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Last Monday, April 16, my sheep were attacked by hybrid wolf dogs (3 adults and 6 puppies). We had no idea there were any in the area. They killed 4 of the 19 ewes and 5 of 22 lambs. We are lucky our neighbor's dogs heard the commotion and sprung into action to run the predators off. The weird part is that they continued to come back to consume the bodies. They didn't just kill for sport like a lot of dogs. We quickly disposed of the bodies to ward off other predators and honor the sheep lost.
Early the next morning, the adult dogs and a puppy returned. Despite having a window open, we were not alerted to the attack until a ewe busted through a gate to get to our porch. While we only lost two more lambs and another ewe, the injuries were significant. Thankfully, we were able to kill all four intruders (the puppy was attacking a downed, alive ewe, otherwise it may have lived).
Here's where the hard part really begins... all of my sheep seem depressed and I can't tell if they're in pain, truly sad (some of them lost their mommas and vice versa), or have other injuries we can't see. We've been treating for worms in those bit, fly strike, gangrene in a lamb that had maggots in her neck wound, bloat, and possible toxicity (not copper?). I feel like I'm juggling all of their health which has gone from strong/ never a problem to fragile/ moment to moment. Since we've never had health issues (besides one girl with worms) I feel like it's out of control and I don't know if I'm doing anything right. The two vets in the area flat out said they don't treat sheep even though we're in rural Arkansas. I don't want to lose anymore simply because I don't know where to go or how to treat them.
What is really good, reliable source of information for diagnoses and treatments (besides Sheep 201)?
How do I know who is just sad or scared and who is genuinely hurt/ sick?
Anyone know where I can find a certification class for treating sheep medically?
Thanks in advance.
 

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I'm very sorry to hear that, there is nothing worse than finding mauled and dead sheep thanks to dogs. It makes me very angry when the dog/s belong to people who are happy to let them wander. It makes it slighter better I suppose that they appeared to be killing for hunger rather than sport.

Your sheep are probably upset and depressed but more importantly they may have bites that have punctured the skin on the legs and neck (mainly, but also other areas of the body) - and dog bites are the worst of any. Have you got any penicillin? If so bring all your sheep in and dose the lot as per instructions even if you can't see any bites. If you can see bites, wash them with saline and spray liberally with Iodine.

Are you able to shift them to another paddock for the time being - it might help them feel a little safer and secure. Check that they are all eating and drinking.

I'm not too impressed by those vets but perhaps ask them for a stronger AB and anti-inflammatory too. Not really too much more you can do for them I don't think. Someone else may have some more/better ideas. Also, take care of yourself because I suspect you too are upset as well as worried.

Cheers,
Ronnie
 

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I'm very sorry to hear that, there is nothing worse than finding mauled and dead sheep thanks to dogs. It makes me very angry when the dog/s belong to people who are happy to let them wander. It makes it slighter better I suppose that they appeared to be killing for hunger rather than sport.

Your sheep are probably upset and depressed but more importantly they may have bites that have punctured the skin on the legs and neck (mainly, but also other areas of the body) - and dog bites are the worst of any. Have you got any penicillin? If so bring all your sheep in and dose the lot as per instructions even if you can't see any bites. If you can see bites, wash them with saline and spray liberally with Iodine.

Are you able to shift them to another paddock for the time being - it might help them feel a little safer and secure. Check that they are all eating and drinking.

I'm not too impressed by those vets but perhaps ask them for a stronger AB and anti-inflammatory too. Not really too much more you can do for them I don't think. Someone else may have some more/better ideas. Also, take care of yourself because I suspect you too are upset as well as worried.

Cheers,
Ronnie
Thank you for the advice. We have been using penicillin and oxytetracycline for the antibiotic, banamine for a pain reliever/ anti- inflammatory, larvacide for the maggots and then scarlet oil for the wounds, and electrolyte gel to perk them up. I've been told to use neosporin on the wounds too but I don't want flies to lay in it or them to get dirt in it when they lay down. As you said, a lot of the wounds are to the legs and neck.
Since we've always been fairly hands off with the girls it's quite an effort to catch them.
We have two barns, the large one is where the second attack took place and they refuse to go in it. The smaller one is up by the house and they're comfortable there so we're going to put in a corral for all of our sanity. I'm 5 months pregnant and the stress and running on adrenaline has taken its toll for sure.
I guess we all mainly need time to heal physically and emotionally. Waiting is hard...esp with the littles.
 

