Dog attack sheep, rabies??

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Dec 20, 2003.

  1. A neighbors dog attacked two of our sheep a week ago. We put the female down today. She was obviously dying, including a large pile of foam around her mouth. The dog whom we are 90% sure attacked in a neighbors' pet german shepard, the father of a litter of pups they are currently distributing. Do you think there is cause for concern that this animal had rabies? More than likely the sheep died from internal injury, or infection. She felt well enough after the initial shock wore off to resist handling. I haven't autopsied it (as I do all the chickens when they dies of unknown causes). We shot in the heart, just in case it should be tested. She didn't act "wild" just gradually got worse. Her mate tends to "rest" more than the rest of the flock, but so far seems to be getting better. I am a bit leary to handle it. It is Saturday the vets are closed.

    Empress (who doesn't even try to log in now ;)
     
  2. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,280
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Right Here
    If you can prove their dog did this I would have them pay for the loss.
    You will have to prove it.

    Also make sure they keep the dog home, or I would kill the dog.

    If that dog did this he will be back, or what ever other animal did it.

    Don't raise livestock to feed the others pets unless you get paid for it.
    Unless that is what you want to do.
     

  3. They know if the dog is found on our property (or several other neighbors, it supposedly attacked a child, though another view is that is was just playing too rough), it will be shot. We have large tracks as "evidence" it is a huge dog with huge tracks. The neighbors know it attacked the sheep, but don't yet know she didn't survive.
    Empress
     
  4. prhamell

    prhamell Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    141
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2002
    Location:
    WI
    I would call the local sheriff or if you have a dog catcher in your area. If people in the neighborhood know it's that certain dog, they'll back you up on your claims. This way, they can take the dog in and test it for rabies. It's doubtful that the dog had rabies anyway. But it is a good idea to have the law on your side. I've called the sheriff once or twice on wild dogs who's owners don't keep it under control and it runs our sheep and other livestock. If it continues, then my husband steps outside with the gun and takes care of the situation. Sorry about your sheep. Was the ewe pregnant? If she was, take that into consideration when figuring out how much loss the dog cost you. Becky
     
  5. prhamell

    prhamell Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    141
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2002
    Location:
    WI
    Forgot to add...I'd be a little leary in handling the ram too. Rams can be a little aggressive when they're feeling great. And if he's hurting, he might not want to be touched or moved. Give him antiobotics in water or whatever form you have, take care of his wounds gently. Take softly and gently. Let him rest. Becky
     
  6. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,983
    Joined:
    May 4, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Michigan
    People really need to report these kind of things!!! So, are you going to feel responsible if it attacks and kills a kid and you never even told the law about your dog attack?? Not meaning to be mean spirited here but this is not a good thing.

    If the sheep had rabies from the dog, the dog would already being showing symptoms and I believe the incubation period is rather prolonged, but don't hold me to that.......simply can not remember. It seems like when my son got mauled that we had a length of time for the dog to be tested before we would have had to start the shots.
     
  7. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    Sheep foam for many reasons when sick. She may have had a respritory disease or she may have had a mild case of frothy bloat or at least frothy stomach fluids. Rabies is a fragile virus outside the body and below a pretty tight range of temperatures. Too cold the virus dies, too dry, too bright, etc, it dies. It's very suseptable to chorine so you can soak the areas with diluted javex as an added precaution. Sheep will act disoriented, head press against a wall or post, stumble etc. You can't rule out any symptoms though. Report the dog attack to the authorities and shoot the dog if it comes back. JMO
     
  8. Sorry to hear about your sheep. What did she have for injuries for the attack? I have had trouble with domestic dogs in the past but have never lost a sheep to a dog. I run Corriedales and my big rams top out near 300lbs. This time of year they are well armored with 3-4” of fleece. Only vulnerable spot would be the neck but that’s why they always keep their heads down when threatened. Stupid things would be more than a match for a dog if they just put their minds to it. Cripes, you should see the action when butt heads. You can almost feel the crunch. I have had several knock each other out. They usually are fine the next day but occasionally stagger about for several days.
    Sheep are pretty tough and have good immune systems. If your ewe was bitten, she probably would have been OK with some antibiotics and some rest. Foaming at the mouth was probably due to an upset stomach(s) when/if the dog rolled her. Did you call the vet after the attack? I have been using the same vet for years and they can often give you needed advice over the phone at no charge. Mine is always “on call” and help is just a phone call away.
    Regarding your suspect. Be very careful about accusations unless you have an eye witness or catch the animal in the act. Living in a state of war with you neighbors is something you want to avoid and people usually think of dogs as members of the family. I have seen neighbors involved in “feuds” over things and the results are often very disruptive for both parties.
    The rabies virus is a rather interesting pathogen but it is a horrible disease that, once symptoms appear, is 100% fatal. In an infectected mammal the virus lives primary in the cells of the brain and nervous system. As the pathogen takes over, destroys the brain cells and nerve cells. The results are animals that “don’t act normal”. In later stages of the disease the virus can be found in most of the major organs including the blood and saliva. The swallowing reflex becomes impaired and the animal can no longer swallow its own saliva and it just foams out of the mouth. The rabies virus has a long incubation period (8 weeks to 6 months) before the symptoms manifest themselves. The virus is very fragile and needs to be transmitted with saliva to blood or blood to blood transmission. Aerosol transmission in caves full of bats has been suggested but never proven.
    If you are not already, you should vaccinate your animals for rabies. We do all of our sheep, once a year at the same time as shearing. Needles and syringes cost more than the vaccine. Keep a logbook, with dates and ear tag numbers. Could save you flock, if you ever found a rabid animal in you field/barn.