Tail docking and infections

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by adnilee, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. adnilee

    adnilee Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone had a problem with infections after docking tails with bands?
    We have twins that were banded on 2/6/05 and one lost its tail 2 days ago, the other still has it. A lamb that was banded 2/5 lost her tail 2 weeks ago.
    The lambs always stand with their butt up (see picture). I gave each 1.5 cc of penacillin yesterday and will continue with the dose every other day for 3 doses.
    I was told that it is possible to get an infection that will travel up the spine if the band is not on the cartilage.

    Any ideas?

    Adrian

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  2. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    I never had an infection, luckily and my lambs tails normally were lost between 2 & 4 weeks after banding.
    Docking just to the fold of skin on the underside of their tall, so leaving just enough tail to cover their privates. Which it looked like you did.

    Due to having miniature sheep, I also did not band until they were between 4 to 6 days old, depending on size.
    With the larger sheep, you can normally do this sooner.

    Do not pull the lower part of the tail off, as that can cause infection.
    Letting it fall off on its own is the best.

    It is also good to give them a tetanus shot when you know you are going to band.

    As for standing butt high, could be a couple of things, they are cold, or they are growing fast. Many baby animals start growing with the back end first, then the front end catches up.

    So long winded as I am, think your lambs will be fine with the penicillin you are giving them.
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I've banded literally thousands of lambs and can count my problem docks on two fingers. Both survived. Unless the lamb looks sick or is running a fever don't worry about it. Tetnus is a possability so vaccinate them.
     
  4. adnilee

    adnilee Well-Known Member

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    I always give CTD shots the same day I dock the tails, so hopefully everything is ok. They just stand differently than the other lambs we have.
     
  5. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    When working on a large station I was around literally 1,000's of docked lambs every year and there were never any problems. I now have about 30 lambs a year of my own and again, never any problems. They are all done without the benefit of tetanus injections as it is a rare disease in sheep and not considered economically viable.

    Your lambs appear to have more than sufficient tail left not to cause any problems.

    The only time I see lambs hunched like that is when they are either cold or hungry. Yours look like well-fed wee ones so I suspect they could be cold.
    A lot of people here either use special lamb covers which can be bought cheaply, or make little coats for them out of bread bags. Worth a thought.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  6. adnilee

    adnilee Well-Known Member

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    I thought they may be cold, but it has been close to 50deg a couple of times since they were born and they still looked this way. Also, none of the other lambs I have (some younger) don't do it.
     
  7. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Hi again,

    We changed to metrics some years back so had to go away and find a conversion chart :D 50F is approx. 10C - and I consider that bloody chilly. :D
    However, it's all relative I suppose and if your other lambs arn't doing it one has to wonder.......
    However, they don't actually LOOK sick in that the eyes are clear, ears pricked and rounded build. Photo's can be deceptive - are these lambs quite small? in which case they could be feeling the cold a bit. Hopefully whatever ails them will come right and I would be interested to know how they go for you.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  8. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    I've seen lambs stand that way when they were constipated, too.
     
  9. adnilee

    adnilee Well-Known Member

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    Not constipated and not small by comparrison to others their age. Their tails were kind of stiff and stuck between their legs before they dropped, so it may have just been a habit formed because of the wierd feeling!!
    I will give a 3rd dose of penacillin Saturday just to play it safe. Otherwise they are very healthy.
     
  10. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    Sometimes their tails will get stuck to their bums, because of sticky manure. Kind'a glues the tail in place. Have you seen them lift up their tails at all?
     
  11. adnilee

    adnilee Well-Known Member

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    Both their tails are off now. I will have to watch to see if they lift their "nubs".
    I just noticed that the tails that had fallen were very stiff and permanently bent in towards the bum! The others I have docked stay kind of floppy.