7 key lambing diseases: How to prevent and treat them
Below, Westpoint vet Lesley Bingham from Launceston, Cornwall takes a look at some of the more commonly encountered ones and explains how to recognise them, what causes them and what to do about each condition. One of the most common problems in lambs is hypothermia. Lambs get cold very quickly unless they are well fed.
Anything below this and the lamb has hypothermia. Temperatures less than 37C are classed as severe hypothermia. Early action is essential as lambs will very quickly deteriorate and may die.
How you approach a hypothermic lamb depends on three things — its temperature, age and ability to swallow. It is vital lambs have a source of energy before any attempts are made to warm them up. This can be supplied either using a stomach tube to feed colostrum or if the lamb is unable to swallow then an injection of glucose directly into its peritoneal cavity.
The exception to this is lambs less than five hours old where they will have a supply of brown fat to provide a small amount of immediate energy. However, it is still essential they are fed as soon as possible. This is caused by an E coli infection usually in the first few hours of life.
It is influenced by two things: the amount of bacteria ingested and amount of colostrum consumed. In older lambs, which have already had sufficient colostrum, the pH in the abomasum is lower and this kills off the bacteria.
Small amounts do no harm, but higher amounts will affect gut motility and this leads to further multiplication and toxin production.
If the amount of toxin produced is greater than the amount which the liver can destroy it will lead to endotoxemia, which is what causes the signs seen in watery mouth. Treatment of individual lambs can be successful, but relies on early identification and intervention.
The key to controlling watery mouth is preventing lambs ingesting large quantities of bacteria, and ensure that lambs have sufficient colostrum intakes.
Preventative oral antibiotics should only be used in consultation with your vet and not as an excuse for poor hygiene. An infection of the joints or navel, caused by many different types of bacteria but always related to hygiene in the first few days despite signs often coming weeks later.
This is a disease of ewes usually in very late pregnancy and results from insufficient energy intakes to meet the requirements of the growing unborn lambs. Progression can be rapid and can result in brain damage or death.
Hypocalcaemia can often also be present as well. This is caused by abnormally low levels of blood calcium often follows a period of stress such as gathering, bad weather or housing. It may co-exist with twin lamb disease and due to the rapid progression and often fatal outcome, treatment of both diseases is usually sensible. Injection of calcium — 80ml injected under the skin. Response is rapid minutes. Also see treatment for twin lamb disease.
This is an infection caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes which is found in soil environments. It is often associated with silage feeding as the bacteria multiply in the less acidic conditions. The bacteria often gain entry through erupting teeth and track up the nerve to the brain.
This is a protrusion of the vagina and occurs before lambing. Sometimes the prolapse will disappear once a ewe stands up. They can cause abortion and also commonly cause incomplete cervical dilation ringwomb.A month ago we had a day old lamb come in the house with a broken leg. It was a clean break, just below the knee joint of his left hind leg. Put him out of his misery.
It also made it easier to treat his injury with herbs. Sheep are prey animals and one of their survival skills is to be very quiet when in pain or injured. Goats are prey animals, too, but this is one area of difference between sheep and goats. One minute he was under his dam feeding and the next minute he was quietly lying down, and quite subdued. He refused to stand on the broken leg. I discovered the break, while feeling up and down his leg to find out why he might not want to stand on it.
Poor lamb. I was on the very first unit, in fact. It also made it easier to give him herbs. The lamb needed something for inflammation, that also took away pain.List of abstracts
He also needed something to help the bone heal. And he needed the injury to be stabilized so that it could begin to knit back together. I looked through what was growing in the garden and the tinctures that I had already in my herbal apothecary. Decoctions are quick to make — like making tea — and if you have the herb on hand in either fresh or dry form, you can have its medicinal qualities available in a few minutes.
Lamb with weak front legs
Tinctures or infusions, on the other hand, can take weeks to make as the herb needs time to fully infuse in the menstrum, the liquid used to extract the medicinal properties.
It was the beginning of May and the garden was just 2 weeks old, but the comfrey was starting to come up in the garden.Simulation of robotic arm in matlab
This was the first attempt at making a decoction with fresh comfrey leaves. I could also have used mullein to help the bone heal, but at this time in the season, the comfrey had a head start over the mullein in my garden.
