Lamb bloat!!!!???? Help? - Homesteading Today
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Old 04/14/11, 10:31 PM
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Lamb bloat!!!!???? Help?

I think one of my lambs is bloated. Her stomach looks big and one side seems bigger? She is hanging her head, won't accept bottle. What do I do? Run a tube down to her stomach??

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Old 04/14/11, 10:47 PM
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If it is bloat, I've had good luck with 1/2 cup baking soda dissolved in 3/4 cup warm water, mix in 2 TBSP mineral or vegetable oil and get as much in as possible (that's the adult dose, lamb might not need it all). Results are pretty quick: lots of burping, maybe some vomiting in extreme cases. Massaging the large side of the belly helps, as does exercise. That's the least invasive and traumatic treatment I know; hopefully that will do the trick.

However, since this is a bottle lamb, it may also be intestinal torsion. I recently had a scare with my bottle lamb, and I was lucky she pulled through. If her breathing is shallow & rapid, she can't poop, and her belly is extremely tender but not tight, that may be the case. If you don't want to drop a couple hundred on surgery, you just need to make her walk around as much as possible and hope for the best.

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Old 04/14/11, 10:58 PM
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Thank you.

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Old 04/14/11, 11:01 PM
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You're very welcome! Good luck, and please let us know how she does.

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Old 04/15/11, 01:46 AM
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Learned a little something crosses over! That is exactly what I would do with a bloated kid! Nice to know it works on sheep too!

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Old 04/15/11, 02:04 AM
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Made the mixture, got the tube and went out to the barn. She was still under the lamp. Checked to she is she was breathing hard or shallow. She wasn't. DH and I tried tubing her, but between her wiggling and moving around, we were afraid to drench her with the mixture. Tried just to get her to drink some, didn't work. So back to the house we went. I called three of the people I knew who raised sheep hoping for help. The first said she had no idea what to do. The second suggested 7 up. The third suggested a bit of pepto. So awhile ago, I went back out armed with some pepto. She came running when I got there looking for a bottle. I gave her the pepto. She didn't like it much but then the little stinker tried heading over to the pellets. So I put her in a quarenteen area away from food for the night. DH will be checking on her later.

I tell you, I was almost in tears earlier. Told DH I must have been crazy, what was I thinking believing I could raise sheep? My ignorance could be the death of her. I told him I would get em raised and sell them and not try my hand at breeding. But DH said everyone learns somewhere and he would be right beside me learning and not to give up. I love my DH for the support and help with the lambs and also for the 15 heifers he bought me today Shorthorn/SIMM-Angus cross. Will post
photos and update tomorrow. Ps cows are so much easier to raise than sheep!

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Old 04/15/11, 02:09 AM
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EVERYTHING has a learning curve.

I am currently sitting here and typing with a little doeling stretched out on my lap asleep. Now, if I had given up when I started having problems with livestock, I would not have this lapful of cuteness.

It gets better. I promise.

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Old 04/15/11, 02:16 AM
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Thanks. I needed that. Honestly I can't imagine my life without these kiddos. I love that they come up to me and scratch me with their leg to make sure they get cuddle time. I love when they curl up in my lap. It's just so hard when things go wrong. The vets around here are pretty much clueless when it comes to sheep.

Tomorrow if all goes well everyone is getting a booster CD-T shot and a Bo-Se shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliannG View Post
EVERYTHING has a learning curve.

I am currently sitting here and typing with a little doeling stretched out on my lap asleep. Now, if I had given up when I started having problems with livestock, I would not have this lapful of cuteness.

It gets better. I promise.
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Old 04/15/11, 09:16 AM
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You're going to lose some. Everyone does. You can ecome a good shepherdess, it just takes time, some reading, a good vet and experience.

Quote:
Ps cows are so much easier to raise than sheep!
LOL no they're not. They're just different, and when a cow goes down you have a problem that weighs 600-1400 pounds!
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Old 04/15/11, 09:22 AM
 
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Bloat in bottle fed lambs is very common and nobody seems to have any idea what causes it. On a homegrown farming website, every season sees the question come up and every season sees no real answers, not even from the vet member who also, with her husband, runs a sheep station. It doesn't seem to be the type of milk, teat type, hole size, number of feeds - they all vary but the problem still occurs.

I've had it in my own bottle fed lambs but have never lost any to it. When it does happen, I spend time firmly rubbing their sides until they belch - and this in itself would indicate that they are somehow taking down too much air with the milk. Like a cow with bloat, I also make it move around so pretty much what VA does. If they don't want to drink I don't force the issue but do ensure that there is fresh water for them. All my bottle fed lambs are on pasture and on a couple of occasions they have just simply stopped drinking so self-weaned and rely on pasture. They've done ok, maybe not as good as they should but at least they lived.

Sorry, have no real answers for you

Cheers,
Ronnie

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Old 04/15/11, 10:09 AM
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I love all these comments....hang in there sweetie....I lost an adult pregnant ewe to bloat...I placed wheat bedding in the stalls...that evening...because everywhere I read said that I could...they didnt say how much wheat could be left on the straw...over night my ewe ate till she bloated..the only one that did too. I woke to find her asleep. Called the vet out and showed him what was different at my farm and right away he spotted the wheat straw with way to much actual wheat left on....I was devestated...not only did it break my heart...I was the one who killed her!!!...hard lesson learned.

