Help. Whats happening with my ewe

misfitmorgan

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The harness is ment to be used with the prolapse retainer(the thing I posted). Depending on how back she is prolapsing when she lays down the harness and stitching her will hopefully be enough. If the prolapse is going back in on it's own as you mentioned it is likely not a severe case. Hopefully she has the lambs soon.
 

Ridgetop

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Finally home and catching up on this. At this point since she continues to prolapse, your only option (since you can't order a prolapse spoon and harness) is to stitch her up. Just an X stitched across her opening. She needs to be able to pee through it.

This is not a happy posting and I apologize in advance for any pain or upset I cause you.

You will need to watch carefully when she goes into labor and be there to cut the stitches. You will need to help deliver the lambs since she will prolapse again during labor and delivery. When she prolapses during labor and deliver it will be a BAD problem because the swelling prolapse tissue will block the lambs exit from the ewe. You might have to use a scalpel, a razor blade, or very sharp knife to cut through prolapsing tissue to rescue and deliver the lambs. This will be a life or death situation for them.

I hate to say this but this is already a terminal problem for this ewe. Her chances of survival are very small. If she is just about ready to deliver, you should consider having the vet do a C-section now and avoid having her go through labor. If she does not go through labor she will not prolapse during delivery. This might be her only chance to survive labor and delivery. Otherwise, if your vet can sew her up afterwards she might make it long enough to raise her lambs for a month. She will need heavy doses of antibiotics and pain meds.

Whatever happens, try to milk the colostrum out of her to give the lambs a good start to bottle feed them. You can raise them on fresh goat milk if necessary. (If you can't get lamb replacer.)


I am really sorry to be so negative about your poor ewe. I am going from experience on the last ewe I had that prolapsed. Normally I would have euthanized her immediately but she was almost at term and I wanted to retain her particular genetics.

Our vet repaired the rectal prolapse temporarily but when she went into labor the straining caused a further prolapse which compressed the vaginal opening. This prevented the lambs from being able to come out. It took both DS1 (who is a large strong man) and myself to try to hold the prolapse out of the way. Finally I had to cut her vaginal opening to allow the lamb (a nice size ewe lamb) to be born Unfortunately by the time we got her out she was dead. I milked the colostrum on one side and while doing so, noticed that a second smaller lamb was being born. Luckily that one survived. The vet stitched up the areas where I had to cut her so she could rear her lamb. However the stitches did not entirely hold. She required heavy antibiotics and pain medication several times a day. The ewe survived to feed the lamb for 5 weeks. The she started showing extreme pain and I put her down.

I feel guilty that I did not euthanize her immediately and just bottle feed the lamb because I am convinced that I caused that ewe to suffer needlessly. I do not keep my animals alive unless they have a chance at recovery. I hoped this ewe would recover enough to be pain free for as long as it took to raise her lamb although I knew she would be euthanized eventually. She made a start at recovery but then went downhill after 3-4 weeks. I don't like my animals to suffer and should have out her down immediately.

I am telling you this so you will understand why I am recommending that you euthanize her once the lambs are born If you decide not to have the vet do a C-section, be prepared to do one yourself when she goes into labor. You will have to cut the lambs out of her regardless of whether you have any anesthetic and put her down immediately. The alternative is watching her die trying to give birth.

Go on line and read the procedure for c-sections on small ruminants.

I am so sorry. :hugs😢
 

Zummerol

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Finally home and catching up on this. At this point since she continues to prolapse, your only option (since you can't order a prolapse spoon and harness) is to stitch her up. Just an X stitched across her opening. She needs to be able to pee through it.

This is not a happy posting and I apologize in advance for any pain or upset I cause you.

You will need to watch carefully when she goes into labor and be there to cut the stitches. You will need to help deliver the lambs since she will prolapse again during labor and delivery. When she prolapses during labor and deliver it will be a BAD problem because the swelling prolapse tissue will block the lambs exit from the ewe. You might have to use a scalpel, a razor blade, or very sharp knife to cut through prolapsing tissue to rescue and deliver the lambs. This will be a life or death situation for them.

I hate to say this but this is already a terminal problem for this ewe. Her chances of survival are very small. If she is just about ready to deliver, you should consider having the vet do a C-section now and avoid having her go through labor. If she does not go through labor she will not prolapse during delivery. This might be her only chance to survive labor and delivery. Otherwise, if your vet can sew her up afterwards she might make it long enough to raise her lambs for a month. She will need heavy doses of antibiotics and pain meds.

Whatever happens, try to milk the colostrum out of her to give the lambs a good start to bottle feed them. You can raise them on fresh goat milk if necessary. (If you can't get lamb replacer.)


I am really sorry to be so negative about your poor ewe. I am going from experience on the last ewe I had that prolapsed. Normally I would have euthanized her immediately but she was almost at term and I wanted to retain her particular genetics.

Our vet repaired the rectal prolapse temporarily but when she went into labor the straining caused a further prolapse which compressed the vaginal opening. This prevented the lambs from being able to come out. It took both DS1 (who is a large strong man) and myself to try to hold the prolapse out of the way. Finally I had to cut her vaginal opening to allow the lamb (a nice size ewe lamb) to be born Unfortunately by the time we got her out she was dead. I milked the colostrum on one side and while doing so, noticed that a second smaller lamb was being born. Luckily that one survived. The vet stitched up the areas where I had to cut her so she could rear her lamb. However the stitches did not entirely hold. She required heavy antibiotics and pain medication several times a day. The ewe survived to feed the lamb for 5 weeks. The she started showing extreme pain and I put her down.

