Odd behavior in lamb - should we be concerned? Beginner shepherd question

CassyKay

Ridin' The Range
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
43
Reaction score
39
Points
61
Some background on this lamb:
He's about a week and a half old and had a rough delivery (sideways position, ewe with pre-lambing vaginal prolapse and then ring-womb - it took us hours to deliver the lamb and we thought we'd lose them both). He has been struggling with a tendon injury in his front left leg which required a splint (down from a full leg splint to just the last joint) and joint ill in the back left leg which is swollen and painful. So, he's already limping around on two-ish legs, is partially bottle fed because his poor momma doesn't produce enough milk although she's acting like a good mother and they are bonded so he nurses some. He's on antibiotics and metacam for the joint pain and been through a round of probiotics meant to be given alongside the antibiotics. He's slowly healing.

Anyways, today we noticed this odd behavior which we haven't seen in any of our lambs before. We're wondering if it's related to how he latches on to nurse, which we know is a little abnormal. Anybody else seen this behavior?

Video: https://photos.app.goo.gl/UTWRTwPaBco45C8AA

Side note: This lamb's mother will not be bred again due to the complications she's had with this lamb. Nor will this ram lamb be bred.
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
32,733
Reaction score
96,796
Points
873
Location
East Texas
He seems to be making sucking motions. My opinion for what it’s worth is slaughter when he’s big enough. I would take the ewe too. You don’t really want to sell animals like that, when they have such problems.

Good for you for working so diligently to save them both. Sometimes you just have to scratch your head in puzzlement. What the heck?
 

CassyKay

Ridin' The Range
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
43
Reaction score
39
Points
61
He seems to be making sucking motions. My opinion for what it’s worth is slaughter when he’s big enough. I would take the ewe too. You don’t really want to sell animals like that, when they have such problems.

Good for you for working so diligently to save them both. Sometimes you just have to scratch your head in puzzlement. What the heck?
Another question: If the ewe develops an infection (due to the trauma of the prolapse and assisted lambing) can she pass that on through her milk to the lamb?
The ewe now has a white discharge (not from the udder - all my search results bring up is mastitis but that's not what this is) and the lamb is not improving so we're trying to figure out what's next.

PS - our vet isn't available until Monday.
 
Last edited:

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
32,733
Reaction score
96,796
Points
873
Location
East Texas
White discharge from where? Her vulva? Antibiotics now! Go to feed store, Tractor Supply, Atwoods or whatever you have. Store personnel will help you with antibiotics, syringes and needles.
 

CassyKay

Ridin' The Range
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
43
Reaction score
39
Points
61
White discharge from where? Her vulva? Antibiotics now! Go to feed store, Tractor Supply, Atwoods or whatever you have. Store personnel will help you with antibiotics, syringes and needles.
Yes. Our vet didn't seem to think infection was possible :confused: Not sure why. Felt like we were lucky that they gave her an antibiotic/steroid infusion after the prolapse. We'll look into getting some antibiotics for her.

🐑🍼Should we let her lamb keep nursing?! Could he be getting the infection from her and thus not healing?

Are there any other diseases that mimic joint ill in lambs? That was the diagnosis but I want to be sure we don't miss something.
 

Alaskan

Herd Master
Joined
May 9, 2017
Messages
5,354
Reaction score
12,527
Points
553
Location
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
Should we let her lamb keep nursing?! Could he be getting the infection from her and thus not healing?
I would keep letting the lamb nurse.

Usually the milk will have antibodies in it to help stave off the infection mom has.

So, nursing is good.

All your other questions.... no idea.
 

CassyKay

Ridin' The Range
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
43
Reaction score
39
Points
61
I would keep letting the lamb nurse.

Usually the milk will have antibodies in it to help stave off the infection mom has.

So, nursing is good.

All your other questions.... no idea.
Okay, thank you.
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
6,395
Reaction score
21,377
Points
683
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
Since the lamb is already a week and a half old, go ahead and pull him off the ewe and bottle feed. Since she likes him, he can stay with her, but bottle feed him now to make sure he gets enough nutrition. it will also help the ewe to regain strength if she dries up.

I couldn't get the video to open but if he had a hard, prolonged birth it is possible that he suffered some brain damage from loss of oxygen. We had a lamb like that, he never could stand, and I euthanized him. Since he can eat from a bottle your best bet is to bottle feed him.

I would take both to auction when the casts come off.
 
Top