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Topic-icon 8 week old lamb with bloat

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3 months 4 days ago #545041 by Si

Please can someone help. Henri is a bottle lamb living indoors. He was getting short walks outside until last Monday evening when he suddenly blew up an hour after milk. Since then he has been to vets 2 times and today they came here. He is 8.6k only on 400ml ÷ 3 each day since Mon , on someting 5ml 2× a day for helping tummy, 5ml ×3 vet probiotic stuff plus 30ml ×2 of linseed liquid (boiled linseed and glup that comes off). before he was just like a ballon, today he is sleepy, grinding teeth and only small amount of pooh. Vet stuck needle in and no gas only food in there, has said now only 150ml ÷3 of milk and NO hay, pellets and deffinatly no grass but he wants me to walk him 15 mins every hour (without eating grass)! Only way to do that in on the road on a lead and hes is really scared of cars. Can anyone give me advice or have i a dead sheep walking?

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3 months 3 days ago #545043 by Kilmoon

Okay, the walking is to get things moving through and help relieve the symptoms of the gas build up. The grinding teeth indicates that he is in pain. It's good to see less milk (as it might have been the volume was too much for him) but in saying that make sure that you are really cleaning out the bottle and teat thoroughly in between meals to stop bacteria buildup. Also use boiled water to make up his milk (just in case there is something in the water recently) that you keep aside so that it cools down to the right temp. I doubt he would be too interested in feeding on grass if he's in pain - so if he's been happy to walk on a lead before then walk him around your paddock, or from your front door to the paddock or just some small distance over and over - basically just get him moving so that his gut muscles are aided in moving. It might be that you walk in a small circle for 15 minutes....alternate your direction so that you don't get dizzy because 15 minutes walking a small 10m diameter circle would drive me nuts.

I had bloat in a ewe once who had been cast most of the night. We drenched her with an vegetable oil/water/bicarb of soda mix and then I literally pushed her around our small hayshed paddock to keep her moving. She was not interested in eating at all. Once everything got moving though the expulsion of gas (from both ends and which was quite spectacular) she started to look better (less spherical) and sit down occasionally; her poos were runny for a few days as well from the vege oil. We found her in the morning, gave her the mix, and then throughout the day I made her move for roughly the same amount of time each hour that your vet has advocated.

Goodluck Si, you have certainly had drama with these two that's for sure.

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3 months 3 days ago #545048 by Si

Thanks, it is not a gas build up but food not moving no gas came out with needle only showed food. He has gone down a little now and wanting to eat. Vet said only 50ml milk and hay tonight maybe 3 × 100 tomorrow. Also he is now going to the loo but this has been going on since Monday! He just keeps blowing up, i always use boiled water and up until a week ago was sterelising bottles, teats and all. Vet said no need any more as long a clean really well with hot water. He even blows up om 30ml of linseed water and vet said also sugar water 30 ml. Iv only given 15ml of that and you see him getting bigger straight away with teeth grinding (on 15ml crazy). My other orphan lamb who is 10 days younger with major heart problems has not bloated. Thank the chocolate teapot as im still force feeding half his milk (never took to botlle well), so would not survive on such small amount of milk. Is this it now constant bloating till he is fully weaned plus weeks getting his tummy used to grass?

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3 months 3 days ago #545052 by VioletFarmer

At 8 weeks of age the lamb is well over due being out and grazing good quality grass, ours are nibbling away at grass from 2-3 weeks. This and the lack of sufficient exercise are probably contributing to his bloat issues/ constipation? He is ingesting lots of milk but not working it through & out the other end. Set him up in a paddock and encourage him to play- our lambs like to chase me round the paddock from a young age. Can you get some lamb muesli- it will help develop the rumen and give good fibre/ protein and once the lamb is eating 1/2 a kg of it per day- aiming for 1 kg per day over a month or so- and gaining weight, I would slowly de crease the amount of milk- which hopefully will lessen the chance of bloat.