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Hi Amanda, you're doing everything I do for dog attacked sheep. All you can really do from now on in is keep up with topical applications and repeat penicillin if you think it is required - and most often I do in these cases.

How old are the lambs? If under weaning age they are going to take a knock back but they will survive, probably just not as well as if mum was still around. Again, keep a careful eye on them.

Yes, build yourselves a corral (or yards as we call them) because you really do need somewhere you can bring them into for drenching, vaccinating and situations such as this. Rethink your hands off policy too - and I'm sure you probably have after this. Even the best breed of sheep can be flighty and it goes a long way in handling to be able to call them in and even give an ear rub to the odd one. Once things have settled down, start walking amongst them, talking as you go. Initially you will find they will move off but eventually they won't even bother to stand up. No kidding.

Ah, so a babby on the way:). Wonderful! I don't want to know the sex until it's born. While pregnancy isn't a disease, it's also a good reason to take care.

Cheers,
Ronnie
 

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Not to add to your worries (you're doing great to care for your poor traumatized sheep) but did you have the predators tested for rabies? It's one of the worst fears if the attackers are running wild, maybe your state has no rabies, I fervently hope so, but better to be assured than to wonder and delay treatment.
 

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Last Monday, April 16, my sheep were attacked by hybrid wolf dogs (3 adults and 6 puppies). We had no idea there were any in the area. They killed 4 of the 19 ewes and 5 of 22 lambs. We are lucky our neighbor's dogs heard the commotion and sprung into action to run the predators off. The weird part is that they continued to come back to consume the bodies. They didn't just kill for sport like a lot of dogs. We quickly disposed of the bodies to ward off other predators and honor the sheep lost.
Early the next morning, the adult dogs and a puppy returned. Despite having a window open, we were not alerted to the attack until a ewe busted through a gate to get to our porch. While we only lost two more lambs and another ewe, the injuries were significant. Thankfully, we were able to kill all four intruders (the puppy was attacking a downed, alive ewe, otherwise it may have lived).
Here's where the hard part really begins... all of my sheep seem depressed and I can't tell if they're in pain, truly sad (some of them lost their mommas and vice versa), or have other injuries we can't see. We've been treating for worms in those bit, fly strike, gangrene in a lamb that had maggots in her neck wound, bloat, and possible toxicity (not copper?). I feel like I'm juggling all of their health which has gone from strong/ never a problem to fragile/ moment to moment. Since we've never had health issues (besides one girl with worms) I feel like it's out of control and I don't know if I'm doing anything right. The two vets in the area flat out said they don't treat sheep even though we're in rural Arkansas. I don't want to lose anymore simply because I don't know where to go or how to treat them.
What is really good, reliable source of information for diagnoses and treatments (besides Sheep 201)?
How do I know who is just sad or scared and who is genuinely hurt/ sick?
Anyone know where I can find a certification class for treating sheep medically?
Thanks in advance.

Amanda, recently a gal whose family runs thousands of sheep in Wyoming posted on Facebook a story of a rogue wolf pack attacking the flocks (even with many LGDs). Several were killed, and many injured. Several died weeks later, and in autopsying them she found (and posted) pics of the bodies skinned. Many showed bruised/deeply injured underlying flesh, which could not be seen from the outside. Puncture wounds close up, but still are there. My point isn't to be gross, but if some of your injured sheep don't improve, that may be what is happening. There's not much you can do besides what you are, TLC will do the best. If you are interested in her story - she writes books about LGDs and other ranch life stories, check out Cat Urburgit on FB.
 

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Amanda, recently a gal whose family runs thousands of sheep in Wyoming posted on Facebook a story of a rogue wolf pack attacking the flocks (even with many LGDs). Several were killed, and many injured. Several died weeks later, and in autopsying them she found (and posted) pics of the bodies skinned. Many showed bruised/deeply injured underlying flesh, which could not be seen from the outside. Puncture wounds close up, but still are there. My point isn't to be gross, but if some of your injured sheep don't improve, that may be what is happening. There's not much you can do besides what you are, TLC will do the best. If you are interested in her story - she writes books about LGDs and other ranch life stories, check out Cat Urburgit on FB.
That sounds devastating, esp the deaths so long after the attack. I'm going to look her up. I love following other's agri stories. We are definitely keeping a close eye on our herd and trying to pamper them as much as possible.
 

