Monday, March 1, 2010

Update on lambs

Well today is a new day. After every two hour barn checks last night on the BFls (especially the prolapsed ewe) and then coming back in to check on Ell, I didn't get much sleep.

The ewe lamb is still unable to walk. She can stand if I help her get up. She can almost get up, with three legs, but the fourth is still weak. After consulting with several more experienced shepherds, my thoughts that it was a en utero or lambing injury is most likely correct. Since I found her yesterday morning, I've been holding her legs in the laying down position, bending all the joints, rubbing her legs and running my finger along her spine to see if there are any injuries with her spine. She isn't in pain, and she did not have frost bite as her legs are NOT hot. She has a strong will, a great determination to nurse and tonight she almost got up on her own. I'll keep working on her hind legs and hope that she comes around. Yesterday was awful as she was dragging her rear around like a seal. Today she is NOT doing that, and so I'm hoping that my leg rubbing and massaging and holding and warming her every few hours is helping.

Since i have to tie the ewe up still to let the ram lamb nurse, I haven't started bottle feeding ( I HATE BOTTLE FEEDING!) so I'm tying the ewe up 6x or so a day to let the lambs nurse their fill. Once I untie the ewe, she lays down right away so the lambs can't nurse. She isn't mean to them, and does lay next to them at night, but she still isn't calling to them, or allowing them to nurse without me in the jug. Usually I just need to have my finger under her chin and she'll stand for them. Hoping for better results tomorrow.

No other lambs. The six other BFL ewes are due any moment. I'm hoping for lots of lambing action tonight! It'll be worth the lack of sleep!


Laura said...

I have a friend who has Lincolns. She also has Romneys and a few crossbreds. Her Lincoln ewes almost all did what your BFL ewe is doing. I do think that she ended up getting them to except the lambs.

I hope your lamb is ok! How is the ewe who prolapsed?

I had a Toggenburg doe once who had a vaginal prolapse, but it was after a hard birth of tangled triplets. The vet can out and stitched her up and she was ok. (Oh that goat also got milk fever and we thought she was going to die after she would not eat for several days. She looked like a walking skeleton and had lost interest in her babies. {I milked once a day and left the kids on the doe.} One hour before she was to be put down she got up and started eating in full force-it was the weirdest thing!) Any way I ended up selling her to some friends and they sold her to a commercial dairy. She has never had a problem since and has gone to the fair and won first place and champion of her breed. So maybe there is hope for your ewe.

Laura said...

You might give your weak lamb BoSe (assuming you're in a selenium deficient area) and additional Vitamin E (just cut the end off of a gel cap and squeeze it into her mouth). You can give .5 cc/day of BoSe for about a week, with no deleterious effects. While you're right, it does sound more like an injury, and she's getting better, the BoSe and E won't hurt.

Good luck with the impending births!

Brenda Lelli said...

Hi Garrett,
Just some suggestions here, but try giving the ewe 'Kiloran' some Banamine, for the after pain, and probably edema from a difficult birthing? As for the ewe lamb, does she have ruptured blood vessels in the whites of her eyes? also from a difficult birth, and possible cord (spinal) swelling from a prolonged birth? She might benefit from a steroid? consult your Veterinarian on that one.Since you didn't witness the labor, it may have been prolonged?

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