We had a great talk with the vet, and went over all of our options. The ewe is terminal, that we know, its just how to proceed with getting the lambs so they have the best chance , if they are alive. We decided after much discussion to induce her, she has been given a steroid shot, she should go in to labor within 48-72 hours. At that point we will allow her to try and give birth, if not the vet will come out and do a terminal C-section. For now I'm just checking on her, and making her as comfortable as possible. The vet warned us to be ready for loss over all. The lambs may not be alive, and I am preparing for that as much as it sucks
I will update as the days go on. This whole situation has weighed so heavy on my heart. This is a good sweet kind ewe, kind to lambs, kind to other sheep. Great with my kids, great with everyone. She always made such goofy faces when I would try to take nice pictures lol I love her. And no matter what, I will make sure her last days are calm, and will be as kind to her as she has been to our family. Lol now I'm getting all sappy and emotional
My heart just breaks with yours! It's always the best to whom these things happen. Making her comfortable is your last act of love. It hurts more than you feel you can stand. Another piece of you heart just rips off. BTDT.
Very sorry you are going through this, I don't have sheep but have been through the heart breaking loss of goats during pregnancy....my heart hurts for you and your family .... comfort and love is all we have to offer them in this situation, your a good sheep momma , so sorry
Big hugs. You can come cry on us, we know the pain of such loss and will grieve with you. I hope the lambs are still alive and that you can at least save them. keep us posted, we are there with you with our hearts.
We were all expecting this prognosis for your poor sweet ewe. But were hopeful for the lambs.
Don't be ashamed about getting sappy and emotional over this loss. We all do this. No matter how matter of fact I try to be about losing an animal, I usually cry over it, often in private. They crawl, gallop, trot or just plain barge into our hearts and make themselves at home. It is the price we pay for holding mastery over all the beasts God gave us - he made us love them and grieve for their loss when they go.
Did the vet say why the lambs might not still be alive? Is she still able to go through the birth process in her condition? This is so sad. We all grieve with you, remembering our own experiences with a loved animal that couldn't be saved. Watching them suffer is the worst part of it.
Hopefully the vet gave you some pain killers for the ewe. Ours gave us Meloxicam 15mg. I crushed them and we drenched her am and pm. After she lambed, when the pain got really bad, we doubled the dose till the vet could come out to euthanize her. Again, one of my prize ewes. Her surviving daughter, Snowflake, is gorgeous and one of the sweetest animals in the flock. Even though Snowflake seemed to be stunted by her mother's illness I kept her instead of sending her to the butcher. (Completely against my usual stern advice on undersized or inferior animals.) She is now one of the larger ewe lambs from that lambing cycle and just a really pretty girl. We docked her longer to avoid any possible prolapse. Her mother had been docked very short for the show ring.
When she goes into labor, pull the lambs if she is having any trouble. The sooner they are out, the better for them and for her. Did you manage to find colostrum? either natural or commercial? Have the vet give them a vitamin E shot, how is the selenium in your hay? Now I am worrying about them for you!
Bottle lambs are so much fun!!! Your kids (depending on their ages) will love bottle feeding them. They act live little pet dogs and try to follow you into the house, etc. I am hoping for ewe lambs so you don't have to sell them or send them to freezer camp.
Here are a couple of home made lamb formulas - just be sure you have the colostrum. If the ewe gives birth normally MAKE SURE TO MILK OUT SOME OF HER COLOSTRUM TO FREEZE FOR FUTURE EMERGENCIES. Second milkings - even into the second day - often contain some colostrum. It takes 3 days for the milk to clear of all colostrum for drinking in your kitchen. Commercial dairies put the just fresh cows' milk into a different vat with any milk from cows on antibiotics, etc. That mill is usually sold to the calf farmers that raise calves for replacement or slaughter. With dairy goats we milked them out and would heat treat NOT PASTEURIZE the colostrum then freeze it. I always kept frozen heat treated colostrum in the freezer so I didn't have to wait to heat treat (2 hours in the dual pasteurizer) before feeding the newborn kids. The lambs won't need ALL the colostrum you can milk out if she is able to be milked. Take all she can produce and bottle feed the lambs. Freeze the excess including any 2nd day milk if she makes it that long. You will have an emergency supply that way.
Here are the lamb formulas - I have not used them myself, but they were posted several years ago on BYH:
#1 4 cups (1qt) whole milk (extra rich milk would also do if available), 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, 1-2 raw eggs whisked (depending on size of eggs or protein needed), 1 Tbsp. natural whole ilk yogurt for rumen health - Blend all together and feed at room temperature or slightly warmed. You don't want to cook this mixture by heating too much.
#2 4 cups whole milk (again extra rich milk would probably do too), 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 egg, 1 Tbsp. natural whole milk yogurt for rumen health - whisk egg, yogurt, and cream together and add to milk.
I think 4 ounces is normal for a newborn lamb. Some will only take 2 ounces at first. Increase the amount they take as they want it it. Feed 3-4 times per day for first couple weeks then gradually decrease number of feedings to 1 quart am and 1 quart pm by 1 month old. Only 2 feedings per day will help them to get onto hay sooner.
Cod Liver oil was routinely added to baby formula because of its A & D vitamin content. I am not sure if it has been tried adding to lamb formula. Not sure of dose for lambs either. Dog breeders used to add it to puppy food to avoid rickets.
All 3 lambs had to be pulled, all were dead. Brie was put down shortly after and went very peacefully. I am devastated that we lost her and those lambs, but I take comfort in the fact that she is no longer in pain I hope you dont mind if I post a picture of Brie.
I love you sweet girl. You will be missed.
How long had the lambs been dead? Did the pressure from the ruptured tendon cause their deaths? That was a hard blow for you and your flock. Lose that lovely ewe whom you loved is a great sadness. Losing the lambs and bloodlines too is a hardship for your breeding program. So sorry for you and your family.