VA can you bring your knowledge to my house?...my sheep and my peace of mind need you

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Last edited by Fowler; 04/15/11 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 04/15/11, 11:10 AM
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You are a good shepherdess. You are asking questions and trying to do the best for your animals.
I wish all animal owners would do that!

And some times raising animals is heart breaking but at the same time is ever so rewarding, specially when you help an animal heal.

In time, your knowledge will grow and things will get easier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bknthesdle View Post
Made the mixture, got the tube and went out to the barn. She was still under the lamp. Checked to she is she was breathing hard or shallow. She wasn't. DH and I tried tubing her, but between her wiggling and moving around, we were afraid to drench her with the mixture. Tried just to get her to drink some, didn't work. So back to the house we went. I called three of the people I knew who raised sheep hoping for help. The first said she had no idea what to do. The second suggested 7 up. The third suggested a bit of pepto. So awhile ago, I went back out armed with some pepto. She came running when I got there looking for a bottle. I gave her the pepto. She didn't like it much but then the little stinker tried heading over to the pellets. So I put her in a quarenteen area away from food for the night. DH will be checking on her later.

I tell you, I was almost in tears earlier. Told DH I must have been crazy, what was I thinking believing I could raise sheep? My ignorance could be the death of her. I told him I would get em raised and sell them and not try my hand at brsheep!
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Old 04/15/11, 11:13 AM
 
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What I tell my wife (and myself) we will lose some (and have) to ignorance but we will never lose any to stupidity. As others have said it is a learning curve and I am sure that you won't make the same mistake twice. Hang in there look at the good life that you are giving your flock.

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Old 04/15/11, 11:33 AM
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Thank you so much for the kind words and support! It was so needed. This morning we loaded up with bottles and headed out. Was met by Ariel who was looking no worse for the wear. She was bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready for her bottle. No sign of bloat or the ordeal we went through except pink "lipstick" from the pepto. We weighed, fed, and gave everyone their shots. It was nice to see that everyone had a good 4-5 lb weight gain in the last week except for Ariel who only gained 3 lbs. But she has been the one that keeps getting sick. The one I thought had pneumonia but was better that evening.

So with a nice greeting in the barn, and kind words and support from here, I am fortified once again. I really do love my lambs!

It always seems brighter in the morning. (except maybe today with the 7-9 inches of snow we just got last night.) blech!

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Old 04/15/11, 12:27 PM
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Aw, thanks Fowler! I wish I had all the answers!

Like the others here have said, we all learn the hard way once in a while-- that's how I know what to do for bloat. I've lost a few I found out later I could have saved; the only consolation there is knowing I won't make the same mistake again. I had a great mentor, but have you seen that list of potential catastrophes on sheep201? I'm not done learning yet, for sure! Don't give up, now you know more about sheep than you did before, and the HT sheep brigade is ready and willing to help all of us out!

So glad she's okay! But... snow?!? I'll envy you come July, but for now, I'm happy to be frost free!

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Old 04/15/11, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VA Shepherd View Post
Aw, thanks Fowler! I wish I had all the answers!

Like the others here have said, we all learn the hard way once in a while-- that's how I know what to do for bloat. I've lost a few I found out later I could have saved; the only consolation there is knowing I won't make the same mistake again. I had a great mentor, but have you seen that list of potential catastrophes on sheep201? I'm not done learning yet, for sure! Don't give up, now you know more about sheep than you did before, and the HT sheep brigade is ready and willing to help all of us out!

So glad she's okay! But... snow?!? I'll envy you come July, but for now, I'm happy to be frost free!

Yes Sheep 201 scares me...LOL I have learned a lot from you, Bergere, Ross and others too many to mention...it seems other sheep blogs want to argue and think that their way is the only way....that's why I like coming here for help...many opinions...and that helps me figure stuff out for myself....ya'll have truely helped me learn to raise my babydolls over the years. And when all else fails...CALL THE VET!!!..
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Old 04/15/11, 12:43 PM
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I heart sheep 201. Its be a great place to learn! Now, if only if they had a goat 201.

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Old 04/15/11, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bknthesdle View Post
I heart sheep 201. Its be a great place to learn! Now, if only if they had a goat 201.


I found a cute visual for sheep and goat basics this morning for someone on another site...maybe some may find this useful.
http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/sheep_illus.pdf

This is also helpful info:
http://sheepandgoat.com/articles/welfaredockcast.html

Maybe we should have a link share site?
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Old 04/15/11, 01:03 PM
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I heart my sheep folks up here. One of the guys I called last night called a few minutes ago to see if my lamb made it through the night. I thought that was so nice and touching.

FYI: while he and I were on the phone, he said a friend of his bought pg ewe lambs for $380/ each. Said finding anything bred for sale was almost impossible.

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Old 04/15/11, 01:07 PM
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So glad she's okay! But... snow?!? I'll envy you come July, but for now, I'm happy to be frost free!
We had recently had most of our snow melt was enjoying 50-60* weather and now we have at least 10 inches of snow and it's falling hard.
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