Sheep looses wool and babies :(

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by kabri, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. kabri

    kabri Almst livin the good life

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    Hi everyone, lambing is in full swing at our house now! We had an interesting incident. I had always heard that wool sheep could loose their fleece to stress, but had never seen it until this year. We had a cheviot ewe who we think bloated. We found her down in the pasture, she was barely able to walk with us using a sling on either side to get her into the barn. She had green "cud" coming out her nose, I think she aspirated some of it and got pneumonia. She was a month away from lambing. For 3 days, she was down. Could not walk at all she was so sick. We treated with electrolytes/molassis and a small amount of probios. The mobile vet could not come out, but sold me some SMZ's (sulfer/anti-biotic bolus) and we gave her that twice a day. On the 4th day, she started to eat a little and could stand, but shakey. 5th day, she lost her twin lambs who were 1 month pre-mature. But she continued to improve, started eating well, and after a few more days, seemed fully recovered.

    About 1 week later, we start seeing big hunks of wool on the fences and trees. We cornered her and I was able to peel ALL her wool off! :eek: She lost it all, right down to the skin. She's still healthy and acting normal now, 1 month later. We were sad she lost her lambs, but very glad she recovered! 1 less sheep for DH to shear!
     
  2. CountryFried

    CountryFried Well-Known Member

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    That IS amazing. My dad didn't get to his Icelandic sheep in time , and the ram began to shed his wool. No stress involved tho'. Only that is was beginning to get hot.
    Sorry to hear of your loss on the lambs. I just lost a ewe that was pregnant. A Jacob ewe. She got a horn caught in a cinder block and went into shock since it was most of the day before we found her. I was so sad to lose them both. I'm glad yours has recovered.
    Sherry
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    That is bad news! Did you take her temperature? High fever will cause wool slip. That she dropped her lambs makes me wonder if she didn't have Listeria. Any chance she could have gotten some spoiled feed? Listeria is everywhere though. I don't use much sulfa drugs except to correct coccidia infections. I would have used PenG for what sounds like a bloat and aspiration pnuemonia all right if she didn't have much of a fever. Interesting the sulfa methazine worked so well. Maybe I should consider it for more things! Did you use any anti-inflamitorys like banamine?
     
  4. sheeplady

    sheeplady Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Ross. Having a fever will cause the wool to break at that point. It sounds like she did indeed have pneumonia. One of the first things my vet asks when I call her is, "Whats the ewe's temperature?" I am glad she is doing better. Last time we had pneumonia, I treated with Excel instead of PenG, at the vets reccomendation, with good results. Kate in New York
     
  5. kabri

    kabri Almst livin the good life

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    Yes, she did have a temp, 103.9. The vet I called (who could not come out to see for himself) was not concerned with that temp reading... Of course, it could have gone higher, we were not checking it constantly. How I described her symptoms did not alarm him either, he did not think it was bloat. But she also had no rumen sounds, was extremely weak and lethargic, and did not get up for 3 days. Maybe her lambs died and that caused her illness? She is the picture of health now!

    I've had really good luck with SMZ's in the last few years. The dose we used was 5 tabs twice a day (oral, disolved in warm water) Ewe weighs about 100 lbs. We had a retained placenta last year, no oxytocin on hand (prescription item, costs more to get it that the animals are worth $-wise) Treated that also with SMZ. This year, we had another retained placenta (different ewe) and I treated with PenG. Ewe is fine now, feeding her twin lambs well. I don't know about listeria, it's certainly possible. I've never heard of Excel, is it an injectable anti-biotic?
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    You saved the ewe and that is an accomplishment in its self. An anti inflamitory may have helped, even off the shelf asprin dosed for sheep works well. Oxytocin is expensive in the states? $4 or $5 a bottle from the vet, making it a cheapy here. Dead lambs will make a ewe sick with septicemia (blood poisoning )but if you're lucky enough to have the ewe eject the dead fetuses you will know instantly what the problem was. The odds they could make the ewe that sick and still be delivered unassisted are very remote so I would say the fever caused the abortion of live lambs. Did they reek? Did the ewe reek? Dead fetuses are probably in the top 10 of bad things to smell and while decomposing in the ewe they dry the lining of the uterus making extraction a terrible (horrible) job, I'll not describe further, but nearly impossible for the ewe on her own. A ewe can abort fetuses before that decomposition sets in fine but after they are sick and its progressed its unlikley. Its also pretty rare thank goodness! I can't recall a drug called excel either perhaps Kate means Naxcell?
     
  7. Kasidy

    Kasidy Well-Known Member

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    Could be Excenel---a very effective antibiotic for respiratory problems in sheep and goats. But very very costly---I get it by the syringeful, NOT the bottle, from my vet if I need it.
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Neat Excenel and Naxcel are the same drug! Ceftiofur sodium. I did not know that until I looked up Excenel! Haven't needed it here yet.
     
  9. LeahN

    LeahN Well-Known Member

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    I paid $8/cc!!!!! I used it for a ewe with a retained placenta (and it didn't even work!). Gee. Canadian drugs really ARE cheaper!
     
  10. sheeplady

    sheeplady Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it was Excenel.Sorry about my spelling! :eek: Also, I may be wrong, am too tired now to look it up, but thought the normal temperature range in sheep was 101 to 103 degrees.
    Glad your ewe is doing well. Kate in NY
     
  11. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    102.5 is normal, 103.9 in hot weather wouldn't be overly alarming but I'd be checking the salt and water supply. I just checked with a friend of mine (on ICQ) shes a dairy farmer in Wisc. She says oxytocin is $5 per 100 ml bottle there. $8 for a syringe full has got to be mostly service charges!?
     
  12. LeahN

    LeahN Well-Known Member

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    Wow. Perhaps oxytocin is listed at the wrong price on the computer at the vet. They don't mark up ANYTHING that much (for example I can get a distemper puppy shot for $6 there and $2.50 mail order...thats a little more than twice the cost, whereas $8 for a cc of oxytocin would be 160 times the cost if a bottle costs $5). I'll bet maybe when the woman was checking me out, she put quantity 1 in the computer thinking it was per cc but it was probably for a bottle? Maybe. I'm going to ask tomorrow to see what a whole bottle costs. I'd like to have it around in case I need it. I was just reading a technique for milking out colostrum to freeze and it recommended injecting 10-15 international units of oxytocin to make it flow better (it also said to lube the udder with vasoline or hand cream which should help me). I spend about a half hour to get an unusably small amount of colostrum since I have such a hard time with the sticky stuff and I would like to have some in the freezer.
    Leah