4-day bottle baby with weak back end - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 04/21/11, 12:50 AM
 
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4-day bottle baby with weak back end

One of our ewes had twins Saturday morning and rejected one of them. The lamb might have spent an hour out in cold rain before we found her, but we got her dried off and held the ewe multiple times for the lamb to nurse to get colostrum in her and see if we could get them bonded. By the evening, however, her condition had deteriorated, cold mouth and stiff weak legs, and we brought her in the house and started lamb replacer, 2 oz every 2 hours for 48 hours.

She had been doing pretty good, good appetite, curious, alert, but has never moved very well, stiff weak legs. Today her appetite has diminished some, taking just 2 oz rather than the 4 oz she was drinking yesterday, and she's having a lot of difficulty moving her back legs. We did have her out of her box a lot more today to try and allow her more movement, so could she possibly just be tired? She's still urinating routinely, has a warm mouth, and has occasional bowel movements.

I'm not quite sure what to do to keep her from deteriorating further - maybe I got milk in her lungs and it's pneumonia setting in? Sometimes I think she's breathing a little heavy and then other times she seems fine. She's our first bottle lamb so we're uncertain as to what's normal.

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Old 04/21/11, 09:55 AM
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Sounds like she might have white muscle disease. I would recommend contacting your local Vet and having him give your lamb a Bo-Se shot.

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Old 04/21/11, 10:58 AM
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I agree with bergere.....except I hope not the muscle disease.....Can you take her to the vet?....She needs a booster shot to get her going.

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Old 04/21/11, 12:25 PM
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If she's eating less and is having strength problems in her rear, I'm wonderign if she is unable to pass stool without an enema and is simply becoming constipated. The weak rear end may just be general weakness from poor motility due to the bowel restriction. If you're in a selenium def. area it should have a supplimental shot, and it may need some B Vits and AD vitamins too. Could be dealign with an injury of some sort too but if it can't eat and process foods its a gonner.

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Old 04/21/11, 12:28 PM
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Needs Bo-Se ASAP! I had one like that, only mine was completely stiff, couldn't swallow. It was white muscle disease.

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  #6  
Old 04/21/11, 02:38 PM
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Bo-Se, most definitely. This is one of the cross-overs where knowledge of goats works on sheep.

Bo-Se costs me $2.99 a ml, all done up in a syringe and labeled sweetly, from my vet. Highway robbery, I know, but you only need a half a ml per lamb/kid. You can give it Sub-Q or IM.

Get this done as quickly as possible. You will also see results from it within hours.

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Old 04/21/11, 03:31 PM
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I agree with Ross. A BoSE deficient lamb would probably be a lot less alert than you say, however, a booster won't hurt. Has the lamb passed stool? Is it urinating?

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Old 04/21/11, 05:31 PM
 
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Sorry my wife posted last night and didn't realize I was still logged in -

I'm skeptical on WMD. 11th lamb this year, twin brother no issues, other ewes have had the exact same diet, supplements.

The lamb had raspy breathing and we got a NuFlor injection into her. I'm inclined towards a respiratory issue. After the injection she briefly had very active movement but has slowed down again.

Bowel movements are normal and regular. Appetite is below average but not bad took 3oz each 4 hr feeding for last 16.

Any additional thoughts? Is BoSE still reccomended?

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Old 04/21/11, 05:43 PM
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The one certain thing is that BoSe probably won't hurt. It's weird, because some kids/lambs will get it and some don't. My experience has been that it hits harder in multiple births than in singles.

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Old 04/21/11, 06:00 PM
 
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I suppose I shouldn't have said that without fully reviewing WMD. Based on this - http://sheepandgoat.com/articles/WMD.html - I'm still skeptical but I'll accept the possibility.

Lamb lost vigor approx 20hrs after birth but also was being pushed away by mom regularly. We were holding the ewe for the lamb to nurse and trying to passively get them to reunite. We began bottle feeding to a quick return to activity with no lingering issues. On Day 2, the lamb moved freely and was walking about with no issues. On Day 4, lamb showed some but not consistent raspiness in breathing. On Day 5, lamb had an unusually high level of activity during the day as a result of an overeager houseguest/babysitter. Then she showed stiffness in rear legs although not to the degree pictured in that link.


This lamb is the youngest of the season - earlier lambs are 8,6,4,2 weeks older with no signs of WMD or reduced growth (in fact record fast grow for us!). Makes me think Se or Vit E aren't an issue but as long as there's no risk in treating for WMD we will.

We'll pickup BoSE and treat on the way home!

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Old 04/22/11, 02:52 PM
 
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We treated with BoSE and banamine last night. Lamb is noticably more active today and moving better. Has what I would describe as slight tightness in rear legs but is moving well and still have appetite and other normal bowel movements.

Given the advice here, I'm going to presume that this is WMD. What's the next step for treatment? Is this lamb going to have other issues and should it be removed from consideration for breeding if it grows well and shows no additional symptoms or problems?

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Old 04/22/11, 06:09 PM
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Could be an injury still or even a mild case of joint ill. Any fever? . When you gave it some BoSE and banamine it responded well. So was it the BoSE or the banamine? You've also treated with NuFlor. Kind of a mystery, using a shotgun approach (which I would have done too)

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  #13  
Old 04/22/11, 11:05 PM
 
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I agree Ross. I hate not knowing. The NuFlor was administered approx 10 hrs prior to the banamine and the BoSE. Vet recommended banamine for any pain for the lamb might have. I don't know what the typical response to any of these drugs is but I would say the condition of the lamb today is remarkably better. I'm inclined to attribute it to the BoSE but I doubt I'll have any certainty on that.

The lamb seems to be moving better as the day went on. It's our first bottle lamb though so it's hard to really know what development to expect. We've had a run of early developing and weaning lambs so I feel like this one is less developed relatively speaking but I won't really have a barometer until she's side by side with her brother this weekend.

I'm now really intrigued by other shepherd's mineral/supplement routines and also post-lambing actions. But I'll take those to separate threads to be of more use to others rather than burying them in this one.

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Old 04/23/11, 01:29 AM
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The lamb is not genetically defective due to the WMD. If the lamb moved better later in the day, after the banamine had time to wear thin, then you can attribute improvement to the Bo-Se. If the lamb stiffens up again, after the banamine wears off, then it was not WMD.

However, Vit. E/Selenium deficiency in a lamb or kid individually is not a defect in its genetics. It is simply a lack of mineral uptake in the ewe which can be attributed to several things. That ewe may be a less picky feeder than the other ewes which, in many cases, might be a GOOD trait...but in this case caused her to eat forbe that were higher in molybdenum or zinc, which can interfere with selenium uptake.

As long as the lamb recovers and remains healthy, I would not pull her from breeding consideration. Selenium deficiency is a common enough problem that many of us reacted automatically, after all.

To prevent WMD, at least in goats (someone want to tell me if this works on sheep too?), we generally administer Bo-Se to pregnant does about a month before they are due to kid.

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