I picked some young comfrey leaves and chopped them finely for the medicine. Initially I thought that since the leaves were fresh, pouring boiling water over them would be sufficient to extract their medicinal qualities. Plan B — I simmered the leaves for 5 minutes, with a lid on the pot and then shut off the heat. I let the herbs cool naturally in the pot and then strained out the leaves.Selenium is essential for life.
Selenium is needed for thyroid function, and the removal of toxins from the body. Even humans with low selenium struggle with joint problems — most often arthritis in the knees. In livestock selenium also presents as problems with movement. Selenium is missing in many of the soils in North America and around the world. Your animals will be deficient. You will need to supplement. Selenium affects the oxygen supply to the muscles.
Oxygen deprived muscles are weaker, and less elastic. Selenium works in tandem with vitamin E — the sex vitamin.
Vitamin E is essential in all phases of reproduction, so you can see why Selenium and vitamin E deficiency will show up at lambing time. Animals as well as humans need selenium, a trace mineral and component of antioxidants, to stay healthy.
Selenium deficiency shows up when your females go into labour. The babies are weak and their muscle tone is flaccid, so birth presentation is poor. Babies present in the birth canal with a leg turned back, or a head turned back. Or worse a selenium deficient baby will fail to move into the birth canal at the proper time. Selenium deficient ewes produce weakened lambs. Instead they malpresent with their weakened muscles, and this is when you, as a shepherd, might notice the deficiency. After birth the problems compound.
Selenium deficient babies might be too weak to stand on delivery. They may hold their head to the side.
Severe deficiency causes permanent birth defects and even death in the womb. However, mild but life-threatening deficiency can be corrected with a treatment dose of injectable selenium-vitamin E, given subQ, to the newborn. Ewes that are low in selenium may have weaker contractions than normal ewes. This can result in longer, more exhausting labour. Further, the placenta may fail to deliver.
This can often be corrected in minutes with a dose of selenium after the birth. Your local feed store or agricultural extension office can tell you if your region is deficient. Soils west of the Rocky Mountains in North America are generally deficient in selenium. Usually rainy areas are also deficient as soil salts leach out in heavy rains.
Dry belt areas can have high selenium, though, as there is a native plant that is high in selenium that grows in drier regions. Commercial feed is generally formulated with added selenium. If your area is deficient in selenium this will not offer an adequate supply for your livestock. Further, offering a loose mineral that is high in selenium might not give an adequate supply to your females to alleviate trouble.
Male animals are usually able to thrive given these two sources of supplementation, even in areas that are low in selenium. However, individual animals metabolize selenium at different rates. During pregnancy and birth, stores of selenium are rapidly depleted by the growing fetus.Click here for Drought Advice. Hi, I have a 7 day old lamb I am hand rearing, Its one of triplets.Lapide a giuseppe garibaldi
Was the smallest one. I notice its front legs more the front right one seems to go to the side from the shoulder and then bends back in at the knee?
It walks ok albiet very weirdly and looks funnybut doesnt seem to be in any pain. It has lived inside for the first 5 days, as non stop raining and hail here, but has spent past two days outside and just coming in for night.
Do you think this will repair itself, or is it ok to leave as is? She will grow up to be a breeding ewe hopefully. Other question is, would you let her run with her mum and other two twins during the day, but still bottle feed her, or best to keep seperated for a while. Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation. It'll be the effect of being cramped in gestation.
We had a Bendy, smallest of triplets. He was always bent but grew up to walk just fine - although his feet were always weirdly shaped and needed a bit of extra care.Simplifying rational expressions assessment
Do try and get a picture or two of how the leg looks- more chance of the folk on here being able to help you. We were given a small triplet 3 weeks ago, was born with its foot bent backwards. After 2 weeks it had improved, but wasn't great. Our awesome neighbour came over and showed me how to make a much better one from alkathene pipe, cut into 3rds length ways, each corner cut off, then sanded smooth on the grinder.
