Lamb with severely curved spine

CapriCoCo

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
20
Reaction score
11
Points
31
today I had a set of twin lambs, and all was normal looking until I went in to get a closer look. Healthy baby got up as I approached, other lamb tried, but it ended up giving up and laying in a splayed position. Propped up the baby and that’s when I noticed the spine is severely curved. This is the lamb after I propped her up. Is there anything I can do for her now? I’m hoping to take her to the vet, but I want to do all I can until then.
AD862F2B-F04C-46DD-9C6D-5D883106AEE9.jpeg
 

Attachments

  • 126284AD-DF84-4763-AE1B-734A5CEB854C.jpeg
    126284AD-DF84-4763-AE1B-734A5CEB854C.jpeg
    668.9 KB · Views: 6

frustratedearthmother

Herd Master
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
7,533
Reaction score
12,876
Points
613
Oh wow, I've been raising critters for a very long time and I've never seen anything like that. I think the best you can do until you get professional help is to make sure she can eat (or bottle feed) and confirm that what goes in - comes out.

Hope for the best - but be prepared for the worst.
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
25,834
Reaction score
68,277
Points
853
Location
East Texas
Not to be pessimistic, but I don’t see that saving this lamb will be possible. Sometimes things happen that are out of our control and there isn’t much we can do about it.
 

CapriCoCo

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
20
Reaction score
11
Points
31
Not to be pessimistic, but I don’t see that saving this lamb will be possible. Sometimes things happen that are out of our control and there isn’t much we can do about it.
She’s actually doing pretty well. Eating, sleeping, even hobbling around from time to time. After discussing with a friend with a lot of sheep knowledge, she says an excessive amount of selenium deficiencies with similar symptoms have been popping up this year. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain. She’s peed, we haven’t had her poop yet.
 

CapriCoCo

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
20
Reaction score
11
Points
31
So f
Oh wow, I've been raising critters for a very long time and I've never seen anything like that. I think the best you can do until you get professional help is to make sure she can eat (or bottle feed) and confirm that what goes in - comes out.

Hope for the best - but be prepared for the worst.
So far, she’s doing good. She’s doing just as good, if not better than my two previous bottle babies. I’ll update in the morning.
 

CapriCoCo

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
20
Reaction score
11
Points
31
She’s still alive, and doing pretty well.
 

frustratedearthmother

Herd Master
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
7,533
Reaction score
12,876
Points
613
She’s still alive, and doing pretty well.

Were you able to get her seen by a vet? With that much curvature I wonder what's going to happen when she starts ruminating. It looks like the space for the rumen to expand might be compromised - but I'm just guessing. :hu
 

frustratedearthmother

Herd Master
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
7,533
Reaction score
12,876
Points
613
A sheep friend suggested that it might be Cache Valley Virus.


Here's a portion of the article:

“The most dramatic effects of the CVV virus leads to birth defects in lambs, mostly affecting the brain and nervous system. The virus also affects the skeleton and muscle,” Holler said. “These defects show up as fused joints, curved or twisted spines, unusually thin and underdeveloped muscles, and enlarged skulls.”

“Lambs born with severe defects are stillborn, yet in other CVV cases the result is the birth of live lambs that are compromised due to skeletal and nervous system abnormalities,” Held said. “They can be drowsy, weak or unsteady and reports indicate that normal and abnormal lambs are possible in the same litter.”
Even with excellent management care practices, the mortality rate is high for these lambs born with CVV.


I don't know if this is what you're dealing with and I hate to suggest this - but it might be kinder to euthanize than to await a lingering death.

I would definitely try to get her seen by a veterinarian.
 

CapriCoCo

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
20
Reaction score
11
Points
31
S
Were you able to get her seen by a vet? With that much curvature I wonder what's going to happen when she starts ruminating. It looks like the space for the rumen to expand might be compromised - but I'm just guessing. :hu
she’s passed poop regular. It seems when she lies down the curve softens. As for the vet visit, I was recently informed she’s from a ewe that belongs to a family member who we made a deal with to let them breed a couple ewes to our ram, and so final say on whether she goes to the vet is up to them (this family member doesn’t like getting told what to do with their animals, or people doing stuff beyond what’s “necessary” with them either) They live far away though so this baby is still in my care.
A sheep friend suggested that it might be Cache Valley Virus.


Here's a portion of the article:

“The most dramatic effects of the CVV virus leads to birth defects in lambs, mostly affecting the brain and nervous system. The virus also affects the skeleton and muscle,” Holler said. “These defects show up as fused joints, curved or twisted spines, unusually thin and underdeveloped muscles, and enlarged skulls.”

“Lambs born with severe defects are stillborn, yet in other CVV cases the result is the birth of live lambs that are compromised due to skeletal and nervous system abnormalities,” Held said. “They can be drowsy, weak or unsteady and reports indicate that normal and abnormal lambs are possible in the same litter.”
Even with excellent management care practices, the mortality rate is high for these lambs born with CVV.


I don't know if this is what you're dealing with and I hate to suggest this - but it might be kinder to euthanize than to await a lingering death.

I would definitely try to get her seen by a veterinarian.
So far everything about her except her spine is normal. She’s getting better and better at walking, and she’s even managed a run, She doesn’t bleat incessantly like she’s in pain, Her breathing is normal, she eats, she poops, she pees, it’s weird but so far she’s acting like every other bottle lamb I’ve had. Thank you for the link, I’ll look into it .
 

frustratedearthmother

Herd Master
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
7,533
Reaction score
12,876
Points
613
So far everything about her except her spine is normal. She’s getting better and better at walking, and she’s even managed a run, She doesn’t bleat incessantly like she’s in pain, Her breathing is normal, she eats, she poops, she pees, it’s weird but so far she’s acting like every other bottle lamb I’ve had. Thank you for the link, I’ll look into it.

Glad to hear it! Good luck with her - and if possible please keep us informed. Maybe we can all learn something from your experience.
 

Latest posts

Top