Wound treatement recommendations

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by frazzlehead, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    Hello all.

    If you saw my other thread, you know I've got an overly enthusiastic LGD pup who was playing with some of the sheep and doing them harm. He's enclosed with the horned sheep now, separate from the polled ones, and seems to be learning his manners. He has escaped a couple of times and done a bit more tussling with the polled sheep but was caught quickly and put back where he belongs. I am thinking if he doesn't out grow this soon, I'll be getting rid of all the polled sheep!

    Anyway, I had checked everyone over, but today I noticed that my small southdown ram had fresh blood on his neck. I'd seen blood there before, but it looked like he'd just gotten bled on by the ear of one of the bitten sheep. Today I see that there is a deep gash, and it's infected.

    Actually there are two deep gashes - one on the back of his neck, about 2" long, and it's got white pus coming out of it and a bit of a scab. The other is a U shaped cut, quite deep (maybe 5mm?) on the other side of his neck, also oozing.

    He let me clean both with warm (slightly soapy) water and did not fuss anywhere near as much as I expected. He stood and munched hay while I clipped the wool away from the injured place and got as much of the guck out as I could. I couldn't believe he ate while I worked on these. :S

    I put a strong antibiotic cream into both wounds (I used this same tactic on a similar injury on the pup who perpetrated these wounds ... he had tussled with the larger dog and gotten a small puncture on his neck, the vet said that our home treatment had worked well so I am trying the same on the sheep). It doesn't sting and is a broad spectrum antibiotic (Fucidin) intended for human skin infections.

    I have someone picking up injectable pennicillin for me ... can someone help me with dosage, frequency of administration, and any other suggestions? I've got the sheep in a shelter with lots of hay, just gave them a bowl of grain to help them feel better, and will check on them again shortly.

    All help appreciated!
     
  2. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    oh yeah... do sheep need tetanus shots?
     

  3. wendle

    wendle Well-Known Member

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    Sheep can get tetanus, so I would vaccinate for that. You should be able to get a cd&t shot at a farm store in the refrigerated section. For wounds I make sure they are cleaned out good, and give a shot of antibiotics(also at farm store). There are also topical salves you can use. I have had some seriously wounded sheep with infection make it just fine with a shot and time. They seem to heal very well.
    Good luck
     
  4. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've used the antibiotic injectable LA 200. It doesn't burn like the penicillan and it's more broad spectrum. Also, it's much easier to inject because it's a thinner consistency. I would clean the wound out, maybe spray out with a hose if the sheep will tolerate it, and then apply some scarlet oil spray or a diluted betadine spray. When one of my younger ewes tangled with a fence and ripped a whole in her side, I used that approach and gave her two doses of antibiotic, a couple days apart. She recovered just fine.
     
  5. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    Oh thanks for the encouraging information!

    I'll call the feed store and ask if they've got the tetanus vaccination stuff available - if not, I can pick it up from the vet Tuesday when I go to take the dogs in for their shots.

    He certainly looks more okay than I would feel with cuts like that on my skin anywhere ... I'll keep a close eye on him (hard to do right now as it gets dark soooo early) and keep him well fed with hay and grain and see how things go.

    Should I wash the wound out every day as well? with saline, or iodine, or ... ? I am thinking it's gonna need to be rinsed clean or it'll guck up.
     
  6. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    Yuk. I just went out and had another look (while it's still light, and now that the poor sheep has had a break from all my prodding) and that u-shaped cut is NASTY. I see what looks like cooked turkey in there ... bits of muscle? I took a rubbermaid bottle with a bit of slightly soapy water and irrigated the wound with that (it squirts) and I could tell some of that stung. The cut on the back of his neck has stringy pus, but I think it'll heal up all right with time - there's a rioting infection going on there (it's warm) but it looks like it might be starting to close up. The one lower down is very deep, and I think it's newer (I think he got that one when the pup leaped the fence the other day) - there's a flap of skin that comes down over an open spot that I could probably put my finger in up to about a centimeter. I am thinking that veterinary attention might be needed for that one ... I rinsed it and cleared as much of the fluid guck out as seemed willing to come, squished some antibioitic cream in there, and let him have a break from all the prodding.

    I know that on humans animal bite wounds are not sutured, but left open to drain ... so I'm thinking that it's the same for the sheep. Any more words of wisdom?
     
  7. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    If it were me, I'd clip all areas where there are wounds. That way I could get a good look at what is going on. Then I would flush all open wounds with H2O2, sterile saline, or chlorohexidine (sp?), or even clean water. I'd assess the wounds to decide if veterinary intervention was needed. (I don't know what your skill or comfort level is in regards to providing medical care. You would have to make that call yourself, but it sounds like your doing a good job.) Regardless of the need for veterinary intervention, I'd apply an antibiotic ointment, spray, or powder on the wounds. I'd inject the sheep with 2cc of CD &T. I might also give her an IM shot of Pen-G at the rate of 1cc per 100 LB once a day for a few days. If the wounds were shallow I'd leave them uncovered.
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I'd do the same as mawalla except I use the 8 way cattle vacines as they cover more diseases sheep get than the CD+T You're in Edmonton so i guess all the flies are gone, or is there a polar variety to complicate your life? (kidding) With the cold I'd limit the flushing to the minimum needed, maybe even just sponge it.
     
  9. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    Thanks guys, you're all so helpful! Yes, the one blessing of this cold weather is we have no flies to worry about!

    I will try to do the irrigation only during the warmer part of the day (supposed to be above freezing this weekend, so middle of the day we might be able to give it a whirl). I think I got them reasonably clean today, I have some iodine now so I can make a dilute solution of that and give them another good washing when it's warm, maybe Saturday. Till then we'll let the Fucidin soak in and do it's work.

    As for the vaccines, he had all his shots in June, so I am thinking he'd still be covered for that ... or do they need a boost when things go badly? The feed store didn't carry CD&T (but they may have Tasvac, I'll have to check)... regardless, I'll talk to the vet on Tuesday when I'm there and see what she has to say (and if they have some in stock).

    Thankfully, I'm fairly comfortable doing the medical care myself, as long as I know I'm following good care practices. :) I do have a bio sci degree, and both of my parents are in health care, so dealing with these sorts of things doesn't really upset me, I've had enough experience with human wounds and such, and there really aren't that many differences once you get the wool clipped off!

    I've done more research - in humans, you don't suture animal bite wounds, because you need them to drain. I'll keep an eye on that deeper wound as time progresses - I think, given the shape of the 'hole', it should heal from the inside out ... but I'll watch closely to be sure it doesn't abscess. If it won't seal up, it might need a drain installed and the edges stitched shut, but I don't think it's quite deep enough for that. It might need a better job of debriding though, in which case I had better order a gambrel restraint.

    As of tonight, Jack has had 1 IM dose of Propen-LA (although finding a good spot to inject on the back of his neck wasn't easy, with the wound being on his neck ... any alternative locations?) and we sprayed the wounds generously with Scarlet Oil Spray. That stuff sure smells weird! Thanks for suggesting it, Farmergirl, I had seen it but wasn't sure if it was "the stuff I would need" or not. While I had it out there, I also sprayed the scratches (fairly minor ones, really) that the 2 other 'tussled' sheep had on their sides where the wool had been pulled. Can't hurt.

    The LGD puppy has proven that I do not currently have any fences he cannot conquer. He went under - I blocked. He went under again. I blocked more. He went over. I tightened. He went over again. Finally, I just put his muzzle on him and opened the gate between the two pastures. The sheep are happier to be all together, the dogs are ecstatic to be together again, and they are all appreciating the "good shelter" now that the wind has picked up again. It's warm, relatively speaking, but that wind is nasty. The puppy sort of looked like he considered the muzzle a fair trade for his freedom, and at least now that it's not -25 it shouldn't freeze to his face.

    Oh, I also fixed a sheep coat for the one ewe that is bald along most of one side ... I think she feels stupid wearing it, but she only has half a fleece, and it's winter. Like my mom always said, you don't need to look cool you just need to be warm!

    Everyone is eating, although Jack seems less active than usual - I can't really blame him for that. He's had a rough day. The sheep and the dogs are all curled up together keeping warm, and I'll be up early to take more hay out, give the dogs some breakfast, and check on everyone. I'll do Jack's injection after work tomorrow.

    Thanks so much for your support ... the worst part of it all is just being scared that you're not doing the right things, or that you've overlooked something terribly obvious. You've reassured me greatly. :)

    Further bulletins as events warrant! Feel free to add any more suggestions if you have them!
     
  10. Somerhill

    Somerhill Well-Known Member

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    If you are worried about tetanus, better get the antitoxoid from your vet. CD&T is a vaccine - it takes time for the immune system to react to it and produce antibodies. By that time, your sheep will be stiff. :rolleyes:


    However, do still get the CD&T, and vaccinate your flock. Then follow up with 2cc every year. This is a bare minimum health care requirement for sheep. Lambs need to be vaccinated at about 6-8 weeks, and a followup shot in 2-3 weeks to protect them from tetanus, and also overeatrs disease.

    Lisa at Somerhill
    www.somerhillfarm.com
     
  11. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    Thanks, Somerhill, I'll do that.

    Morning update: Everyone stayed tucked into the shelter for the night and seemed well this morning. I tied Jack up and trimmed some more fleece away from the nasty wound under his jawline, I think much of what makes it look awful is all the matted wool. The poor sheep can only take so much prodding so I've tried to not do too much at any one time, but I've got it pretty clear now. I washed it well with warm iodine water this morning, which, from his reaction, stung a bit. The wound is still weeping but I think it's fairly clean in there - at least with it weeping it'll drain and flush the guck out. I may have to debride it some more as we go along, but a whole beverage bottle full of iodine water gives a nice good rinse.

    The cut on the back of his neck looks much better this morning, I think just getting it cleaned out had a beneficial effect. It's still warm from infection, of course, but the guck is going away and it's got a nice scab forming over most of it (with a gap left open for drainage, so I thought I'd leave the scab in place to encourage healing).

    He'll get more PropenLA tonight, probably another wash on the under-jaw wound if it is still looking as gucky as it was this morning, and a bit of grain to make him feel better.

    I find it utterly amazing that while I'm poking around at these wounds he snuffles at the hay on the ground and munches on some. Is that normal sheep behaviour? :S I know they try not to "look sick" as a protective mechanism, but if he's eating, that's gotta be a good sign, I am thinking.
     
  12. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    yeah, eating is a great sign-- and-- it shows he knows you intend no harm.

    Saline slotion intended for eyes is very gentle-- does not sting as much as the iodine. TAMED iodine is very dilute,less effective-- better for scratches.

    Oh, Blu Kote is great-- its main ingredient is gention violet, and wont harm/irritaTE THE NEW TISSUE. H2O2 also naturally debrides.

    Something I learned a LONG time ago-- ANTISEPTICS, like iodine, destroy the new tissue that is trying to grow--so antibiotics are the way to go, once the wound is thoroughly clean. That is why the TV ads show faster healing!!!
     
  13. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    Gotcha: we want to use antiseptic and irrigation until we get the guck to stop ... once the guck has quit and the skin's pinked up and starting to heal, stick with the antibiotic cream. I can do that!

    Glad to hear about the eating - that's what I figured. He tolerates the treatments very well, I think animals can tell when we're trying to help them even when stuff hurts.

    He's very tame - he'd been with people a lot when I got him at 2 yrs old. He is a 24" tall babydoll southdown who, even at full tilt, cannot do me a lot of harm (and he only ever tried a few times - we splashed his face with water and that sorted him out fairly quickly, he looked SO offended!). I still don't turn my back on him (if he hit me unsuspecting, I may get knocked off balance) but he seems to enjoy human company.

    Thanks again for all the help, I think we're gonna make it through this adventure. :) Now if only the puppy would hurry and grow up!
     
  14. Somerhill

    Somerhill Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear that he is doing better today. :)

    If there is a good side to this, at least its winter, and you are not dealing with fly strike as well.

    Best
    Lisa at Somerhill
    www.somerhillfarm.com
     
  15. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    Saturday's update:
    Jack got his shot last night, but I didn't do anything else. It was cold, dark, and I think we all needed a rest. :)

    This morning in the sunlight I can see that the cuts on the back of the neck are definitely healing up nicely. They don't need any more rinsing out, I think I'll just leave them be and let the antibioitics help clear up what's left.

    The one under the jaw is still oozing, so I tied him up at the hay feeder this morning and let him eat while I gave it another rinse with iodine solution (I diluted it a bit further today, didn't seem to sting as much). I had to rinse first, since the fleece was frozen in spots and I needed the warm water to melt it down enough to trim. I got more of the fleece off, and some of the scabbed yukky bits. It's hard to tell where fleece ends and yukky bits begin, I actually missed in one spot and made him bleed a little (oops) but he didn't flinch. I think it'll heal up, but it's gonna take some time.

    I am hosting a 4H meeting today (I'm teaching the sheep kids how to make felt from fleece, demoing hand spinning on a drop spindle, and showing them thrummed mitts under construction) so I'll have our 4H leader (who has many sheep) take a look.

    I'll let you know what happens. :) Thanks all for your great advice!
     
