9 month old ewe lamb found dead

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by AndreaR, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. AndreaR

    AndreaR Well-Known Member

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    Alberta, Canada
    I am heartbroken over the loss of my youngest Shetland ewe...she was only 9 months old, not bred,just had her vaccinations, sheared last week, no indication of illness at all. She was found this morning laying on her left side, legs out, eyes and mouth closed, no foaming, no injuries or infection..no marks at all. The abdomen was soft, slightly bloated. Last night she was lively, alert, nothing out of the ordinary.

    Could she have had a reaction to the vaccinations? Or something she ate? The seven sheep I have are in the barn due to having been sheared and it is cold out there. They are fed free choice grass hay with no more than 25% alfalfa, and a small handful of rolled barley with a bit of molasses, which has been slowly introduced to them. The other ewes are fine, being 2 and 3 years old.

    Any suggestions as to what her death may have been caused by?

    Andrea
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I would expect a reaction to the vacination to happen sooner and more noticably. That she was done late probably means it was a clostridial disease but you can't rule out things like a weak heart or poisons etc. Sorry you lost her but it can be very hard to work out exactly why a sheep dies suddenly.
     

  3. AndreaR

    AndreaR Well-Known Member

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    I had a talk with the former owner and she mentioned the sheep had their vaccinations last fall as well (done every 6 months) so a reaction would not have been the problem. I have ruled out poisons as there are no chemicals or solutions in the barn that the ewe could have even been into. One possibility is mold in the hay...if there is even mold in the grass hay can this harm sheep? Especially if any can kill a young sheep this quick? :waa:

    The concensus has been bloat but it doesn't explain the lack of symptoms the night before. Still puzzling but want to make sure my 5 pregnant ewes don't get sick (or dead) either :no: The ram is in a separate pen so he would not have hurt her.

    Andrea
     
  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    molds can be a source of Listeria, but it wouldn't kill quite that fast! It is a rapidly progressing (worsening) disease but you'd notice the symptoms. Its not often caused from moldy hay though. Vaccinations are not 100% protection the ewe could have been an exceptional example, but bloat is the fastest killer of sheep.
     
  5. GOATDADDY

    GOATDADDY Well-Known Member

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    Well I just found a ewe of mine that was 4 months old dead. Bloated bad. My soninlaw said that this is the time of year when the wheat is starting to really grow. I need to put a surfactant in the water. At least that is what he does with his cattle. Lord have mercy.