I didn't know Barbados Blackbelly lambs can be born with blue eyes. Smoky blue. The newborn lamb we bought last spring did not. But my newborn ones, both lively and healthy as can be, have these blue eyes! Is this common?
I don't know that they can't and I can't see these lambs eyes but the description of "smokey blue" makes me think of a pink eye infection or partial blindness. If they are what I'm thinking about I'd be giving them a series of oxytetracycline injections or at least a long acting dose of LA200
I've been worrying about this now. I haven't had a way to get out yet. But in gazing long at the babies' eyes this morning, I see that they are turning brown. It's the same kind of color as a human black baby sometimes has, born with smoky blue - that blue that means they'll be changing. There is no sign of any infection that is visible. We only have four sheep, and in the whole year, there's been no sign of illness in any way. Where would an infection come from? Well, I'm going to watch them for the next few days, with all these things in mind, just in case.
Chlamydia is the bacteria that causes common pink eye, its every where. LA 200 I perfer a low pain version of tetracycline but whichever you have, will clear it up. I can't say I've ever seen lamb eyes changing colour but they should be clear and sparkle in any colour not smokey. They might get better on their own, they might get much worse.
My newborn lambs (the ones I've noticed) have blue eyes that turn to the normal brown after a couple days. Its smoky I guess, but not cloudy or anything...still sparkly and healthy looking. Mine are white sheep, so maybe your barbs are different. I may tend to think its not normal with yours, since you said your previous lambs didn't have blue eyes. Can you post a digital pic?
Interesting stuff I checked my dozen littles in the barn and they all have regular ol brown sheep eyes. Rideau Arcotts, North County Cheviot, and some Polypay crosses. Nothing remarkable about any of them. I certainly have had pink eye in new borns. Probably from the hay (dust) I was feeding that year. If you want help getting a picture on line let me know.
I thought you might like to know how it turned out. Those lambs just turned a month old. Their eyes are as brown as can be now. All our other lambs have been born now, and they all had brown eyes at birth. The mother of the ones who started out with that dusky blue has a darker coat. I guess it was a genetic fluke. I did not give any shots, as I could see no signs of infection, no matter how long I looked. I feel a bit guilty that I didn't, but then, a person always has to make a choice, like it or lump it. I'm glad it turned out well.
Now I see what this smokey eye looks like. I have a white 2/4 lincoln, 1/4 merino ewe lamb that was born weak. We took her into the house to warm her up, but her mother rejected her and preferred her jet-black brother. She's a bottle baby now. Her eyes were weepy, and they look like they have a cloudy covering. I know she can see, but probably not well. I gave her pen-G and put triple antibiotic drops with dex in her eyes and they brightened within hours, but they are still cloudy. I'm hesitant to give LA200 to newborn lambs, so I'll call the vet tomorrow to see whats recommended.
Ah. Your dusky blue sounds like some of our dorset babies...they look sparkly and clear, but blue/grey color that turns brown within a few days.
Our lamb isn't a barbados...she's out of a Lincoln ewe who was bred to a Lincoln/Merino cross ram (haha, I just saw my typo in my last post...she's 3/4 Lincoln, not 2/4 ) . Her eyes seem better now, we have her on the eye drops and we had an eye culture done on Monday and I don't think the results are back yet. So I think she'll be fine and be able to see, since it seems its responding to the antibiotics. Shes a strong little lamb too, even though she was born weak and is a bottle lamb.
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