retained afterbirth

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by sheepdogmom, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. sheepdogmom

    sheepdogmom New Member

    Apr 4, 2005
    I had a ewe lamb yesterday (24 hours now) with twins. The second one was a bad presentation with the chin turned back and both legs back. I had to go in to get a leg forward and the nose forward and the delivery went quickly as soon as I did. An hour later, the ewe was passing all of the afterbirth. However, this morning, there was still a thin rope like piece hanging out of her. It is still there tonight. Since I had to go into her to get the baby out, I did give her antibiotics last night and tonight. The piece hanging out is attached, so I did not pull it. What suggestions do you have at this point? I have a call into the vet, but the only sheep vet around here is almost an hour away, and usually won't come this far out. The ewe was also so worn out when the second was born that she wouldn't clean him and now is not bonded very well. He nursed extremely well last night, got lots of colostrum. He's not acting hungry and he's holding temperature, but mom is definately giving him little "butts" in the lambing jug, whereas she licks his sister. Suggestions on that too? I have smeared his sister's yellow pooh on him to try to make him smell more like her.
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    A low dose of oxytocin might help both the retained afterbirth, and with bonding. If she were mine I'd keep up the antibiotics and keep doing what you're doing, being mindful of the less pretty lamb.

  3. kabri

    kabri Almst livin the good life

    May 14, 2002
    W. Washington State
    I would also give electrolytes and molassas to the ewe to keep her strength and energy up, I do this will any injured/stressed sheep now, seems to help. I hope she changes her mind about that 2nd lamb!!!!!
  4. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2004
    New Zealand
    As Ross suggests, a low dose of oxytocin may help the afterbirth come away but it will probably do so anyway. I've had the odd ewe drag it around for a week before it comes away. Don't be tempted to pull on it.

    As for the second lamb, the ewe will come right with that. Ewes often get a bit confused with their first set of twins and I've seen them walk off and leave the second one behind without making any attempt to clean or feed it.

    Carry on with the antibiotics, give the ewe the best feed you can and interfere as little as possible. Just watch from a distance and only interfere if your positive the second lamb isn't being fed. We can kill with kindness because we are unwittingly putting the sheep through more stress with our meddling around her young.

  5. CCSheep

    CCSheep Member

    Feb 28, 2005
    I have found that tying up the ewe in the jug usually helps in cases that like. Sometimes it takes overnight and sometimes just a few hours.
    Jami B.
    Ellensburg, WA