Odd behaviour in Lamb

Lizzy733

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Hello all,

Have had an odd one with one of my lambs today and not sure what to make of it.

She was acting strangely, rapid breathing and wanting to lay down and roll over, but perfectly capable of popping back up on her feet when encouraged.

Bright, alert, active and responsive, literally acting happily tipsy.

I brought her in to give her a bit of isolated observation. She'd backpedal a bit when going to lay down, maybe seemed a bit uncoordinated or wobbly on her feet at the worst of it. Kept trying to roll over, then sitting back up when she'd roll over too far.

Temp seemed fine just doing a spot check of her underbelly, not noticeably warm anywhere. No joint swelling, but she did have a little knick on one knee I sprayed with a bit of iodine. Her guts weren't swollen, no obvious trapped gas. Got a few happy tail wags, couple of burps and a bunt from her. Happy to come when called or eagerly follow if I walked away from her.

Ended up giving her 15ml of Vigest and brushing her out for about 30-45 mins to keep her wanting to stay on her feet and she seemed perfectly normal by the end of that. There was some drooling, but might have been from the vigest as she does not like it and there wasn't an excessive amount. Mouth mucus didn't seem overly thick or frothy at all. Her color was good, not pale or anaemic. No obvious vision issues.

She's back out with her sisters now and acting normally. Plan on giving her a follow-up dose just in case, but no idea what was up with her.

It's summer here, lots of fast growing plants, but the lawn itself is mostly kikuyu. Had a bit of heavy rain about a week ago, but all dry and sunny now. She's about 2 1/2 months old, has had both 5 in 1's and was dewormed with boss less than a month ago. She's still on the bottle 3x daily, was planning to start weaning in a few weeks.

Am not sure if it's a deficiency thing or if she ate something she shouldn't as they are in an area with lots of diverse planting, but they do have a multi-lick available.

Sound like anything to you guys? Would it be worth a trip to the vet, or should I just supplement her for a bit and see if it was a one-off?
 

Lizzy733

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It's a multivitamin rescue remedy, contains thiamine amongst other things.

Was recommended to me when we were looking into getting goats and definitely got one of our kids over a hump when she went off the bottle for a bit. Smells like marmite.

As below: (sorry for the glare)


PXL_20231112_002622354.jpg
 

Baymule

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Contains thiamine, I was on the right track. LOL
What milk do you use?
My recipe is,
1 gallon whole milk
1 cup cultured buttermilk
1 can evaporated milk

Pour out 3 cups milk.
Add buttermilk and evaporated milk, top off with reserved whole milk.
 

farmerjan

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Since I have no knowledge of your plants there, it is hard to say but it sounds like she may have eaten something that was semi-poisonous to her system and caused the symptoms. Rapid breathing, acting "tipsy" and some drooling is often from eating something that has made them sick.... getting the Vigest in her and keeping her on her feet probably mitigated whatever was in her stomach... and prevented her from rolling and twisting a gut.
I would watch her and see if she has a particular plant she is wanting to eat and maybe that will help; you might be able to identify something that can cause some symptoms like she had... Not to be a "wise guy" but is there any chance there is some marijuana plants? They were growing wild near a pen I had for hogs years ago, at a farm I had just moved to, and the cows seemed to want to munch on them...I didn't know what they were but a friend laughed and told me they were "happy weed"... and I still didn't get it... but then I never did any kind of drugs when I was growing up so no exposure....
If you don't see it happen again, then just chalk it up to "one of those things..." If it happens again, then maybe a call to the vet at least... they might be able to tell you what it could be, if they have ever seen it in other animals at some time...
Love to have you participate since you have a totally different "place" and it is fun to hear what you do and things there. There are several people on a cattle forum I am active on, that are from Australia... and one girl that is in Lithuania that has just become a vet and she has beef cattle and love to see her pictures and hear what she and her husband and family are doing....
 

Lizzy733

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Contains thiamine, I was on the right track. LOL
What milk do you use?
My recipe is,
1 gallon whole milk
1 cup cultured buttermilk
1 can evaporated milk

Pour out 3 cups milk.
Add buttermilk and evaporated milk, top off with reserved whole milk.
Is a nz branded milk replacer specific for lambs:
nzagbiz anlamb

She seems all good still. Finished her midday bottle with no issues. Am thinking she did find something mildly toxic. There's plenty of planting around I've ID'd as not the best, like hydrangea and st john's wort, etc. Stuff that isn't highly toxic, but you don't want them grazing it heavily. Foxglove too, but none of my sheep have ever touched it to my knowledge and we have been actively removing it when it crops up.

This is just because they are in the 'house garden' area at the moment, but will be swapping them back to a paddock soonish. Have some older sheep due for a shear tomorrow that are about to swap with them.

I have two goats grazing this area too - no troubles from them and they've been in the garden area longer.

There are a few wild mushrooms sprouting after the recent rains. Not sure if they're 'that type', but it's a possibility. No marijuana on property.
 

Lizzy733

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She is also in with two other ewe lambs, one the same age as her and another a month younger. No symptoms from either of them.

Going to go on the assumption it was a mild poisoning.

We have also been feeding out a scoop of washed grain from my father-in-law's liquor-making ventures to the birds and pigs in the morning. It's usually gone pretty quick and the lambs get their bottles at the same time, so maybe she pinched some, but there wouldn't be much alcohol content left in it - just a lot of high-protein fermented grain.

The first batch was not thoroughly washed and we did have a bunch of drunk chickens 😆, but my husband, in all his wisdom, gave them the whole bag that time too - no issues with subsequent feed outs and they only get that 1-2 scoops.

I should post more often. Spring has been super busy this year with lambs and kids. Husband showed up with a pheasant chick the other day and I thought I was done with brooding for the season 😅.
 

Baymule

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Yes! Please post more often. In addition to my journal, I post a yearly lambing thread with pictures! It would be great if you made a lambing thread, we’d love to see it.
 

Lizzy733

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We haven't tried our hand at breeding as we are slowly culling the old flock. Will bring in another 3 ewe lambs on the bottle next year, then year after, a ram lamb to put over these three girls. I think we should have a handle on everything by then and feel as prepared as we can be.

A fully stocked pasture of feral brained sheep was definitely too much for us year 1.😅 The last 6 of those were just shorn today. Letting them soft integrate with the young ones since there's plenty of room and chances to break line of sight. Nobody's tried to start anything as of yet.
The 3 most feral of these will go in the freezer come fall.
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