Ewe lacking Glucose....

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by ONThorsegirl, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. ONThorsegirl

    ONThorsegirl Fergusons Family Farm

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    Well yesterday was eventful.

    I went over to the do the chores at 9:00am and went into check if there was any ewes lambing. I saw one of the ewes that are left to lamb acting very strange. She would stand up, lay back down and strain her self, flex the muscles in her body stretch out and act as if she was in labor. There was no waterbag, mucus plug and she wasn't dialated at all.

    I brought the ewe into the barn and got her penned up in nice clean straw hay, water and a bit of grain. She wouldn't touch any of it.

    I was working in the barn all day so I was able to watch her. I was cleaning out box stalls and when I went up for lunch and noticed no difference I called my Dad, he came home at around 2 we called the Vet incase something was wrong with the lamb(s) inside her.

    The Vet was at a Call and said he could be her shortly. She came by 4:00 and took a look at her. She isn't in labour, but she is almost in a diabetic coma. :confused: . She is lacking Sugar!! So he gave us Glycol to give her 2 syringes 2 times a day, drench. He also gave her a shot od Dextros and left us the Dextros incase he has to come back.

    This is a yearling Oxford Ewe she has been getting some extra grain from the rest as she is thinner than everyone else. So we have a Diabetic sheep. We have to feed Dairy Ration or Beef Ration to up the Protein level. We feed whole barley and crushed corn to the herd but we have to switch to something higher in sugar.

    So anyone else had this problem? What did you do? How did it turn out?

    Oh ya the Vet palpated the ewe from the outside and she has 2 good size lambs in her right at the bottom of her belly and is due to lamb in 24-48 hours.

    Melissa
     
  2. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Its called Pregnancy Toxemia. Its basically a ewe who isn't getting enough to eat because the lambs are taking up so much space in her body that she can't get enough food into herself to prevent her body from breaking down its own fat and muscle for fuel to feed the growing lambs and herself. This causes the production of ketones in her urine which are toxic to her. This is a ewe you will have to be very careful with every time she lambs.

    Some useful info:

    - avoid over fatness early in pregnancy
    - encourage ewes to exercise daily
    - Provide rising level of nutrition inlast 4-5 weeks of pregnancy with at least 1 pound of grain per day. Grain should have molasses in it.
    - Supply a constant source of water with molasses in it
    - Feed at regular times with grain and really high quality hay (some alfalfa helps)

    SIMPLY STATED - PREVENTION REQUIRES CALORIES GOING INTO THE EWE

    My normal grain mix for sheep is:

    450 lbs ground corn
    450 lbs crimped oats
    410 lbs ground wheat
    250 lbs alfalfa pellets
    250 lbs soybean meal
    150 lbs molasses
    40 lbs sheep minerals

    The above mix is on a ton basis and has about 18 percent crude protein and 14 percent digestable protein. Cost per 50lb bag is about $6.00 per bag.
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Both dairy and beef rations likely have copper in them, so maybe not. Yucca's ration sounds good, I wouldn't worry about the mollasas, I have fed it off and on but its too big a pain in the rear. I also wouldn't be grinding all the grains as much maybe but it would limit selective eating. You're going to want to make any change slowly, I'm surprised the vet didn't give AD or leave you B complex........ maybe you could ask for the B complex (can't get that at wool growers) and while you've got stocking up in mind, see if he/she will let you keep a bottle of dexamethasone on hand too (you can't give it to pregnant ewes but its a good thing to have on hand) Outlook is very good for the ewe but get some injectable calcium to have on hand too. milk fever in a young ewe that has preg tox is a real risk
     
  4. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The reason I have most of the grains ground or crimped is because I also feed the ration to my Cow and calf. With them it is either ground or I am just feeding chickens via the intestines of a cow. If I feed it to the cow I want them to digest most of it. I sometimes add whole corn to the sheep feed to add texture, but it has pretty good texture anyway and the molasses put in when they mix it eliminates the dust.

    The molasses gets the necessary sugars into the ewe quickly and safely.

    BTW - I disagree with your vet - the ewe probably does not have diabetes.
     
  5. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I agree diabeties in a sheep seems a little off, isn't diabeties too much sugar in the blood? It is in my father at least.
     
  6. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Diabetic coma is when the blood sugar is too high OR too low, maybe the vet was just using a term most people could relate to? You can get strips to test the urine for ketones(in cows anyway). Also people who are on a low carb diet:)
     
  7. ONThorsegirl

    ONThorsegirl Fergusons Family Farm

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    The Vet was using Diabetic and Coma as a relative term, we could relate to that so thats the term that he used. And it makes sense.

    We are thinking about also putting together our own feed, there is a list of ingredients needed for it at the local feed store, it is to make Ewe Ration but by the Tonne. Normally doing this it ends up cheaper than buying 100 pound bags.

    Well the Ewe made it through and was looking great yesterday, she was drinking water and ate her hay and grain. Except for that she came into labour at 4:00 yesterday evening. She dropped her water bag at 7:00 and then it was a waiting game. I came back over at a quarter to 9 hoping to find some healthy babies on the ground. There were no babies and she had no intention to pop them out she was just standing chewing her cud but it had been 2 hours since the water bag had dropped. So I went in to feel around and the lamb was upside down and dead at this poing. 2 hours with no oxygen, or anything. So the Vet came over and the lamb was twisted like a pretzel. The neck was down and twisted around. It was definitly a job for the vet, it took the vet a little while to finally straighten up the head. and get it aligned to come out.

    So the end of the story, our poor 4-H oxford Ewe is doing ok, she is a little sore and swollen, she got her Glycol this morning, she is on penicillin(spelling) for 4 days and the Glycol for the next could days to keep her going.

    Melissa