Sheep Is Paralyzed


Just born
Sep 28, 2023
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Hello, on September 24th, my 5 year old Rambouillet Ram was found laying on his side facing down hill and couldn't barely move. He can not lift his head off the ground and he can not stand up. He can only move his legs back and forth while laying on the ground, and he can move his head back and forth while it is on the ground, but that's it.
He has raw blisters on his gums, he looks a little anemic, and looks under weight. He was a very skittish ram and I wasn't able to get near him so I never knew he was having problems. I don't have a vet in my area who will come help sheep so I normally have to take care of them all by myself.
I gave him a dewormer Ivermectin drench, a antibiotic Liquamycin shot, a vitamin A D shot, iron pills, magnesium pills, and calcium pills. He is up to date on his CDT shot. I wasnt sure if any of the stuff that I gave him could help him, but I was guessing it probably wouldn't hurt him any worse.
Today, September 29th, he has not improved at all. I still hand feed him, grass, hay, and grain 3 times a day. He loves eating, but he don't have the strength to hold his head up to eat. I also have to hold his head over a bucket to let him drink water. I've managed to set him up the proper way on his legs/belly a couple times, but he seems stiff and falls right back on his side. Also, he is having healthy looking poos and he is peeing.

I'm lost at what else to do for him to try to make him better, to were he can stand and function without me. I've only been caring for a few sheep for 3 years and I'm still learning. Any advice on what is wrong with him or how to care for him would help. Thank you


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Herd Master
Aug 16, 2016
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Shenandoah Valley Virginia
I agree that nothing you gave him will hurt him overall... if he is wormy, then the worming might make him pass a mass of worms/larvae/eggs. Vit B will help with the appetite. BoSe or MuSe will add selenium if it is a white muscle disease related incident but that comes from a vet. You cannot get selenium supplements unless low dose mixed in something else , except from a vet.
Normal manure rules out Johne's which all the other symptoms seem to suggest....
The only other thing that comes to mind is meningeal worm ( might be spelling it right) that gets into the brain but I have little experience with it.
I would also think that sore mouth disease in sheep, similar to foot and mouth disease, could be a possibility, but I am not very familiar with it either. I do think that it is zoonotic, which means it can be passed to humans, so I would be very careful about feeding and use gloves to help prevent transmission... You would have to read up on it as I am not very familiar with it. Being up to date on CDT is a plus.

I hate to say it, and not knowing where you are from... but bloodwork done might help, and that requires a vet, and if he does not get up,; going through the state lab to do an autopsy would be the only other way I would know of to find out exactly what it is. If you can continue to feed, and he eats, I guess that won't hurt for a bit. But there is more here than just that and I honestly do not think that the outcome is good and you may need to have him posted by a vet to find out what the problems are....


Ridin' The Range
Mar 14, 2022
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I half wonder if it is a worm load, you may consider giving him a stronger wormer like Valbazen or Cydectin? Curious what his jaw looks like? Is it swollen underneath? Also curious his FAMACHA Score? There are photos on the web you can use to number him? So so so sorry! My heart aches for you. Nothing like seeing a ram down.


Herd Master
Mar 13, 2015
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Shadow Hills, CA
It doesn't sound good. Raw blisters don't sound like Sore Mouth - SoreMouth has crusty sores. Where are you located?

Being underweight and anemic sounds like he could have a heavy worm load. Are any other animals in the flock showing any symptoms? He needs to be propped up so he is laying on his chest and stomach. Laying flat on his side can cause pneumonia. Prop him up between two bales of straw of hay. Has he passed any worms in his manure?

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