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Encouraging a sick sheep to eat

Posted by hillary0943 
Encouraging a sick sheep to eat
02 March, 2010 08:08PM
I would welcome idesome help with this one:
A should be in-lamb but a few weeks off lambing ewe went down on Sunday night with extreme nasal discharge and generally off colour, poor breathing, low temperature. Telephone conversation with the vet who thought it was a pneumonia and probably touch of twin lamb disease. Antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and calciject (glucose, magnesium, calcium etc) and to my amazement considering the state of her, she perked up quite a lot. But I cannot get her to eat other than a few leaves of ivy and the occasional mouthful of feed. Even putting her out in the field in the sun with the others today hasn't got her appetite going. I've been here before and it's almost as if they get too depressed to eat. I'll try anything to get her going again so all suggestions/old wive's tales etc are welcome! Thank you.
Re: Encouraging a sick sheep to eat
02 March, 2010 10:14PM
Is she drinking? try her with some electrolytes.
Re: Encouraging a sick sheep to eat
03 March, 2010 11:18AM
Wet sugar beet - put straight into the mouth (gently) may help her get her appetite. Keep on with the ivy and as CS suggested get some electrolytes into her. Last time I had a sick sheep I got some pro-rumen off the vet to kick start the metabolism again. That did work - given orally. Hope she is OK.confused smiley
Re: Encouraging a sick sheep to eat
03 March, 2010 11:37AM
I've been scouring (pardon the pun) the stack of newsletters of the Small Shepherd's Club - I was convinced someone had tried their poorly sheep on bread and milk or porridge but I couldn't find the article so I'm not 100% sure if my memory is right on this or not.

What I did find however was, as Lynne recommended, wet sugar beet and also manuka honey, probiotics and green tea!!

Apparently the use of a syringe can prove quite useful in situations such as these...

Hope she gets her appetite back and is soon on her feet looking forward to the arrival of her lamb(s)!
Re: Encouraging a sick sheep to eat
03 March, 2010 02:31PM
Hi Hillary,
Is she any better today?
Re: Encouraging a sick sheep to eat
03 March, 2010 06:42PM
Give her some ketol/collate etc etc twin lamb treatment drench
Re: Encouraging a sick sheep to eat
03 March, 2010 06:43PM
Thank you one and all for the suggestions. She isn't exactly better but she's no worse and at least she's NDY (not dead yet!) so there's hope. The Ketol goes down a drench gun OK, the pro rumen is more granular and a squeezy baby bottle with a large holed lamb teat is proving a reasonable if messy way of getting it into her. Poor thing, every time she sees me I do something horrid to her! Tomorrow's treat will be softened sugar beet as soon as I've been to the agric merchant.
Re: Encouraging a sick sheep to eat
05 March, 2010 08:00PM
Very relieved to say that the poorly ewe has at last started to eat some grass. Yesterday I gave her a shot or dose of everything that might possibly help and put her out with company in the best grass we've got. She lay there looking depressed and I felt the same! This morning she got up, went to the loo, had a good itch and started picking at the grass - such a relief. Trip to the vet this evening to get her checked out, rumen rumbling OK but lungs still rattling a bit so keep on with the antibiotics and a little ketol. Felt very ancient, as the vet doesn't look old enough to drive a car let alone have been through vet school and let out into the world at large.



Not the approve method of transport, I know!smiling smiley
Re: Encouraging a sick sheep to eat
05 March, 2010 08:30PM
the vet doesn't look old enough to drive a car let alone have been through vet school and let out into the world at large !!! smiling smiley
Re: Encouraging a sick sheep to eat
07 March, 2010 10:54AM
Did the trip in the car work? She looks like she was enjoying the ride.1

There is a short thread on the FWispace forum where a poorly sheep would not eat (it was anaemic/barbers's pole worm), and the turning point was eating lettuce. Worth a try if you cannot get to the agric merchant, though your own salad may end up a bit light. Ivy, willow, and the ever-popular soaked sugar beet are also mentioned to encourage appetite.

How is this ewe now - hopefully NDY

Jean
Re: Encouraging a sick sheep to eat
07 March, 2010 08:08PM
Not quite out of the wood yet, but improving slowly. At least she is eating grass with enthusiasm now, although still wont touch concentrates. And of course not keen to let me get anywhere near her because I'm likely to give her an injection or some other unpleasant experience! I'll certainly try her on lettuce, anything is worth a go.
Re: Encouraging a sick sheep to eat
15 March, 2010 11:19AM
Hi Hillary
How are things in your camp?
Has your poorly ewe recovered?---you certainly tried everything to get her well.
----I hope she behaved herself in the back of your motor ! --- I expect you raised a few peoples eyebrows on your trip to the vets!

Jackie
Re: Encouraging a sick sheep to eat
15 March, 2010 02:21PM
I had to smile at the sight of the ewe in the back of the car Hillary - it brought back a memory for me.

Way, way back, not long after I passed my test, I was miffed that the one ram wasn't taken to the other farm to the ewes quickly enough in my opinion - I was that age knew everything and none of the farm vehicles was here. BUT my Mums Mini Elf was. I am able to tell you that it is possible to get a very large Suffolk ram in the back of a Mini Elf but you can't quite get the front seat back down and have to drive tipped forward.smiling smiley

It was just over 3 miles to the ewes and he wouldn't get out, I had to run around them and fetch them to the car, he put a bit of effort in then and with a push from me our he went. I didn't tell Mum for ages and he didn't digrace himself in her car!

Stephanie
Re: Encouraging a sick sheep to eat
15 March, 2010 02:27PM
Jackie, thank you for asking. Yes, Biscay is doing well at last, without having to try her on lettuce either. Eventually as the antibiotics got on top of the pneumonia she seemed to feel better enough to start eating grass again, but it was over a week before she would take any concentrates. She is now back with the main flock and feeding normally, thankfully. Only time will tell if she is still carrying a lamb. I just have 7 Dartmoors but it might be a long drawn out lambing this year - a couple of them are huge and look ready to drop any minute, others only have small udders as yet. Must ask Robert the ram what he thinks he was doing!
Re: Encouraging a sick sheep to eat
16 March, 2010 09:55AM
-Stephanie --- That must have been a bit of a squeeze !!!!
Re: Encouraging a sick sheep to eat
16 March, 2010 02:05PM
Wow - I haven't seen one of those for a while, same or very similar colour too. It was over 30 years ago, that I gave the ram a lift. He was bred here and very quiet, I don't think he was at all concerned but yes it was a bit of a squeeze, he went in the driver door and out the passenger door.

Stephanie
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