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3 months 3 days ago #545053 by Si

He has always been unwell as they were both only 2k at birth so had to raise indoors as in Dec / Jan -10 outside so only went out for short time with coats on. Now it is a crazy 7 outside but they will eat grass if im not running around with them and iv ČOPD so thats a fun sight as my acre is on a hill lol My vet said they should not be eating grass only hay and can only get deer pellets here (for young ones) or pellets for adult sheep. So Henri was munching well on that but now not allowed. Seems catch 22!

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3 months 3 days ago #545061 by LongRidge

If the vet got green stuff out of the rumen on the left side, and showed that lamb did not have ruminal bloat, he might still have abomasal bloat, which is right of the rumen but still pushes the side of the body leftwards.
Try to add a bit of plain, unsweetened, not pasteurised yoghurt to his milk. If you can buy packs of dried milk and yoghurt mix from the supermarket, that is made up at home, then buy a pack and add a teaspoon or so of this, not made into yoghurt ie straight out of the packet, into his milk feed.
As well as using water that has been boiled for making his milk, be very, very careful to make it colder rather than as hot as you think the water should be. Do not make the milk with hot water and let it cool, make it with cool water.
Try to teach the lamb to walk on a lead, as you would with a dog. You will have to drag him at times.
I am surprized that the vet is not encouraging you to feed them grass, especially as it seems to not be a ruminal bloat, which is often caused by too much clover, so don't let them eat clover.

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3 months 3 days ago #545062 by Si

Iv been making it with warm water and there is no clover in my plot. buxton has been raised the same but because of difficulty with getting milk down him has had less milk and eats less hey, grass and drinks less water. Iv suggested adding probiotic to his milk but vet said human stuff should not be used and the 3 × 5ml of animal probiotic is enough. The first vet knew almost nothing about sheep, this one has more dealings with orphan or injured deer. I think with whats been suggested on here i will do 6 × 15min walks/runs with both and dog and let them have little nibbles of grass. Otherwise in 4-6 weeks when weaned they will not have any resistance to bacteria in the grass and i will continue getting problems. Little worried (understatement) on such small amount of milk he is now on at 8 weeks but he is four time heavier than birth weight!

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3 months 3 days ago #545065 by VioletFarmer

Aha! Im guessing you are not in New Zealand then- it really would be enormously helpful when asking for advice on this site to say- Im not in N.Z, I live in X,Y,Z blah, blah, blah. It seems like the Vet knowledge we have in our country can be vastly different to others, more info is always more help. I wonder if your lamb never had the correct amount of colostrum off its mother from birth- which is causing these issues now? It'll be a never ending battle if so unfortunately, Long Ridge made some good points in her previous reply, hopefully you can get some probiotic into the lamb and get things moving.

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3 months 3 days ago #545067 by LongRidge

Hi Vi, Si has told us in quite a few other posts that she is an English lady in Roumania :-). Unfortunately for her, she has learnt more about lambs in the last 3 months than most of us have learnt in a lifetime :-(. Lack of colostrum is one of the lambs problems, as is being the smallest runt of a multiple birth (in my opinion). Certainly their poor start is likely to limit the length of their lives, but there is a remote hope that they might last for 5 years if they are castrated.

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3 months 3 days ago #545079 by Si

Thank you soo much longridge "lady" lol, in Slovenia they think im the crazy English women. I was told by Henris farm he had colostrum but mum didnt have enough milk for 2 but now not so sure. As got him at 4 days old it was too late for colostrum but vets only had it for cows anyway, which i know is better than nothing, if i was told truth and picked up on day one.. Sadly wanted to pick him up straight away but he was born on Christmas eve and didnt want me there then ! So if they both make weaning how can i help them have happy healthy as possible lives if been deprived of colostrum? P.S Henri much better today but only had 5ml of probiotic have to wait till 8 for first feed will try 100ml and 15min walk.

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3 months 3 days ago #545080 by Si

With castration, first vet would do at 3 months but im not confident with them as dog and lamb nuts are different. This vet wont do it till 5-6 months and understandably worried about buxton with his heart problem. Which for now has gone from very very slow to quite normal on daily meds. So now he is maintaining his own temp at night and no longer needs to wear a coat at night. YIPPEE plus taking half his bottle without forcing.

