1. BYH Official Poll: What are the things that you should consider before buying herds?
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  2. BYH Featured Thread: Growing horn pain/itching?
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  3. 2017 BYC Calendar SUPER SALE!
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  4. Dismiss Notice
  5. BYH Picture of the Week (POW) - Submit your Pics Now !!
    Click HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)
    Dismiss Notice

Sheep Diarrhea

Discussion in 'Diseases & Injuries - Sheep' started by phils, May 17, 2017.

  1. May 17, 2017
    phils

    phils Just born

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Hello folks, I have had a flock of katahdins for about three years. Last year they had an nice batch of lambs around June. I recall that my ewes were scouring at that point and I will admit that i probably did not deworm them enough. 2 months later in August the lambs started scouring and dying off quickly. I lost all but about 4 of them in a couple months. Eventually we found that we were using the wrong dewormer, valbazen, and we switched to prohibit. We also got them off green pasture and onto hay only while treating them for coccidiosis. It worked well and they have been the picture of health, along with their new lambs, which are mostly singles and seem huge for their age. But since around April, when they were first turned onto pasture the ewes (not lambs) have been scouring, not badly, but visibly. I've dewormed the whole flock twice with prohibit and i just started treating them for coccidiosis. The whole flock except this years lambs continue to scour. Should i be worried? Thanks
     
    Baymule likes this.
  2. May 17, 2017
    norseofcourse

    norseofcourse Herd Master Golden Herd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    2,618
    Likes Received:
    2,072
    Trophy Points:
    313
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Sorry you had so many losses last year.

    Have you had a fecal done recently to see what kind of worm and/or coccidia load, if any, you're dealing with?

    What part of the country are you in? How much pasture do you have, and is it one big pasture, or divided so you can rotate? Is the pasture especially lush? Do they get any hay and/or feed before or after they are turned out to pasture? What are their body condition scores like (the adults)? Any other symptoms besides the scouring?
     
    phils and mysunwolf like this.
  3. May 17, 2017
    phils

    phils Just born

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Thanks for the quick response :)

    The only type of "test" that has happened is when a vet stopped by last summer when we started losing lambs. She showed us tiny visible worms in the diarrhea. Will we need a vet to do a fecal?

    We are located in Virginia.

    We have 3 pastures that the sheep rotate through. They stay in one pasture 2-3 weeks.

    The pasture was very lush earlier in the spring. Not so much anymore.

    The sheep were fed hay and feed throughout the winter but when they were turned onto pastures that was stopped.

    Sorry I wouldn't know how to score a sheep. i'm guessing a weight scale would be needed which we don't have.

    I checked one of the adult ewe's eyes FAMACHA style (without a card) and it was definitely very pink if not red. I can compare that to a lamb last year who had very pale lower eyelids. Another maybe symptom is a little sack where the throat meets the jaw on some of the lambs. It seems to come and go so maybe it's milk goiter?

    Again, thanks for the time
     
  4. May 17, 2017
    phils

    phils Just born

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    just did some researching on how to condition score a ewe and it turns out I don't need a weight scale :rolleyes: I will try to get that asap
     
  5. May 17, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    4,994
    Likes Received:
    6,109
    Trophy Points:
    453
    Location:
    Southeast Texas
    Sorry that you are having problems. I had a ewe scour this spring and I gave her elm leaves. I just called her and bent some branches down for her to reach. I did it several times that day and the scours stopped. I had turned them out on pasture, but she was the only one to scour. Do you have a dry lot where you can pen them up and feed them hay? If so, give them hay before turning them out on pasture each day.
     
    phils likes this.
  6. May 18, 2017
    phils

    phils Just born

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    so i just scored my sheep. I have a couple that are probably in the 2.5 range but the rest are about 3 to 3.5
     
  7. May 18, 2017
    purplequeenvt

    purplequeenvt True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,846
    Likes Received:
    1,380
    Trophy Points:
    243
    Location:
    Charlotte, VT
    That little pooch under the chin could be "bottle jaw" which is a symptom of anemia and worm infestation. Usually caused by the Barber Pole worm (Haemonchus contortus), but other worms can cause anemia too if they're bad enough. Sheep with a large number of Barber Pole worms can have diarrhea, but you may also be dealing with some coccidia.

    I'm by no means a "worm expert", but I'm fairly sure the only worms visible to the naked eye are tape worms and those are usually not a big issue. Most producers don't actively treat tapes.

    You can learn to do fecals yourself, but in the meantime, collect some fresh samples and give them to your vet. You want to know type of worm and the EPG (eggs per gram). Make sure you ask for the EPG, most vets will tell you what types they found, but don't do an egg count. There will always be some eggs in a healthy animal, it's the number of eggs that is important.
     
    norseofcourse and phils like this.
  8. May 18, 2017
    phils

    phils Just born

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ok thanks. I'm getting them onto a diet with more hay and I'll try to get a fecal exam done soon also. Thanks for the advice!
     
  9. May 18, 2017
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    6,235
    Likes Received:
    6,069
    Trophy Points:
    433
    Location:
    NE Texas
    Greetings and welcome to BYH from NE Texas. I don't have sheep (yet) and only got my goats about a month ago, but have been studying for several years. From my understanding, lush green pasture is 80% water, and if that's all they get, it can cause scours. You should really leave hay available to them free choice. When you pen them in the evening, they can eat hay to get started before you let them out in the morning. Of course fecals would be a good idea as well :) So sorry for your losses in the past. There's always a learning curve... Glad you found us though and hope you'll make yourself at home. Browse around in the sheep section and you'll get to "meet" many of our great Sheeple, and there's a lot of knowledge and experience shared there.

    Oh, and please consider putting at least your general location in your profile... I saw above you said VA, but (I and many others) will never remember that the next time you ask for help... Location is pretty important for climate (hot/cold/wet/dry/altitude/etc.) which may have bearing on recommendations offered.
     
    phils likes this.
  10. May 22, 2017
    norseofcourse

    norseofcourse Herd Master Golden Herd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    2,618
    Likes Received:
    2,072
    Trophy Points:
    313
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Haven't had much chance to get here lately - how are your sheep doing?

    I could be one thing or a combination of things. Hope you've found someone to do fecal tests and give an EPG count. Checking eyelids is good, even without the card it gives you an idea, although having the training and card is better. Check with a local livestock vet or your extension service to see if you can take the class anywhere.

    Just to cover another base, make sure you give CDT shots, a series of at least 2 to the lambs, and once annually to the adults.

    And I wouldn't totally cut off their hay when you start turning them out to pasture. Diet changes can cause problems, too, so it's helpful for them to get some hay along with the grass.

    The little sack under the jaw is more likely to be bottlejaw than milk goiter. Parasites are one of the more serious problems with sheep, but there's been a lot of research about it and things are changing - although I still hear of vets recommending scheduled deworming or frequent dewormer changes, both of which will lead to increased worm problems.

    I use FAMACHA and try to keep an eye on my sheep, I deworm only the ones that need it most, I got a microscope and will be doing my own fecals starting this summer, and I still keep reading and learning. Check out the website http://www.wormx.info/ for some good information.
     
    phils likes this.