question about lambs feet

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by adnilee, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. adnilee

    adnilee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    INDIANA
    Hi,

    We had a pair of surprise twins today! I thought she was pregnant, but not this far along. One of the lambs had blood pumping out of the umbilical cord and my wife successfully stopped it by tying it off.

    The other, larger lamb (both are rams) cannot stand properly on his back legs. His feet bend at the joing and he walks on his bottom "knees". Is this a deformaty or is is something that he will grow out of? I have tried to straighten his feet, but it puts him on his tip-toes and he goes right back to the bent position.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks again,

    Adrian
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    I've had lambs knuckle over on their front feet, if I remember right it's a Vit deficency of some sort. Rear feet would be a new one on me. You can splint them to the correct position but use cotton next to the skin and tape on thin strips of wood that won't cut in. I hope you get some other answers too, as that's just my best guess/suggestion.
     

  3. teddy

    teddy Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Location:
    Texada Island, British Columbia, Canada
    I have had a lamb born a week ago with the exact same problem. You need to make a splint as Ross said. Make sure that the foot it taped securely in the right position. We have used cardboard (upholstery grade not corregated) or a light peice of shaped wood and we used hockey tape as we didn't have bandage tape, hockeytape isn't too sticky and will let the skin breath still. So my little girl had her legs taped very well and she has to drag it around the stall but every few days we take the splint off to re-tape it as she is growing soooo fast. Its doing the job thogh at least she walks properly when we take it off. She will wear it for two whole weeks. Apparantly this is a common thing, although I have never had this before. My vet also thought it may have been from me giving its vitamin A and D shot too close to the lambs nerve? So either way it should clear up and sort itself out with the help of a splint in a couple weeks.

    I have talked to other breeders and this seems to be almost common with black welsh mountain sheep....maybe with the smaller breeds who find it rather confined inside their mum? Especially if it is the first time she has had twins?
     
  4. animal_kingdom

    animal_kingdom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    567
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    PA
    I second Ross.

    We have this problem sometimes with our goats also.
    We made small wood splints and sanded them smooth. Then we put a piece of towel cut to fit the leg around before putting the wood against the leg. Then we bought reusable bandage - same thing as vet tape- cut the bandage in half length-wise and wrapped it fast. We don't use tape.

    If done as a freshly dried off newborn, it straightens itself out usually in 24 hours.

    There are times when we have to rebandage every day to re-adjust everything.

    Mama
     
  5. adnilee

    adnilee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    INDIANA
    Thanks for the help.
    We took a small piece of cardboard and wrapped it around the knuckle of each back leg an then wrapped it in bandage. He is up on his 'feet' now and seems to do better every time we check on him. The funny thing is, he is feeding off the ewe and the other is not. We are having to bottle feed his brother.
    We seem to have a bottle baby in every batch lately!

    Adrian
     
  6. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,746
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Hi Adrian,

    I had this problem two years ago with the largest in a set of triplets but it was in all four limbs. I started tapeing and splinting them but it was more of a hindrance than a help to him so gave it away and within the week he was tottering around on his own. He is now a very large weather and he's as soft as muck.

    Talking to a few other sheep farmers that year, there seems to have been a run of them, all in twins or triplets and all big lambs leading me to think it may have been something to do with being squashed in the uterus.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  7. animal_kingdom

    animal_kingdom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    567
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    PA
    You know, I got tired of putting splints on this year. We have had some large babies this year.

    I left one ram lamb go and today he is 3 days old. He's walking almost properly today. I think one more day and he'll be good to go!

    I was hesitant to do this as once I did leave a goat kid go and because I gave him time, it was a longer recovery to walking properly.

    You never know.