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3 months 3 days ago #545085 by LongRidge

If you are killed or injured by a randy pet ram ramming you, then while you are being buried or healed the ram will be put down. So however dangerous the castration operation is, it must be done even if it kills them.
The rubber rings that have been available in NZ for about 80 years are now available in England an Europe. In NZ for the farmer to do the operation, it must be done before the lamb is 12 weeks. After that anaesthetic is needed so a vet must do the job. But by 12 weeks the testicles are almost too big to force through the ring. Which in my opinion is a shame, because I have always found that bigger lambs seem to feel less pain than smaller lambs, which I presume is because the ring puts more pressure on the joint for the tail, scrotum for the testes. The job takes a bit of training to avoid losing a testicle and thus making a rig that might be fertile, and to hold the lamb still enough to do the job. It is much easier to do with two people. My farmer friend and I used to be able to do 400 tails and 200 testicles in about 3 hours.
In England and Europe tailing rings are supposed to not be used on animals older than 30 days, which they think is less painful to the animal. I think for the pain reason, the ringing should be done between 30 and 90 days.
Another way that farmers in NZ are permitted to remove tails is by searing them off. When done properly the heat seals the wound and stops bleeding occurring. Young lambs hardly feel it, and females don't roll around like those that have been ringed. With males, they need a ring around the testes, so they do roll around for a few minutes.
There might be a very few farmers that use a sharp knife to do the job, but I've not seen that being done if it still is. With that there is much more risk of bleeding and subsequent infection.
I would not want a pet ram lamb castrated at 6 months, because by then they can be fertile, can have had lots of testosterone. so are much more likely to behave more aggressively like a ram than if they were done at 3 months.
Animals stay in the best health when they are well fed, have been vaccinated against some of the various Clostridium bugs, have their feet well cared for, have enough anthelmintic worm drench in the first couple of years of life (and you may need none if there have been no sheep or goats on your pasture for about 5 years), and have mineral supplement for the minerals your soil is short of. Most of NZ is short of sodium ions so we allow free access to a salt block. If the salt is evaporated crystals rather than mined lumps, then other essential minerals can be added to the salt. But .... many other essential minerals are poisonous in excess (Selenium, Copper, Cobalt) so these are added at a far too low dose to be very effective. So here, as well as providing a multi-mineral salt block I also give the animals a drench with more of what we need in it.
I have seen sheep die of a heart attack, and currently we have one that we had to re-start the heart. So don't let yours get too fat.

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3 months 3 days ago #545090 by Si

Went to vets today for more meds and had chat about castration at 3 months. They said if he is healthy with no bloat they would do it but insisted i would not be at risk if left till 5-6 months as still to small to harm me plus after op all agression would go! I know with dogs left after 6 months (normal for dogs) aggresive behaviour is not completly gone. So as you have much more experience with rams than my vet im taking your advice. With buxton different matter, they do not think his heart will be healthy enough even at 6 months but suggested 3 monthly injections to keep his testosteron at bay. Any views on that? Henri doing well today but from last 8 weeks with him im just glad of one good day :-)

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3 months 3 days ago #545091 by Si

added note they are both now on 1ml of lactiferm vit a probiotic paste and Henri is also on 5ml tympasol sol to help prevent foaming and bloat.

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3 months 2 days ago #545092 by Kilmoon

Si, I really feel for you. You are having a really rough introduction to bottle fed lambs. I have no experience of the drugs your vet is prescribing as I've never experienced what you have gone through. But google is a great way to learn. As to castration, once the testes go then yes I believe that those aggressive randy ram tendencies tend to go - but I've never done a ram lamb that late (we tend to castrate at about a week or three old). You've got a pooch, so you know about setting personal space boundaries, they will respond in a similar fashion. As to Buxton and his heart....ask about local anesthetic of the scrotum (instead of a full body knock out like they would with a cat or dog) and pain meds before hand....or is his heart simply just not up to the stress of such an experience?

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