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problem lamb


Mona Howard
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I have a 9 week old ram lamb that is acting

a little off. I kept this one entire because

he is nice made. He's acting a little lethargic.

When approached he will get up and stretch like

normal and he has no trouble running away from

me. He's eye rims seem nicely red and he's been

on dry lot since birth so I don't think he's

wormy. He has not had any grain and he's eating

a orhard grass hay. Some of the hay has quite

a bit of alfalfa in it but it's not very green.

Not a bloaty hay at all. The only thing I really see is that when he stands up he seems a little

hunched over like he's standing with his back legs

out a little bit. When he lies down he stretched one leg out a bit towards his front legs. He hasn't had his shots yet as I have always given

them when they are around 10-12 weeks old. He is

still on his mother. Any ideas?

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I'd wonder abput either pneumonia or whether mom's giving him enough to eat - or whether he's getting enough - I'm assuming if they are on dry lot that there is a good creep feed arrangement for the lambs? Oh, wait, you said he doesn't get any grain - he might need something and he might be your "canary in the mine" for nutrition problems for your other lambs.

 

Another possible problem in our part of the world, is selenium deficiency AKA white muscle disease. Nine weeks is a prime age for it.

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I was afraid it might be selemiun deficiency.

He isn't interested in the free choice salt/

mineral mix with selenium. The older lambs

have a taste now and then. For some reason my

younger lambs have never bothered with the grain.

The older lambs are nuts about it but my lambs

always have some age on them before they are interested. His dam has a nice bag and is still

very attentive to him. If it was sel def what should I do. BoSe or LeSe? I have never used

either and wouldn't know the dosages. Can I get

it from a feed store? Mona

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Mid-States Livestock supply carries Vit E - their website is www.midstateswoolgrowers.com. I've never seen it at TSC or places like that. I have Vitamin E-300 (injectable Tocopherol) - if that means anything to you. It should tell you right on the bottle the dosage. Might call a large animal vet and see if they have anything - might be able to buy the shot without them having to give it.

 

I never used to use it, but had one lamb this year that just couldn't walk right - hardly at all from birth for a day or two - gave him a shot and he improved drastically. Gave him a second shot about 2-3 weeks later, and he's a bit off in his walk now, but you have to watch him to notice - he gets around fine at least. I've given almost all our lambs a shot this year - not taking chances - had problems last year. Probably won't do any harm if that's not the problem - just the cost and bother of doing it.

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How far is New Kent from Danville? I don't suppose you are coming this way for any reason? I can give you enough to fix up your lambs if you happen to be in the neighborhood. Failing that you will need to get BoSe from a large animal vet. A bottle lasts forever and it's good to have on hand in our area. I'm going to shoot everyone up this weekend, in fact.

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BoSe is a restricted prescription drug.

 

I'd concur that if this were my lamb, I would treat this as a case of white muscle disease, and I would probably also treat all the other lambs as well.

 

TM salt rarely supplies enough selenium if your soil is deficient.

 

We have some friends in Canada who spent years doing blood and liver analyses to come up with an appropriate level of selenium in their mineral mix. They needed a prescription for it because the level ended up being about 7x what could be sold over the counter in Canada (which I think is the same as the legal limit in the US).

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Thanks everybody for all the input. 24 hours

later the lamb seemed fine, today 48 hours

later he is still fine. Running, jumping,

being a general pest. Should I go ahead and

order the product and how many cc's per pound?

Rebecca--Danville is quite a distance I'm afraid. Thank you for your generous offer.

Bill--what's the difference between BoSe and Lese?

Julie--the vet's around here don't seem to know

much about sheep. I suppose I'll order a bottle

to have on hand just for insurance sake.

My horse vet will write me a prescription I suppose. Again, Thanks all. Mona

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Hi Mona,

 

I've never heard of lese. BoSe is injectible vitamin e and selenium. Usually the issue behind white muscle disease is selenium, but a deficiency of vitamin E can block the uptake of selenium.

 

I've heard of a product sometimes used in cattle called MuSe, which I believe delivers more selenium per ML, but I don't know what else, if anything, it carries.

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Your horse vet can definitely help. It's sometimes used to alleviate, um I think it's tie-up. I get mine from a primarily horse clinic near my mom.

 

MuSE definitely has too much selenium for lambs! 5 mg per ml - both have 50 mg vitamin E

 

Here's BoSE so you can ask for it by name: http://tinyurl.com/l9473 :rolleyes: Good luck!

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Update--it's worse than I thought. I don't think it's seleniun def...I think he has a urinary stone! That's why he stretches out--to pee. He can pee but it's only dribbles. Now what do I do?

He's not completely plugged up but he's not normal

either. Rats, why can't it be something I can give him a shot for? Mona

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Eee-yikes. Are you sure? Treatment on that one is pretty invasive: http://www.sheepandgoat.com/articles/urincalc.html

 

Like with the selenium deficiency, if you've got one you might need to evaluate your management system. The sheep and goat site has links to lots of discussion on this disease (and lots of others).

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No, I'm not sure. I can get paranoid with my animals sometimes. I will call my vet tomorrow and hopefully get a prescription for the BoSe. This is the second lamb for this ewe and the first one was a dud too. I never have problems with any of my other ewes or their lambs. Maybe there is a weakness there? The first one started to fade at just about this same age. I'm wondering if the maternal antibodies are being lost and her lambs are just not making their own to fight off diseases? Maybe it's time to send this ewe down the road?

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I have a Merino ewe like that. Has twins most of the time, and if she weans one, we're doing good. She lost both this year - they just don't do well, don't grow like the others, just like you said, kind of fade away - with no apparent signs of illness - so I'm blaming poor mothering and shipping her out next week. Sometimes, if the only problems you have are with just one ewe or her lambs, it's just easier to get rid of her. Guess I'm getting old, but I just keep cutting back with fewer "second chances". If they can't get bred, lamb, and raise them up with little or no problem, there are others that will, so unless it's a really special ewe, she takes the one-way ride. Good luck with your lamb and ewe.

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Debbie---thank you Dr. Campbell's name. A day

after my last post the ram lamb is back to normal

and is still fine. I'm stumped as to what his real problem was.....? I'm still watching him but he is back to annoying all the other sheep. When he is old enough I will send him to slaughter. He's real nice and I had wanted to retain him for a ram. Once a sheep has had any problems I am afraid to retain them for breeding.

Sorry for the delay in replying--I work for the post office and it's TAX WEEK....yuck.

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