One week on and gammy lamby is fixed. So I hope there is a way to make your lamb less gammy too. We had triplets last year - they were all huge!Remember Me? What's New? Results 1 to 14 of Thread: Lamb Off Front Legs. Thread Tools Show Printable Version. Lamb Off Front Legs Noticed a lamb out in the field yesterday laying down, walked over and he struggled to get up as wasn't using his front legs.
Does get up after some wiggling about, and does walk albeit barely using the fronts again. When I caught him no joints were swollen, all joints seem free moving and normal range, nothing wrong with his feet that I could see. I jabbed him with Alamycin LA as a joint ill precaution. No change today but still feeding and ewe always nearby so he's not getting left behind.
My only other thought was white muscle disease but it's not something I've seen before so interested in thoughts from anyone with experience of it, or any other ideas what it might be?Daikin bluetooth controller
Just had one that sounds similar, splinted it for a weeks or so, seems OK now hopefully. Clive Tee. I jag everything born here, had two calves over the past years wobbly like your lamb.
Cheap insurance. WMD he thought unlikely as there'd be multiple cases and his most likely cause was the infection. Checking the lamb again this evening I can't see any sign of infection or wound around the tail so I can't see it myself. He also mentioned taking bloods before administering any selenium so as not to overdose in case he had normal levels already. So two questions - can you just have one case of WMD, or is it something you'll see one, then usually a few more etc so do all lambs need Vitasel?
And does the vet need to take bloods first, or would 0.Started by Kimkimmy. Started by tommytink. Started by Backinwellies. Started by PetiteGalette. Started by bugsym Help Search Login Register. Fishyhaddock Joined Apr aberdeenshire. Hi all, born 6 hours ago this little lamb refuses to use her front legs and is crawling around on her knees.
When I stand her up she holds herself up for a few seconds and then sinks back on her knees again and shuffles around the pen. New one on me. I am sure someone has come across this before? Thank in advance Fishy. Just read some earlier threads and some suggest vit d, maybe rickets.
Must go another one lambing Had it happen very occasionally with my BWM but from memory they just seemed to sort themselves out after a bit. Can't remember having to do anything. I had a spate of lambs years ago from some bought in, in lamb ewes with the symptoms you described. Vet prescribed vit d and suggested massaging to help straighten them.
All came right in the end. Thanks everyone. Linda Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy. Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be. Try this! Also available in other colours. Ha ha. We have one here just like your DIY splint! Plus given her a jab of vit d and she is definitely stronger. She is a tiny black faced welsh mountain ewe so have the height means she can now reach mums udder although walking has yet to be mastered.
But I am hopeful for this little one. Liz Kershaw Joined Aug Return to Articles. What is it? White muscle disease is a degenerative muscle disease found in all large animals. Generally, it is not known which. Certain areas of the U. Selenium deficiency occurs when the soil contains less than 0. Pasture, hay, grain, and other supplements can be analyzed to determine the amount of selenium to be added to supplemental feeds. Grazing sheep usually consume adequate amounts of vitamin E.
Fresh legumes and pasture are good sources of vitamin E whereas silage, oil seeds, root crops, cereal grains, and dry hays tend to be poor sources of vitamin E. Prolonged storage of feedstuffs results in a degradation of Vitamin E content. In addition to white muscle disease, selenium and vitamin E deficiencies can produce symptoms of ill thrift and reproductive losses. They can cause poor rate of growth or ill thrift in young lambs throughout the growing period.
White muscle disease is most commonly found in newborns or fast growing animals. Kids are believed to be more susceptible than lambs, possibly because they have a higher requirement for selenium. The disease can affect both the skeletal and cardiac muscles. When the skeletal muscles are affected, symptoms vary from mild stiffness to obvious pain upon walking, to an inability to stand. When the problem occurs in newborns, they are born weak and unable to rise.
When the disease affects the heart, the animal shows signs similar to pneumonia, including difficult breathing, a frothy nasal discharge may be blood stainedand fever. The heart and respiratory rates are elevated and often irregular. Treating the heart form of white muscle disease is usually ineffective.The Lamb broken leg, we bandaged Green Farm \u0026 Hidden Nature in Europe
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