I feel guilty that I did not euthanize her immediately and just bottle feed the lamb because I am convinced that I caused that ewe to suffer needlessly. I do not keep my animals alive unless they have a chance at recovery. I hoped this ewe would recover enough to be pain free for as long as it took to raise her lamb although I knew she would be euthanized eventually. She made a start at recovery but then went downhill after 3-4 weeks. I don't like my animals to suffer and should have out her down immediately.

I am telling you this so you will understand why I am recommending that you euthanize her once the lambs are born If you decide not to have the vet do a C-section, be prepared to do one yourself when she goes into labor. You will have to cut the lambs out of her regardless of whether you have any anesthetic and put her down immediately. The alternative is watching her die trying to give birth.

Go on line and read the procedure for c-sections on small ruminants.

I am so sorry. :hugs😢
😭😭😭
 

Zummerol

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Hopefully you will save the lambs. :fl Please keep us posted on her progress. :hugs:hugs:hugs
I will do. I have made a harness for her and it fits and works quite well. A quick question as I have never had to deal with this before. How will I know that she is definitely in labour and not relapsing and trying to push it out...
 

Zummerol

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I will do. I have made a harness for her and it fits and works quite well. A quick question as I have never had to deal with this before. How will I know that she is definitely in labour and not relapsing and trying to push it out...
Prolapsing not relapsing
 

Ridgetop

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That will be the tricky part. Also if she goes for any length of time unable to deliver the lambs, she will stop her labor.

Do you know the exact day the ram got into the pen? Did you write it on your calendar? If so, you can count off 5 months and 5 days (or go online and look at a sheep gestational calendar). That will help you pinpoint a lambing date.

A normal vulva gets swollen and slightly wobbly just before lambing You might also see some clear or white mucous stringing from it. Since you will not be able to see her vulva due to the harness, and her vulva may be swollen from the prolapse this will not be a guide.

Examine her udder. Her udder may or may not engorge. Sometimes you can express some sticky yellow colostrum from the teats a day or so before lambing. This might help a bit.


You will need to do an internal exam when you think she is in the process of lambing. Lubricate your first 2 fingers (I use antibacterial soap) and gently insert them into her vulva. If you feel a hard bit near the opening, it will hopefully be a nose or front foot. Do not go past your middle knuckle. You will also be able to feel if the tissue is swelling around the vulva. If there is nothing there, she may not be quite ready to lamb so leave the harness on and check again in about 30-60 minutes. She will get up and down, paw the ground, and you may see her straining.

When you are sure she is in labor, the work begins. Make sure you have at least one helper to assist you. This will not be a normal or easy birth because of the prolapse. You will have to get the lamb(s) out while keeping the prolapse inside. Be sure to have a lot of lubricating oil to slime around the inside of the vulva to help the lamb slide out. You can use a meat baster to put lubricating oil inside the vulva as the lamb slides out. If she is too swollen you may have to do some cutting. Have a sterile scalpel, safety razor blade, or sharp knife or scissors handy. You might have to cut the vulva muscle to give enough room for the lamb to exit.

While oiling the area and assisting the lamb out of the swollen prolapse tissue try to keep the prolapse from coming out Remember, if the prolapse tissue comes out, it will immediately swell and prevent the lamb's exit into the world. Have your helpers hold the ewe and help lift any prolapse tissue out of the way while you are pulling out the lamb(s).

If worst comes to worst, be prepared to cut open the ewe and pull the babies out that way. Take comfort in the fact that if she can't get the lambs out she will die anyway and by doing this you might save the lambs. Put her down immediately afterwards. A bullet through the ear canal is fast. Do not kill her before getting the lambs out since when she dies so do the lambs. Sorry to be so blunt but remember that she will be suffering and this is the kindest thing you can do for her.

If the cord comes out with the lamb without breaking make sure to compress the cord several inches away from the lamb's body and while squeezing the cord push any cord blood upwards toward the lamb. Have dental floss or a bobby pin to close off the cord if it continues to bleed (rare, but if the cord separates too close to the lamb's body it can bleed out).

This will be a sweaty and bloody process, and can take some time. Have antibiotics ready for the ewe. if you can't get the prolapse tissue back inside after getting the lambs out you won't be able to save the ewe. Milk the ewe out and try to save the lambs with her colostrum and milk until you can either graft them onto another ewe, or obtain a milk supply. Goat milk will work.

Wash off the prolapse tissue with cold water. Adding sugar to the water is supposed to shrink the tissue. If you can replace the prolapse tissue reattach the harness to try to keep it in place. Have the vet out to stitch up the ewe if you had to cut her. If you have to stitch her up yourself, use dental floss if you don't have any sutures. You can use a small gauge curved needle or carpet needle. Make sure to disinfect in alcohol.

READ EVERYTHING YOU CAN FIND ON THE POSITIONS OF LAMBS IN UTERO. YOU MUST PREPARE FOR EVERYTHING.

Sadly, this ewe should be culled to avoid any future pregnancies. Do not keep any of her lambs since they might inherit the tendency to prolapse. This situation is always a shepherds' nightmare.

Hopefully this information will get you through this. Once the labor and delivery starts you will be too busy to worry about anything except saving the lambs. That is why you need to look up everything you can on line now so you can anticipate problems.
:hugs
 

Zummerol

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Hi all. So it looks like my ewes time is very soon. Teats have swollen up and are no longer as long as before and her valva is very swollen. She is also not eating so watching her very closely... but to top all this stress off I now have 2 ewes that are not well...I will keep you all posted on what the out come is... thank you all for all your help
 

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