HELP! Sheep very sick

Farmersheep771

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Hi I have a sheep who last night I found her “stuck” in a corner with her head between a post and a wallaby her butt against a flexible fence, so she could’ve gotten out if she tried but I just got her out myself. When I got her out she staggered around and was tripping on things, I thought she just needed to get her bearings back so I watched her for a while and went to bed. This morning I found her on the ground laid on her front/stomach with her back legs sticking out behind her very sick and not able to stand. She has some drool dripping from her mouth as well. The vets aren’t open today so I can’t take her in but she looks very bad I gave her penicillin to see if it would help. I’ve done most of searching and think it could be grass staggers or listeriosis. If anyone could help that would be amazing thanks. I also added a really bad drawing of the position she was in as I’ve seen this once before in one of my sheep a few years ago(died before we could do anything) and could find any pictures on the internet of sheep doing this.
 

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Baymule

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I’m afraid I’m not much help. I’ve never ran across this before. Just know that I care about you and your sheep.
 

Baymule

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If it is grass tetany or staggers, she needs magnesium. Dolomite lime is a good source of calcium and magnesium. I get it in the garden center at Lowe’s. It may be too late to help this ewe, but keep some on hand. Read the label to make sure it is Dolomite lime. Then keep some out for the sheep, especially in spring when grass is new.
 

Mike CHS

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That isn't something we have ever seen either but some B12 and Nutri-Drench is our first try when we don't know what is going on. Prayer never hurts if you are so inclined.
 

Margali

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I just saw a first aid video that mentions hypocalcium or milk fever. The image shows sheep laying exactly like your sketch, 4minute mark.
I don't know milk fever could be issue. Just sketch reminded me of your post. Hope you figure out issue with your ewe.
 

Legamin

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Hi I have a sheep who last night I found her “stuck” in a corner with her head between a post and a wallaby her butt against a flexible fence, so she could’ve gotten out if she tried but I just got her out myself. When I got her out she staggered around and was tripping on things, I thought she just needed to get her bearings back so I watched her for a while and went to bed. This morning I found her on the ground laid on her front/stomach with her back legs sticking out behind her very sick and not able to stand. She has some drool dripping from her mouth as well. The vets aren’t open today so I can’t take her in but she looks very bad I gave her penicillin to see if it would help. I’ve done most of searching and think it could be grass staggers or listeriosis. If anyone could help that would be amazing thanks. I also added a really bad drawing of the position she was in as I’ve seen this once before in one of my sheep a few years ago(died before we could do anything) and could find any pictures on the internet of sheep doing this.
Those are some difficult symptoms but your sheep might have lost oxygen to her brain for a short period. This may or may not be recoverable but here are some things I have tried when one of our ewes displayed similar behavior. I made up some electrolyte solution (Gatorade will work but there are purpose made products for sheep) and I used a worming syringe to force it down her throat 20cc at a time. Too much will upset the rumen and make things worse but I gave her about 80cc and then watched and waited. I rubbed her sides in case gasses were trapped and I put a bucket of fresh water with 5% Cider Vinegar right by her so she could get at it. I also gave her a hand full of raw oats with some baking soda on them to help her clear her rumen. Make sure she is breathing properly. Penicillin cant’ hurt but it doesn’t sound like infection unless it is an STD (REALLY! If you introduced new sheep to the flock without testing it can happen).
head stuck in the fence is very disruptive for a flock animal that seeks constant reassurance from the flock and it can work them into quite a state. It’s an issue because the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side!
Best of luck, baby her through the night, keep watch. I have spent entire days with a sick sheep…but we breed a nearly extinct breed and any loss is a big loss. If she doesn’t turn around at least do an autopsy to make sure it is not something that can spread to the others like Scrapies…(which would take much longer to occur and be noticed much sooner than just one afternoon suddenly showing symptoms).
 

Legamin

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Hi I have a sheep who last night I found her “stuck” in a corner with her head between a post and a wallaby her butt against a flexible fence, so she could’ve gotten out if she tried but I just got her out myself. When I got her out she staggered around and was tripping on things, I thought she just needed to get her bearings back so I watched her for a while and went to bed. This morning I found her on the ground laid on her front/stomach with her back legs sticking out behind her very sick and not able to stand. She has some drool dripping from her mouth as well. The vets aren’t open today so I can’t take her in but she looks very bad I gave her penicillin to see if it would help. I’ve done most of searching and think it could be grass staggers or listeriosis. If anyone could help that would be amazing thanks. I also added a really bad drawing of the position she was in as I’ve seen this once before in one of my sheep a few years ago(died before we could do anything) and could find any pictures on the internet of sheep doing this.
While I will not hazard a diagnosis beyond the possibility that she lost equate blood flow or oxygen to the brain (rare) from being stuck at an odd angle…I would suggest taking a field stretcher out to you shed and getting her away from your healthy sheep. If this is contagious you are going to have a very hard couple of weeks. I would get this one to a vet and then purposefully move through your flock and treat whether infected or not with whatever the vet tells you to use. Sheep do not demonstrate illness until they are near the end. This means that it is the critical time to know what you are dealing with and protect your flock. If that has to be tomorrow you can at least be proactive and protect the others from a possible contagion today.
 

farmerjan

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Is she close to lambing? Sheep often get what is called pregnancy toxemia.... it is actually low calcium/magnesium/potassium/glucose balance in close to lambing ewes... mostly older ewes... it causes the ewes body to produce more glucose that goes to the developing fetuses... and it takes away from her... so she gets weak and then goes down. We have used propylene glycol as a way to add "glucose" back to their body....... sometimes it works. Part of it is that the developing fetuses also take up more room so the rumen in the sheep shrinks.... they cannot eat what they need for their body demands...
There's a lot o little things but it is most common in older ewes and ones with multiple lambs....

Getting stuck in the corner may or may not have anything to do with it....and that could be a different condition...

We have given weak ewes the nutridrench, vit B complex shots.... B-12 will increase appetite but sometimes it will get out of balance in a sheep....
The penicillin won't hurt her but will doubtfully do any good unless she has an undiagnosed infection.
An experienced small ruminant vet would be your best bet if she survives that long.
 
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