Dexter has a sore head

Sheepshape

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I never like any of my sheep to get ill, but sick rams are the worst. Treatments involving restraining, injecting, treating hooves etc are a nightmare with the big boys.

Dexter is my 2.5 year old Beulah Speckle Faced ram.....90kg of muscle with horns. It is the horns which are the problem. Traditionally a breed without horns, he has a pair of small horns, one of which grows into the eye socket. So, every couple of months out comes the cheese wire, OH holds the head,
Dexhead.jpg
and I saw it off.This I did about 3 weeks ago, and noticed that there was a small sore at the side of the eye socket. I gave him antibiotics and cleaned it well. He seemed fine.

A few days ago I noticed he was lying down a lot and was less 'talkative'.......deep, rumbling bleat when I walk past his field. It's very warm here and I am still awaiting the shearer, so I thought that the heat was the cause. Last night I called him and he came down, followed by a cloud of flies. Poor Dexter.....he has a large swelling over his left eye and clearly has a very sore head.

Dex.jpg


So.....take pics. and off to the vet. He has to have antibiotics every day for 5 days. Day 1 and he's already not happy. Thankfully he is not an aggressive animal, but he's strong, very, very strong. Sheep also have good memories.....
 

farmerjan

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Is there no way the vet can remove the horn and cauterize it so that it will not continue to grow? Like dehorning a dairy animal? Our retired vet will dehorn my heifers, and they get a shot to numb at the base of the horn, then we actually tie a baling string around the base of the horns to help cut the circulation (bleeding) and then they get cut off with a big dehorning pair of cutters. It actually gouges down into the base of the horn, at the skull. He will pull the bleeders. Then in 24-48 hours I will remove the baling string so that there is circulation to the area but it seldom if ever starts to bleed again. This is done with older animals that have started to grow horns rather than dehorning (disbudding) them as babies. We did a 3 yr old cow that was a "bytch" with her horns towards other animals. We had one that also grew around in a circle and into the side of her head, not the eye, but the same idea. She also got the numbing/dehorning treatment.
They also say you can use the "callicrate" bander on large horns and it will cut off the circulation and they will fall off.

I would definitely ask the vet if it could be permanently removed for the sheeps' sake.
 

Baymule

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That will be a recurring problem, as you already know. I agree with @farmerjan, get him dehorned. I had one like that, not having any sheep working equipment, we tackled him, held him down and cut off the tip of the horn with PVC pipe cutters. Since he also liked to ram into me, he went to freezer camp.
 

Sheepshape

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Once his head has settled down I'll ask the vet if they can sort him out. It's only happened since he's been fully grown and his head has grown so big.

He's quite a sweetheart, really nice temperament, so he's worth the effort. However, I think he'll need serious sedation to be able to do it....he's a bit of a monster size-wise.
 

Baymule

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What does he weigh? For something like that, yes I absolutely agree with sedation. I have been at dehorning events on cattle with the long handled tool that cuts and scoops the horn at the base. They are pretty gruesome. I never operated the dehorning tool itself, but I covered the wound with a medication for the bleeding. Just the sound it makes put a shiver down my spine-and I'm pretty tough on things like that. I've been a part of it before and I would do it again, if that's what was needed, but I'd rather not.
 

Sheepshape

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What does he weigh?
He's about 200lbs. Not the heaviest sheep I've ever had, but they are not a tall breed. He's wide, huge thick neck, all muscle and doesn't look fat at all. Potentially very dangerous, but, mercifully, placid and friendly. I chose him as a breeding ram(in spite of the horns which he would ideally not have)mainly due to his excellent temperament. Today his swelling looks a bit less, so I'm hoping it will settle down OK.
 

mystang89

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Sheep also have good memories.....
Words if the wise there! Everytime I have to tackle mine in order to work on them, (which thankfully isn't often at all) I always think back to my first ram and his over aggressive self. NOT what I want to live with again and they do have excellent memories. /Shiver


So, every couple of months out comes the cheese wire, OH holds the head,
What's the cheese wire for?
 

Sheepshape

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What's the cheese wire for?
OH restrains his huge head whilst I 'scissor' off the end of the horn, being careful to only take the non-sensitive and non-mattow containing tip, otherwise the process is very painful and bloody.
I always think back to my first ram and his over aggressive self.
I have only ever kept one of these in my early days of sheep. Beautiful -looking thing, temperament of a demon. The type of ram who you could never turn your back on, always had to carry a stick when going into his field, had a footprint on his head! Neighbour wanted a sheep for some family celebration and offered a tup lamb in exchange ....so Ivor the A%^*hole was taken to the abattoir (Home slaughter is illegal over here).I was truly glad to see the back of that lump of muscle/attitude/testosterone.
 

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