Extremely pregnant Finnsheep ewe not standing due to sore foot

Ponker

Loving the herd life
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
194
Reaction score
224
Points
163
Location
North Central Arkansas
I have an extremely pregnant Finnsheep ewe that is in a large private stall. The people I purchased her from told me that she was ready to lamb on December 1st. She was big and looked ready to go. Well, she was with the herd during the day and brought in the stall at night... Now she is absolutely huge. She is showing signs of impeding childbirth like swelling and pinkness of her behind. She'd been in the stall for a week now and has started lying down A LOT. Most of the time she is lying down. When she tries to stand her legs are wobbly and she moves one leg at a time very carefully, she reminds me of the weightlifters who finally get the bar over their heads and walk a step or two on wobbly straight legs.

I chalked up her unwillingness to stand for very long due to the enormity of her load. Today, I noticed a limp on her right front foot. I looked it over and noticed a small 'scald' inside the toes. My plan is to apply medication to the foot but I wanted to make sure it wouldn't upset her too much at this critical time.

Should I leave her alone and doctor the foot after the birth - whenever it should happen? Its been almost two months since the 'expected' birthing date. I've contacted the previous owners who are simply surprised she's not had this litter.
 

secuono

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
7,018
Reaction score
8,195
Points
553
Location
Virginia is for Pasture Farmers!
I'd treat the foot topically and give her supplements of calcium and nutridrench, maybe even a painkiller for a day. Help her stand when she wants to get up.

Can you let her out for supervised time out and moving? Being locked up makes them sore, since they just stand still or lay down and have nothing to do. Just short amounts to have her moving and stretching her legs.
 

norseofcourse

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
2,653
Reaction score
2,159
Points
313
Location
NE Ohio
I haven't dealt with this before, so I'd go with what secuono says. I've also read that a large number of kids/lambs can put pressure on some nerves making walking difficult for heavily expectant moms.

I hope she feels better and lambs soon!
 

secuono

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
7,018
Reaction score
8,195
Points
553
Location
Virginia is for Pasture Farmers!
Oh yes, sometimes, when they are super stuffed with lambs, nerves can be pressed on and cause issues. Though, it's usually the back half that ends up having issues. It happens in rabbits every now and then. The last week, they end up dragging their back ends or have weak control over their rear legs.
It might be genetic. I never had a rabbit with that issue, even with the one doe who would have 14+ kits regularly. So I never researched it much.
I have heard that even human females might have this issue. But if it's the front end, then it's something else going on. Lack of calcium, vitamins, not enough energy or not able to move enough to keep fit and stretched muscles.
 

Ponker

Loving the herd life
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
194
Reaction score
224
Points
163
Location
North Central Arkansas
Thank you for the help. We've began letting her in with a new Momma and her twins. They're fine, no fights and no shoving. Kaarina handled the twins gently and their Momma was fine with it. Happy this went well. Kaarina gets out for some exercise and the Momma of the twins gets a non-aggressive pal. She still lays a lot and I'll keep dosing that incredibly sore foot with the topical. She HAS GOT to have these babies soon! The anticipation is killing me. She's had 2,3,3,4,3 for historical litters. I try to give her special attention and care because she's six years old.

I can't thank y'all enough for the advice. It's peace of mind and general assurance that I'm not hurting her that is so reassuring.
 

frustratedearthmother

Herd Master
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
7,443
Reaction score
12,666
Points
583
True that if it's nerve pressure from lots of kids and/or position of them that it would likely be the rear end with the issue - BUT - the front end of the sheep is carrying more weight. I think it's 60% or so of the weight of most 4 legged grazers is carried on the front end. So, if she's carrying a large load it likely isn't helping any issue she might already be having with a front foot.

Hope she delivers soon!
 

Ponker

Loving the herd life
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
194
Reaction score
224
Points
163
Location
North Central Arkansas
give her supplements of calcium and nutridrench

She only eats a little grain at a time. I feed her David Johnson Lamb Ration. In the morning I'll give her a pound of grain and she'll nibble it all day and still have some left in the evening when I feed her again. She has access to loose mineral. At the moment, I don't have any calcium specific product to give her. What kind of product should I look for? Is the nutridrench an electrolyte product? I have some A-Lyte Concentrate. Its an oral source of vitamins, amino acids and electrolytes. Ingredients list - dextrose, sodium, magnesium, potassium and calcium. It can be given diluted in their drinking water or undiluted. Is that enough calcium or should I be looking for a specific calcium supplement?

Her grain intake is very low. She is sucked in on the back end and the babies are obvious bumps. I'm super worried about her calorie intake being too low that is why I'm leaving grain in front of her. I've read that sometimes babies can crowd a momma's stomach and reduce the capacity so she can't eat very much at once. She has free choice hay of good quality which I also supplement with a small portion of alfalfa hay to help her with milk production.

I bought a B Complex injectable for after the babies are born. I don't know exactly how to use it though. I'm still learning that area. If I'm not confident that I know enough, I don't do it. Right now, I want to learn how to care for this momma the best I can. Many of the care manuals also stress that I shouldn't interfere in most instances.

I am a worry wart by nature.
 

purplequeenvt

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
2,028
Reaction score
2,061
Points
333
Location
Rineyville, KY
I'd make sure to have a bottle or two and some milk replacer around to help her feed those babies. Sounds like she's got quite a few in there and, given her age, she'd probably appreciate the help.

Get some BluKote and spray her foot scald with it. Should get rid of the infection pretty quickly (unless you have something more serious going on like actual foot rot).

As long as she's eating plenty of hay, she should be ok diet-wise. Just keep a close eye on her.
 

Latest posts

Top