HELP...Sick lamb

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by adnilee, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. adnilee

    adnilee Well-Known Member

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    We found one of the triplets that were born yesterday down a few hours ago. The lamb was very cold and almost motionless. We have warmed him twice in the bath tub, stomach fed him and he doesn't seem to be making much progress.
    How long before a chilled lamb should show signs of recovery? I don't know if we a fighting a loosing battle here. It has been about 3 hrs since we started trying to revive him. His heart rate seems strong, but he is not getting any more active.

    Please respond quickly!


    Thanks
    Adrian
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    If you have B vitamins give him some, 1/2cc for example. Then if you have a soft peice of aquarium tubing and a syrunge that it will fit on (or use your stomach tube) give him a warm soapy water enema, say 10ccs it will help dislodge the fecal tar which is likely a solid mass right now from dehydration. Do use a little force to jet the water in but on such a small critter be realistic! Try it once and again in a half hour. If you have any 50% injectable dextrose you could make up a 12cc syringe with 6cc's of the 50% and 6cc's of boiled water as I assume you won't have any sterile water or lactated ringers. You can then either subQ inject it over 3 or 4 areas or IP inject it if you know how. Good luck!
     

  3. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Well??? What happened?
     
  4. stonewolf

    stonewolf Member

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    Sorry to hear about your chilled baby, it is so hard to watch, I have one in the house right now too, and gave the vit. B shot and she is doing awesome!, In fact, I am now the proud owner of a very spotted carpet, which at the end of the day doesn;t matter, as long as she lives.

    Ross is an amazing source of info, don't feel like I could have made it through lambing this year without him!!

    We are up to about 55 lambs, having a population explosion in the last 72 hrs.

    I wish you luck and hope to hear good news!

    In spirit Stonewolf
     
  5. adnilee

    adnilee Well-Known Member

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    We gave an enema and cleared out the tarry plug. Made sure his tummy was full with tube feeding. After 2 soaks in a warm bath and a few hours under a lamp, he finally warmed up. He held on for several hours, then died. His heart was beating strong, but he couldn't breathe. We still don't know exactly what happened, but my guess is that he got stepped on.

    I guess it was a good learning experience. My first tube feeding, first enema and we did get him warmed up. He was the smallest of the triplets. Maybe it will be easier on the other two as far as milk supply and such.

    Oh well, we can't win them all. But it wasn't for lack of trying.
    Many thanks to Ross for the PMs and coaching.

    Adrian
     
  6. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Can someone explain tube feeding in detail? We almost had to try it with a bummer lamb we got yesterday. Finally put him on the goat and he did fine. Today we got a regular baby bottle and that is working too. He is so cute; hope to post pics soon. Part Dorper and Katadian.
     
  7. adnilee

    adnilee Well-Known Member

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    This was my first attempt at tube feeding. I had to make a tube from some flexible 1/4 inch hose and a marrinating syringe!
    I was told to lay the lamb on its left side, push the tube down the left side of its mouth and feel the throat to make sure it was going down the right pipe. From what I understand, if the lamb makes swallowing reflexes or makes a noise, you're in the right place. If the tube was going down the wind pipe, the lamb wouldn't be able to make a sound.
    You have to push the tube down about 3/4 the lenght of the lamb (about 12 inches). It must have worked for me, because I could feel the tummy getting full.

    I could be totally wrong, but that was how I did it.
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I've had to fight a tube down a struggling lamb more than once two other things you can check are to listen for breathing in the syringe but if the tube has folded over going in you won't hear anything anyhow. If you feel just ahead fo the rib cage on the throat (squeeze gently) you should be able to feel the feeder tube going through. If its there your past the dange point. You could over fill the lamb and you could have a folded tube that pushes the liquid back up or not at all. I push more tube in than I need and pull a half inch or so back to make sure its not kinked. You should never feed a lamb that can not keep its head up and if weak they should be head elevated so the milk doesn't run back up and drown them.
     
  9. FairviewFarm

    FairviewFarm Well-Known Member

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  10. sheeplady

    sheeplady Well-Known Member

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    Also, and this is very important. before you withdraw the tube, pinch it tight by the syringe. If you don't do this, any remaining liquid in the tube can go into the lungs as you are pulling the tube out, causing mechanical pneumonia.And pull it out quickly.
    I usually lay the tube alongside the lamb from mouth to stomach and mark the distance on the tube with a permanent marker before inserting tube.
    We keep a supply of wool lamb sweaters that I coat each lamb with after they are dry. I make these from old discarded wool sweaters, cut the sleeves off and viola! have 2 lamb tube sweaters. I always wash them between lambs as a ewe will reject a lamb that smells like another.
    Kind of neat going to the barn and seeing a rainbow of lambs running around. :haha:
    I have tubed many, many lambs, some weak at birth and some born on very frigid days. It gets colostrum into them quickly before hypothermia can set in.
    My routine, : Blow dry with a hairdryer, tube them once, and put a sweater on. :) Once the weather is better, I don't need to do all this.
    Now with my lamb market steady all spring, we forgo early, early lambing and lamb late March to late April. We shear about 2 weeks before which also is a big help. The lambs find the teats quicker on a shorn ewe.
    Just a few hints.