Help, Possible bloat????

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by adnilee, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. adnilee

    adnilee Well-Known Member

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    We have a ewe that has twins that has a large bulge in her left flank. She is eating, moving and otherwise acting normal. The only other problem is that a large patch of wool on her back is coming off.

    Any suggestions??
     
  2. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    There are two kinds of bloat I know of, one is frothy bloat, which is easier to treat, and the other is a blockage.

    Bloat in sheep
    Bloat does occur in sheep but is less severe than in cattle. Bloat in sheep often occurs with enterotoxaemia (pulpy kidney), so it is wise to vaccinate against clostridial disease (5-in-1) before sheep go out onto lush pasture or when bloat occurs in the flock.

    Treating sheep
    Treatment for sheep is the same as for cattle. At present only TympanylTM is registered for use in sheep. Traditional treatments include drenching with 50–60 mL of vegetable oil or paraffin oil. An oil or surfactant anti-bloat preparation registered for cattle may be used under written veterinary recommendation, usually at one-fifth of the cattle dose. Because sheep are small, it is possible to sit them on their hindquarters and massage the rumen to mix the oil and encourage belching. Emergency incisions into the rumen are rarely necessary.

    Prevention
    When pasture is considered risky, bloat prevention options include the following:

    Restrict pasture intake by limiting grazing time or implementing strip-grazing.
    Fill animals on hay before turning onto pasture.
    Spray the pasture daily with pasture oil.
    Drench each animal twice daily with an anti-bloat preparation or oil.
    Apply anti-bloat preparations twice daily onto the flank.
    Add bloat oil into the water supply.
    Use anti-bloat blocks or licks.
    Use anti-bloat capsules such as Elanco Rumensin® Capsule.
    If hand feeding each day, add liquid bloat preventatives or products containing monensin to the feed.

    For Sheep
    Bloat Remedy #1
    Using a syringe, squire 3-4-5 cc of CAST'OR OIL down the throat. After administering this successfully, you will have to feed the sheep 1/2 cc of Neomycin Sulfate (an antibiotic) to restart the rumen.

    Bloat Remedy #2
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup vegetable or mineral oil
    2 tbsp baking soda. Mix well and put into a soda bottle. Use one cup for a full grown sheep.

    Bloat Remedy #3 Frothy Bloat (lambs on bottles)
    1/2 tsp. ground ginger in 2 tbsp. water and shoot it down the throat with a syringe.

    Be sure to consult your sheep books or your veterinarian. They will recommend other methods that may include more difficult remedies to administer such as forcing a hose down the gullet and in extreme emergency situations, a hole can be made in the rumen to let gases escape.

    As for the wool coming off, it could be stress,, or something else. If you have a Vet in your area that knows about sheep, would be a good idea to have them out.
     

  3. kabri

    kabri Almst livin the good life

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    I'm sorry, I don't know what the woolless patch might be, but a simple thing I do every year before lambing and during spring grass growth is have baking soda available free-choice to all the ewes.

    The temp has really warmed up here in the last week, and all my ewes are rubbing against things... we've not sheared yet and they get itchy!
     
  4. adnilee

    adnilee Well-Known Member

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    We gave 2TBS Sodium Bicarb in a cup of warm water two times. Then gave 60cc of mineral oil. She has been throwing up feed for some time now, so tomorrow we will give her a cup of yogurt to help digestion.
    We were told the wool issue is due to her running a temperature. We could literally remove the whole fleece from her back if we wanted.

    Hopefully all our efforts will pay off. It has certainly been a learning year so far.
     
  5. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Sheep don't normally throw up anything. Did she get into rhododendron or any other poisonous plants recently?

    This doesn't sound like any kind of bloat I've treated. I would have the vet out ASAP.

    Oh, for plain ole ate-a-whole-grapevine bloat I drench with corn oil, prop their front feet up on a hay bale or something and give them a deep belly massage. You'll know it's working when they start burping up a storm and you can hear their gut rumbling around. Also, their belly goes from feeling like a basketball to feeling more like a balloon with a squirrel dancing around inside it.
     
  6. adnilee

    adnilee Well-Known Member

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    I was told that if she is throwing up, she may have a rumen that isn't working properly. I just let the new moms together with all the lambs a couple of days ago, so she is able to get more feed if she fights for it. She probably gorged herself on grain (which doesn't settle with her very well). She hasn't been outside since Saturday, so she hasn't eaten anything poisonous. My only guess is that she is plugged up with grain that she can't digest properly and hopefully the mineral oil will help "purge" her. She is acting normal and nursing her lambs just fine otherwise.

    We will keep our fingers crossed until morning and then give her the yogurt to help her rumen out.

    Thanks for the help and suggestions.
    Any other suggestions would be great!
     
  7. FairviewFarm

    FairviewFarm Well-Known Member

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    When ewes are in late gestation, a growing fetus(es) will take priority over wool growth. When this happens, the wool fiber becomes very thin and weak at that point. These fibers are easily broken off when the ewe rubs against something or is rubbed against by another sheep. It is one of the reasons that it is recommended to shear sheep about a month ahead of lambing. The weak point is then at the tip rather than in the middle of the fiber. This happens every year to most of my ewes that carry twins or triplets. I do shear at the recommended month ahead so they look awful for a while but in a month or two you won't be able to see where the bare patches were.

    This can also happen if a sheep has a high fever for several days. As your ewe is eating, moving and otherwise acting normal I would rule out this cause.
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    A throwing up sheep may have acidosis and needs a bicarb drench or maybe 2 or 3 of them over 48 hours. I stabbed the one I had with B Complex on principle.
     
  9. kabri

    kabri Almst livin the good life

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    We had a ewe last year that was really sick and aborted her late-term lambs... she recovered, but lost ALL of her fleece.. She looked really pretty, no way could you shear that close and evenly!

    Good luck with your ewe. In addition to the baking soda drench, i would give a pro-biotic (probias?) too. I know it's tough when you spend so much time trying to save them, sometimes they just don't make it, and sometimes you get a miracle!
     
  10. adnilee

    adnilee Well-Known Member

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    After the 2 doses of bicarb and the 60cc of mineral oil, she was back to looking normal this morning (except for the wool!). I think we may have caught it in time. We are learning how to deal with a lot of problems this year. It is hardly worth the vet charge to have one come out when it would probably cost as much as the ewe is worth. That may be a harsh way of looking at it, but I was pre-vet for a couple of years and have no problem experimenting myself. Half the time that is all the vet will do anyway (especially if they are unfamiliar with sheep).

    Has anyone given yogurt to a sheep to replenish the rumen bacteria? I was told to try this with this ewe, but haven't yet.

    So far this year we have had a lamb in the bath tub (to warm it), tube fed, gave enemas and now dealt with bloat. We have yet to have to assist with delivery, but I'm sure that will come!

    Thanks all for all your helpful ideas and suggestions. This board is very useful.
     
  11. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    There are better probios than yogurt, look for a comercial cattle bolus or try to steal a cud from another sheep. I've flushed a "doner" by tubing in water and then vacuuming with a 60cc syringe, some effluent out to use. I do mean to get a stomach contents back from the butcher and freeze some for just this use too.
     
  12. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    I am also wondering whether a hernia could be a possibility. If she has part of the gut poking through a hole it won't be doing a lot for her ability to keep down and digest food. Only a thought and it's not unkown.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie