Hi. I have an almost 6 week old wilti lamb who is seriously ill suffering either tetanus or plant poisoning or both - symptoms are very similar so everything has been thrown into him.... . antitoxins, AB's, anti-inflams, pain relief, and both he and his twin are taking scourban twice daily for three days or so - she has become unwell to a lesser degree.
The twins are usually with their mum in the paddock but escaped two days ago and enjoyed the lawn and surrounding garden
Symptoms of frothing at mouth, muscle spasms, uncoordination appeared midday yesterday. As of 2am the wee guy was unable to stand, hold head up and was not suckling so now needs to be tube fed in the hope of a miracle recovery.
I'm new at this lifestyle stuff and couldn't stand myself if I didn't try everything to save his little life (I obviously haven't developed my leather skin just yet)
Can anyone please advise best practice for feeding: how often and how much milk to administer - I'm worried I'm not feeding enough or too much. Help!
I noticed the instructions on Anlamb work out to about a litre a day, it's how many feeds that is split into that varies with age of the lamb. I prefer little and often when bottle feeding and I would assume that would be the ideal for tube feeding a sick lamb too. It won't be eating any grass (but not expending a lot of energy either) so I would suggest aiming for 1-1.2 litres per day, split into 4-5 feeds. You say they are getting Scourban so I assume they are scouring, if the vet has you feeding electrolytes this normally replaces a milk feed, not as well as, so you would need to reduce the milk accordingly.
We would give electrolytes 4 times daily for a couple of days, about 200 ml per feed. Keeping them hydrated is very important when they are not suckling.
Have you contacted your vet? In your situation this would be my first course of action. Nobody here can see your lambs and therefore can't diagnose what is going on with them. I've run sheep for most of my adult life (which is now getting pretty long) and wouldn't even like to make a stab in the dark as to what may be wrong with them.
Unfortunately the Captain didnt make it but his twin made a full recovery. The vet had made the initial diagnoses and given treatment however the cause was never fully determined. I still suspect plant poisoning over Tetanus as they were both out of the paddock the day before and possibly the morning they fell sick. On investigation there are a few toxic plants in my garden that appear to have been nibbled.
Hotwire has installed at the base of the fence to hopefully deter the others from escapism and a repeat occurance.
Bad luck. "That happens more often than you would think".
Deaths from Clostridial infections (tetanus, pulpy kidney, blackleg and others) are often easy to recognise in that the animal goes stiff very rapidly, blows up rapidly, often has skin darkened by blood, and has foam or blood being pushed out of the mouth and/ or bum.