  16. steader

    steader Unknown

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    Learning about this stuff is like learning a foreign language so please be patient with the basic questions, thnx.

    What is a cd&t shot? [t for tetanus?]
     
  17. Somerhill

    Somerhill Well-Known Member

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    Yep! CD&T is a vaccine. Its cheap, effective, and almost universally recommended as the bare minimum sheep disease prevention program. You give booster shots each year 2-4 weeks before lambing to the ewes, which should pass their immunity on to the lambs through their colustrum(first milk) That passive immunity should protect the lambs for a while, and then you need to vaccinate them, too. You give 2 ccs to the lamb (age recommended varies - ask your vet) and a follow up booster in a couple weeks.

    The "T" is for tetanus. Sheep are susceptable to it both from injuries caused by wire, nails, and old metal stuff that most farms have around the buildings, and from small cuts in their mouths coming in contact with the soil. And, as in this thread, from bite wounds. :grump:

    The C&D are types of clostridial (hope I spelled that right) bacterias. These bacterias are common in the gut flora. We commonly call the disease they can cause "overeater's disease". It usually strikes your best, biggest, fastest growing lambs. What happens is that the normal bacteria in the gut get out of balance, and the clostridia take over, producing toxins that kill the other, good bacteria, and kill the lamb, too. It happens very quickly, with the lamb looking bloated and kicking and foaming at the mouth. Often, you just find the dead lamb, or one in its final death throes. There is an antitoxin you can get from a vet, but its often too late by the time you know the lamb is sick.

    Does that help?
    Lisa at Somerhill
    www.somerhillfarm.com
     
  18. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    Great explanation, thanks! All my sheep had their CD&T vaccines earlier, and will get boosters before lambing.

    I talked to my vet and he said that 4-5 days of Long Acting Pennicillin ought to do it for the bite wound - and that's what Jack has had. The nasty bite on the neck is starting to look much, much better - not weeping like it was, so I think I may give it one saline rinse just to wash out what may remain in there and put some antibioitc cream on it then leave it be. The other injuries are all healing up nicely.

    I noticed Jack following one of the younger ewes around and around and around the central shelter post yesterday ... I think he's going to be just fine (and I think I may get another lamb!)
     
  19. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    Just in case anyone's following the saga in hopes of learning for when it is their turn (may all the gods preserve you), I'll continue with updates.

    The cuts on the back of the neck now are just scabbed over, the warmth around them is gone so they are healing up well and the infection is under control.

    The wound under the jaw had stopped oozing gray guck, scabbed around the edges, and started showing more whitish pus that was thicker and less goopy. (That sounds disgusting, but really, the thicker white stuff was a big improvement on the yuk-scale.)

    I kept checking it to see how it was healing up and it looked pretty good. This morning it was just an open wound with a bit of pus. Just now I went out to check on everyone and saw a solid chunk of nasty looking ... something ... in the wound. So, Jack got tied to the post, my son straddled him to hold him still, and I got the scissors and iodine out.

    I tugged on the solid chunk of whatever it was and it came out (solidified yukkiness of some kind) and things didn't smell right in there (if that sounds really nauseating, it was). A bad smell is always a bad sign. I trimmed away anything gray or yellow looking and ended up causing a little bit of bleeding, but that means we're down to living tissue so that's not a bad thing. This hurt, I could tell, more than the things I'd done to my poor ram before, he really struggled today. Once I had everything that looked nasty and was visible cleared away, I squeezed a full bottle of diluted iodine through the wound (that really must have stung) and let him loose.

    He's eating and pursuing the girls, so he's not in any danger of sepsis - with 4 doses of long acting pennicillin in him he should be all right in that regard anyway - but this is still a very yukky injury. I'll check it again tomorrow and see how it looks, the iodine and additional debridement should have helped clean it out. The edges of the wound are smoothing over and pink, which is good, unless it starts to form an abscess. I will watch it closely.

    Just for info: my sheep leader told me that if it does abscess, a good trick is to fill a syringe with peroxide and inject it into the abscess. The peroxide and pus react, and yes, this is gross, it will burst the abscess open and drain it. Then you can fill a syringe with iodine and use that to rinse the inside of the abscess. Just in case you ever have to do that ... I suggest standing to one side, though!

    Apologies for the yuk factor in all this, but hey, it could happen to you and you'd be glad you read about all this!
     
  20. steader

    steader Unknown

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    frazzlehead you could really take the yuk factor up a notch next time and provide pictures :D