Pinched nerve

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Maura, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    One of my young ewes dropped her first lamb yesterday. It was breech and was dead by the time it finished being delivered. I was there and helped her since she seemed very tired and was lying in an awkward position (on her belly).

    Afterwards, she did not get up. She didn't seem to want me around any more, so I left her. When I came back later, expecting to possibly find another lamb, I found her not far from her delivery spot and still laying down. It is 11:00 p.m. the following day, and she is still not able to get on her legs. She scootches around. Her eyes are bright, she is alert, and she is eating. I've been giving her water via a syringe. I've also give her Nutridrench and molassus. My sheep neighbor suggested that she may have a pinched nerve/dislocated vertabra. I don't think she has anything terrible, like ketosis because by the time I realized she was not right and dove into the sheep book, I think she would have been dead or comatose.

    So, 36 hours of scooting around the pasture.
     
  2. Sprout

    Sprout Well-Known Member

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    I would catch her (shouldn't be very hard ;) ) and put her in her own private pen in the barn. If she gets to nervous throw in a buddy in a pen next to her. Then do what they do with downer cows. Make a sling for her and every day lift her up and leave her there for the day with plenty of food and water on front of her and then let her down at night. It'll help her continue her normal functions without adding compounds onto the problem. Depending on how dear this ewe is to you, you could call a vet or chiropracter to see if the damage is reversible. A chiropracter can save you the expense of trying to rehabilitate an animal that will never get better.

    oh and make sure her feet still touch the ground. In fact a little hoof to ground pressure helps.
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Your vet could add some antiinflamitories or steroids to Sprout's advice.
     
  4. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    Very, very carefully, and gently, take forefinger and middle finger, one on each side of spinal column at neck, and glide slowly qon the sides of the spine. If your fingers are sensitive enough, you should be able to feel twisted and out of line (side to side) vertebrae. Running the palm of your hand doewn the top of the spine should help find misalignments from the top to bottom range.
    When you get her in the sling, a gentle massage can relax spasming muscles, permitting vertebra to reposition themselves.
    The pressure you appluycan also help you determine any painfull spots--watch for ear twitches-prey animals are very stoic by nature-- in the wild, showing signs of pain is certain death.

    Doing this will help locate the trouble if it is spinal nerves in question. My dogs have a chiropractic vet-- I have learned much from her!
     
  5. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you. She is not particularly dear to me, or valuable, but I'd like to do what's best for her. I don't have a barn and do not have a reliable way to hang her. I think she feels comfortable with the rest of the herd, she is not avoiding them and they are not bothering her. In Michigan now, only vets can work on nonhumans, including chiropractic adjustments (first thing I thought of). I'm a bit squeamish to work on her myself, but I guess I will have to do something.
     
  6. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    Maura,
    MANY farmers, Dog Breeders, etc "vet" their own animals- no matter what state they live in. it is a way of keeping the veterinary expenses down--anytimwe you pull a lamb, give a shot, wrorm, etc, you are doing "vet work" My vets love the fact I am competent ewnough to work on my own animals-- they know I dont call them unless it is TRULY something to be concerned about. So, maybe massage the ewe a couple times a day--maybe have someone help you stretch her back out as you do so. Yor vet may be able to provide a gentle muscle relaxant to help things along.