diarrhea in new lambs

Robyn8

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I picked up 3 new Shetland lambs about a week ago. They are 3 months old. 2 developed diarrhea over the weekend. They are all eating, drinking, and acting completely normal otherwise. They were not wormed before I got them. I have ordered a fecal test kit which should arrive today. But while I wait for the results, can anyone comment on possible causes or suggested treatments?

They are on pasture now with hay given at night and a SMALL handful of grain twice a day when we feed our 4H lambs. The shetlands are terrified of us so I was hoping the handful of grain will help tame them. They spend pretty much all day grazing. Its possible my husband gave them too much grain over the weekend and that started the diarrhea maybe. I was out of town and he was taking care of them which he doesn't usually do. Or maybe just the stress of the move to our farm? We have 2 4H lambs with them and a 4 month old goat but everyone seems to get along just fine. The shetlands mostly keep to themselves or hang out with the 4h lambs. The 4h lambs and goat have no issues currently. The diarrhea does not appear to be super watery right now, but they do have quite a bit on their behinds which I will be cleaning today, so maybe it is already starting to resolve? I'm not sure how watery sheep diarrhea gets...
 

Robyn8

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That is usually the case but it also doesn't take much of a change in diet to cause it also. That is one of the few things we 'assume' and go ahead and treat for it.

Coccidia would show up in my fecal test right? But you're saying go ahead and treat now anyways? What would you treat with and should I treat everyone or just the lambs with diarrhea?
 

Southern by choice

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@Mike CHS is 100% right with that dietary change... sorry I was in a hurry and didn't have time to share much.
Sheep in particular seem to have a lot of adjustment issues to land... IOW if they really haven't had a lot of good pasture and now they are suddenly on it then yes, that can be your culprit. AS well as giving feed when they may not have had grain before.

Coccidia is usually high on the list because when you move an animal there is always a bloom... be it coccidia or parasitic worms.

This could be a combo. The issue with coccidia is it kills fast. So if having diarrhea for several days or so it is pretty bad (if it is coccidia) and the animal can die quickly also the damage done to the digestive tract can become severe and irreversible.

If they have not had their CD & T vaccinations yet you really want to start that.

@Mike CHS will probably have a good list of suggestions for you as he has sheep. I have had sheep but am primarily a dairy goat gal.


Hoping it is just the switch in pasture as Mike mentioned.
 

Mike CHS

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@Southern by choice is right as usual and you don't want to let it drag on. A fecal will show Coccidia but I don't know how accurate the tests are that you will be using. They do need the shot like she says but you can treat for coccidia without doing them harm also. Corid is our medication of choice and when we needed to use it we controlled where they had access to their water and used buckets secured to a fence so we didn't have to add medication to the bigger troughs. If you do it that way you need to make it their only source of water. I don't know your pen setup so that may not even be possible. Tractor Supply in our location doesn't always have Corid but our CO-OP always does.
 

Robyn8

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Thanks so much! The fecal test I ordered is a mail in kit that is reviewed by a vet just like at a regular vet so I think it should be accurate but the results might take too long. I’ll still do it anyways but treat for the coccidia as advised. I’ll also give their cd&t vaccine. I was stalling cause they are so scared of us but we just need to do it. I read about baycot as well for coccidia. Anyone use that? I was worried about polio with corid.
 
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