillin last night (7 days of treatment should be good, eh?). She's eating and drinking. I think she's lacking in some vitamins or something - she was trying to eat my zipper last night?
I'm sorry you lost the lamb. If she has had problems from the beginning, she probably wouldn't have made it. For future reference, give the electrolytes for a day or until the scours have stopped. Then dilute the milk down and slowly introduce it back. If the scours reappear, then back it off again and contact the vet as you are probably dealing with a bacterial problem and the milk is aggravating it or you need to change the milk altogether.
Glad she's doing better.
Is she consuming her mineral ?
Probiotic should be good for her too. Here it comes in powder and I believe paste. I use the powder form and drench in what ever I am feeding at the same time. You can use just water, milk replacer or any mix of things you are administering orally, i.e yogurt, gatorade, molasses, Keto gel.
Yes, that grieving when a lamb is taken from a ewe is on my list of saddest things that happens at lambing. Listening to them for up to a few days can be heart wrenching
There is no doubt that having the lamb by her side has helped in her recovery.
Blocks wear teeth down so loose is preferrable.
I have had many of my bottle lambs scour, some for many days.
I get some pink stuff from the vet most often- scour halt or whatever it is called and dose twice a day with that. I have used pepto on weanlings with success. Any time you see scours, you immediately switch to electrolytes for a day and then reintroduce the milk watered down until you see that they won't continue to scour. I have never had one die from scouring. Scours could be many things- the color of the scours is most important. White scours are the most serious. Crypto is possible but also indistinguishable from say a retorvirus etc... UNless the scours are white, you have to treat the symptoms. I just mix up electrolytes and water and milk replacer when they are improving.
I missed the post about the ewe going down but if she had a difficult labor, the lamb may have had watery mouth too. I bought a bottle lamb with that and he also scoured and I tube fed him for days.
FWIW - and I know this is too late for your lamb - when I do have to bottle I use a trick my uncle (old sheep farmer) taught me. Frequent (like hourly) feedings of very, very diluted replacer, increasing the concentration as the body handles it. It has to be frequent or they'll fill up on the water but not get enough nutirents. It's a lot of work but, I've never had a lamb scour with replacer doing it that way.
Last edited by flannelberry; 03/01/09 at 09:29 PM.
sorry about your lamb. I had a bottle baby last summer. the mom wasn't supposed to have been bred and she had him while I was on vacation. Anyhow, he got scours bad. mom rejected him. And it was my first year with sheep. so I totally relate to you! The milk replacer was worthless. I found a recipe for an electrolyte solution that I gave him which I mixed with milk replacer...still didn't work. so I started giving raw goat milk. that helped but still didn't cure it up. the lady I was buying goat milk from said to give him strained carrots. I tried that for 2 days and it worked great! he's now a fat and very lovable whether (we named him Charlie). just get a jar of baby food carrots or you can steam your own and then puree in the blender until it will pass through a nipple. I mixed 1/2 oz of carrot with 2 oz electrolytes or goat milk. I hope that will help for next time.