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Not to add to your worries (you're doing great to care for your poor traumatized sheep) but did you have the predators tested for rabies? It's one of the worst fears if the attackers are running wild, maybe your state has no rabies, I fervently hope so, but better to be assured than to wonder and delay treatment.
We did not test any of the predators. By the time the sun came up and we assessed and tested the injuries and filed the report with the sheriff it was late afternoon and we weren't thinking of rabies, only disposing of the bodies. I have looked up the gestation period for rabies in sheep (10 days to 8 weeks) so that's still an unknown. We'll certainly keep that in mind if we ever see another one near our property though.
 

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Folks sometimes give me a lot of guff about the fence I recommend but after raising sheep I learned you don't really need to fence the sheep in you need to fence everything else out.
How did you discover they were hybrid? Were you able to find the owners?
 

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As much as I love my sheep, and would hope all yours would recover well, I was concerned about you regarding rabies.
If you handled the bodies of the wolf/dogs who were killed, and came in contact with saliva or fluids, there's a risk to you.
Sure hope this is an unfounded fear on my part.
 

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We did not test any of the predators. By the time the sun came up and we assessed and tested the injuries and filed the report with the sheriff it was late afternoon and we weren't thinking of rabies, only disposing of the bodies. I have looked up the gestation period for rabies in sheep (10 days to 8 weeks) so that's still an unknown. We'll certainly keep that in mind if we ever see another one near our property though.
You need to watch yourself as well. Any open skin on humans can pick up rabies from the wounds, siliva from the injured and dead animals. We just went threw a mess with a neighbors injured cat that was attacked by a as it turned out rabid dog.
 

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Amanda, how are they looking today? I'm sorry, I never even though of rabies simply because it's not a problem in NZ - we don't have rabies.

Cheers,
Ronnie
 

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Folks sometimes give me a lot of guff about the fence I recommend but after raising sheep I learned you don't really need to fence the sheep in you need to fence everything else out.
How did you discover they were hybrid? Were you able to find the owners?
Yes, the sheriff actually came out and took pictures and knew about where they live from other issues they've had with the owner. The guy admitted to breeding hybrid wolves. Said that's why they look like wolves. Smh.
 

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So we're still dealing with injuries. Puncture wounds from the bites are building up pus. We are treating with cleaning out the pus by squeezing and clearing with sterile gauze and then spraying scarlet red and fly strike spray (sadly, it's fly season and it's the worst we've ever had). My most critical is a lamb who had a gash on her neck. We treated her immediately but she caught fly strike. We caught it early and got her fixed up but 3 days later she went down and hasn't been back up. It's been a week now and we're feeding her milk via syringe, grain/corn, and water via syringe. We initially packed the wound with sugar but after 5 days it wasn't making progress so we cleaned the sugar out and put ointment in the wound and covered with sterile gauze and stretchy self-adhesive tape (applied loosely). She was doing fine until this morning. She started opening and closing her mouth, refusing milk, grain, and water for the most part. Her stomach was a bit bloated so I gave her 4oz of a water, oil, baking soda mixture. That was around 4pm. When i fed her dinner around 730, she was still doing the thing with her mouth. She was also kicking her legs and crying out which she hadn't been doing. Her wound began to pus again today so she got another shot of long-lasting penicillin, her 3rd total since the attack. She has been peeing and pooping normally and we move her often to keep her in the shade, out of the barn during the day, and on clean, dry hay if not in grass. I don't know if this is her giving up or if it's just a severe case of bloat or pneumonia. Any ideas??
 

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You need to watch yourself as well. Any open skin on humans can pick up rabies from the wounds, siliva from the injured and dead animals. We just went threw a mess with a neighbors injured cat that was attacked by a as it turned out rabid dog.
That's an excellent point. My husband and I both wore gloves during all of the cleanup and he was the only one who touched the predators. All carcasses were burned. We also poured sodium hydroxide (lye) on them after the fire went out. We are keeping a close eye on everyone involved.
 
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