Bottle Jaw? but no worms…

Stephine

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One of my sheep ( a wether) has swelling under his chin that looks like bottle jaw. I took an entire load of pellets from him (freshly deposited as I watched) to check for worms and nada - no worms whatsoever ( they’ve never had worms) . The vet came and took blood - says she sees nothing alarming. She says the other two have a little bit of it, too, though it is very slight. She says it seems the lymph nodes are a bit swollen. She thinks this might be the tail end of the mystery diarrhea they had beginning of December last year. It’s May now - that seems like a long time to me.
Otherwise sheep are happy, very healthy looking, no anemia, well padded…
We are at the very end of our green season here, so they have been slowly transitioning to eating more mature grasses and forbes. They get orchard grass hay before going out to graze in the morning, about half a flake between the three of them, to guard against bloating when things are lush, then a token amount when returning to the barn at night during green season; now they get half a flake in the morning, the other half of the flake at night to supplement their pasture which is very fibrous by now.
They have sheep minerals and baking soda out, they use both - baking soda only while on green pasture though.
I have found rat poop in the minerals a couple of days ago - grrr. I think that’s only happened recently since I check their salt almost daily. That said I had that emergency surgery 5 weeks ago and I had to delegate care for three weeks - so I can’t guarantee they would have noticed. I moved the mineral feeder to their pasture till the cats or I can take care of the rat…
Anyone know what might be going on?
One more thing: I noticed the swelling after shearing (maybe 3 days later), but it might have been there longer, concealed by the wool…
 

SageHill

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Sitting down here in So Cal where the browning of the season has begun. Could the swelling be a bee sting? One of mine had a bee sting last year, she looked terrible for a few days - though improved every day. There was a bee floating around in a water bucket so that's where I thought it could be a sting.
Brown season means -- foxtails, could it be a foxtail?? Or perhaps a filaree seed??
Or if the swelling under the jaw is the same one you noticed after shearing I'd be thinking perhaps a nick from the shearing blade. You could spray with either Vetricyn or perhaps Bactine. Just grabbing at wild possibilities.
 

Stephine

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Sitting down here in So Cal where the browning of the season has begun. Could the swelling be a bee sting? One of mine had a bee sting last year, she looked terrible for a few days - though improved every day. There was a bee floating around in a water bucket so that's where I thought it could be a sting.
Brown season means -- foxtails, could it be a foxtail?? Or perhaps a filaree seed??
Or if the swelling under the jaw is the same one you noticed after shearing I'd be thinking perhaps a nick from the shearing blade. You could spray with either Vetricyn or perhaps Bactine. Just grabbing at wild possibilities.
The swelling has been going on for a few weeks now, so I don’t think it’s from a sting. The filaree was awful while I was out of commission, so they had lots of them all over, but luckily the shearing took care of most of those and I have picked a ton out of them as soon as I was back on my feet. Love filaree for grazing - the sheep are quite fond of it - and usually I mow it all down once it goes to seed, but that didn’t work to plan this year. Foxtails were luckily a bit behind the filaree this year and there were just a few, not more than they deal with every year. Has anyone had issues with filaree seeds getting stuck in their gums - ever? I don’t know if the vet checked his mouth…
As far as penetrating the skin, it seems to me that sheep are much better protected than, say, dogs against the seeds, because they are so greasy. Any foxtails I find buried in their wool are lubed up and soft.
 

SageHill

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Yeah, mine LOVE the filaree - it's like candy. But they pretty much stop munching on it once it seeds up. I haven't had any trouble with their seed penetrating - but it is sharp, though that corkscrew end definitely helps anchor it so it doesn't penetrate.
Many years ago we did have a foxtail work it's way in between toes. But haven't had any do that since, and that was a different location too.
 

Baymule

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How did you examine the fecal pellets? Just by looking at them or I’d you process, make a slide and look through the microscope? It sounds like barber pole bottle jaw. The worms don’t show in the pellets. You must examine under a microscope to see the worm eggs.
 

Stephine

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How did you examine the fecal pellets? Just by looking at them or I’d you process, make a slide and look through the microscope? It sounds like barber pole bottle jaw. The worms don’t show in the pellets. You must examine under a microscope to see the worm eggs.
Oh, no - I see now how that wasn’t clear from my post - I took the pellets to the vet’s and they sent them to the lab. So they have been thoroughly examined.
 

mysunwolf

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We would love to see a photo of the swelling if it's still going on! That is strange and could be a wide range of things. How old is the wether?
 

Stephine

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H
We would love to see a photo of the swelling if it's still going on! That is strange and could be a wide range of things. How old is the wether?
He is 3, they all are.
IMG_0392.jpeg
IMG_0391.jpeg
 

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