Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lambing Summary

I want to keep a log of this years lambings. So far it's sad and I'm having a hard time typing this out. Started with Oma on March 28th she had twins a ewe and a ram in the late afternoon. The ram was circleing and appeared blind, he died by the next morning. The ewe lamb is healthy happy and is a chunk like her Mom!

On March 30th we gave the remaining 10 ewe's that are bred a Bo-Se shot, a B-Complexe shot and some A,D,E paste. Later last week I started putting an electralite powder with A,D,E thiamine etc in one of their water buckets and they do drink it up most everyday.

On April 1st Tess had twins two ewes one is fine and the other showed the same symptoms as the first ram only she was more relaxed ate well for a few days, was blind the whole time received some Bo-Se and B-Complexe but on about the fourth day just wanted to sleep, laying up-right with head back looking very comfortable. She died her 7th day. I did feed her with an eyedropper she peed and pooed the entire time.

Now, the picture above are the lambs born yesterday to Bella, dark colored ram and a ewe. They were born April 14 in the afternoon and I was there to watch the birth. Both came head first and I helped the first lamb just to help things go easier for Bella. She is a two year old first time lamber. Lambs look normal at birth and once they are up they became a bit frantic thinking they are alone because both are Blind!! With a quite voice they calm down and nurse like any other new born. The little ram is active nurses well and starts his circling when he becomes lost. The ewe lamb this morning has not nursed, she wants to lay and sleep under the heat lamp. I gave both babies 1/4 cc of A,D,E injectable yesterday.
All three ewe's were bred to the same ram and have the same father. I'm working with a vet and some friends who breed animals and only one other person has come forth with this same problem. I will have a necropcy done and this other lady is sending me her necropcy results to compare. She never did get direct answers to her lamb problems and all her lambs died. Not a good scenario.
That's enough, I need a Kleenex and a towel to dry my keyboard and someone with some answers!

8 comments:

Purple Fuzzy Mittens said...

So sad! I hope you find an answer soon!

Laura said...

Dang - sounds like 2008 will be a bad sheep year all around for everyone. Have you thought about putting a bell on the ewe before lambing so the lambs can hear it and identify it with their mom? You'd need different toned bells for each ewe, but the lambs could tell the diff.

Just a suggestion...

I lost a merino cross ewe lamb Sunday - similar symptoms to yours though she was not blind. She was hypothermic, and kind of twitchy. I gave her thiamine, which seemed to help for 12 hours, and then she was dead. Mom is still looking for her, since she knows how to count to two. The remaining twin is doing fine - go figure.

Hang in there...

Sharon said...

I know how wretched this is for you. Kathy says she emailed you directly. I hope the puzzle pieces will come together in short order.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I'm going to forward your blog link to Lois, as she is the most experienced shepherd I personally know and also a doctor. I do so hope SOMEone has some answers for you, if nothing else so you never have another lambing season like this one!

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

I'm sorry Mim, I wish there was something I could do... I am going to be in Reno tomorrow, dont know that I will have visiting time, but if I do, I will call.

Lois said...

My heart goes out to you, in living this nightmare. As I read your note, it seems that you have tried nearly everything.

Unfortunately I don't have an "answer". Thought I did until Laura said that she gave thiamine to her (not blind) lamb with no permanent result. Nevertheless, injectable thiamine is what I would try with your new blind ones. Do continue with the other supplements though. I would give 1/4cc thiamine IM initially (mixed with 1/4cc multi-B), then another 1/4cc sub-Q 8 hours later, continue for a couple of days if this is working. Granted this is a huge dose, but this is a battle, not an experiment.

Another thought: Could this be an intrauterine infection such as Chlamydia or Toxoplasmosis? What did the placentae look like?

You mentioned necropsy; I would think that blood work on the ewes would also be very useful...but perhaps your vet could draw some from the lambs too.

Searching in the dark here; sorry I can't be more help. I will keep thinking....

Kathy said...

I agree with Lois, Mim. The necropsy will help, but bloodwork on the ewes will also help. Please keep us informed when you find out your results.

I will keep thinking, too. There's got to be an answer!

In the meantime, please know you have friends out here in computerworld...our thoughts and prayers are with you. You are not alone, Mim. If we were closer we'd all be there with hugs.

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

As we talked about before, since this is the first time you have used this ram, I think it is genetic. It was put to me by a 40+ year shepard and it does make sense. I think blood work on the ewes would be unwarranted until you have tested the ram as he is the common denominator. JMHO