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update, good ending :) (pregnant ewe off feed... need advice)

Discussion in 'Emergencies, Injuries, Diseases, and Cures' started by Spidey, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. Jan 20, 2019
    Spidey

    Spidey Chillin' with the herd

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    Hello everyone! I have a 6 /7ish year old ewe who is pregnant (always has twins). Due sometime in the next month. Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated.


    Diet- weedy pasture (although the pasture is quite dormant at the moment) and local grass hay. Free choice mineral and free choice salt.


    So its been a odd week with her... this is what has happened so far.

    Monday morning I went to the barn to let the sheep out. My older ewe (Salty) was foaming at the mouth (white foam and then green smelly foam a bit later), shaking, on her feet and looking quite grim. She didn't appear bloated, but it was dark and I was rushed. I tried looking down her throat for a stuck object- didn't see anything, but couldn't really see either. Treated for bloat (drenched with canola oil and baking soda dissolved in water) and I gave her nutridrench. She perked up quickly, and by mid day was eating again. Tues morning she was 95% normal looking. I gave her a little molasses. Wed morning she was back to 100%.


    Wednesday I walked the pasture looking for poisonous plants and pulled up a few things I wasn't sure of.


    Sunday morning, she's not eating, sunken sides, but still strong enough to need 2 people to drench her. I gave her a little molasses. Waited an hour... just gave her nutridrench 20 minutes ago. Still not eating, although she acts interested. No obvious signs of labor.


    So, the odd part. Last night I called them in and she was super perky and happy. I refilled the mineral (it has been disappeared quickly this week) and gave them about a cup. She stood there and pretty much ate it all.


    I have no idea whats happening. At first I thought bloat. Now I'm leaning more towards low blood sugar, and I do wonder if she's eating something weird in her pasture or if its from eating tons of mineral all week.


    Any ideas?
     
  2. Jan 20, 2019
    Goat Whisperer

    Goat Whisperer Herd Master

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    I don’t know anything about sheep, but with my dairy goats I’d be checking her for pregnancy toxemia/ketosis. Watch for milk fever too. She doesn’t fit all the symptoms, bit I’d be checking especially since the drench seems to be helping. What’s her temp?
     
  3. Jan 20, 2019
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Herd Master

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    I agree with GW. Will she eat any grain? Will she eat bread? If the drench is helping it does "point" to a need for carbs. Any alfalfa around? Even pellets. Once down, hard to get them back so it's pretty urgent to get her on a course of improvement :hugs which your are attempting to do, I know.

    Takes a LOT to heat body and may not be enough nutrition in that grass to then support her & kids. That would be my first guess. I have goats, not sheep but, similar in many things.
     
    Devonviolet and B&B Happy goats like this.
  4. Jan 20, 2019
    Goat Whisperer

    Goat Whisperer Herd Master

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    Yep, when you look at the ingredients for Nutri-drench, the first one is Propylene Glycol-- which is what is used for treatment in pregnancy toxemia. She is in the most common window for toxemia. I hope some other sheep folks come have some ideas. @Mike CHS @Baymule @Sheepshape @misfitmorgan @mysunwolf ?
     
    Devonviolet and B&B Happy goats like this.
  5. Jan 20, 2019
    Mike CHS

    Mike CHS Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    The symptoms for sheep and goats pretty much follow the same causes for most things. Was the foaming at the mouth sort of like blowing bubbles? If so she could be suffering from That usually causes a degree of "bubble blowing"which could indicate pneumonia.
     
  6. Jan 20, 2019
    Spidey

    Spidey Chillin' with the herd

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    firstly, thank you all for responding!!

    After the nutridrench, she perked up but still wasn't eating the hay. I offered her a handful of green grass and she ate that right up. She continued to ignore the hay, but she was perky and if it wasn't for her sunken sides, I would have thought all was well. I have 1 small area of unfenced green pasture, so I set up a portable net fence and she spent the day eating the last of the green grass and plants. Acting totally normal and happy.

    re: mouth foam vs bubbles. I have a goat that is very frantic when he eats and he frequently chokes on his food and vomits up foam. This was just like that, so thats why on Monday I thought she was choking. I haven't seen the foam since. Perhaps last Monday's foam has nothing to do with todays problem? For both "events' she was given nutridrench. I only treated for bloat on Monday, even though I didn't visually see her bloated (but she did have foam). Perhaps it was the nutridrench that cured her Monday morning and Sunday morning?? Monday morning she was so bad, that I felt she was only hours from death... she was still on her feet, but very wobbly. If she went down, that would have been it I think.

    I haven't taken her temp yet. I'll try tonight if I can get someone to hold her.

    I'm concerned that she'll decline again and I have a feeling she most likely will. I don't have alfalfa, alfalfa pellets or grain on hand. Tomorrow I will buy whatever I need to support her nutritionally if food quality is the problem. Any recommendations for what I should get?

    I have never dealt with pregnancy toxemia before. I need to read about it, but does anyone have any experience or advice?

    (pictures attached). These pics were from this morning. I honestly don't think she ate any hay all night. She's usually very wide and full.
     

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  7. Jan 20, 2019
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    Perhaps the sunken sides could be from lambs dropping? I raise goats but I would agree with the toxemia. It happens when they just can't get enough nutrients to support the growing kids/lambs. Good hay, some sheep pellets, power punch, anything with calories. Chaffehay if you can find any would help, just don't let her gorge on anything that she isn't used to eating.
     
    Mrs1885 likes this.
  8. Jan 20, 2019
    Mike CHS

    Mike CHS Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    I'm adding what is said in the Merck Vet Manual so if nothing else you will have the link. It doesn't add much beyond what has already been added but at least you will have the link if you don't already.
    https://www.merckvetmanual.com/meta...-lipidosis/pregnancy-toxemia-in-ewes-and-does

    Treatment:

    Ewes or does in the early stages (ie, are ambulatory, have a decreased appetite for grain, and are showing few nervous signs) can often be treated successfully with oral propylene glycol (60 mL, bid, for 3 days, or 100 mL/day). Adding oral calcium (12.5 g calcium lactate), oral potassium (7.5 g KCl), and insulin (0.4 IU/kg/day, SC) has increased survival rates. Oral commercial calf electrolyte solutions containing glucose may also be given by stomach tube at a dose of 3–4 L, qid, or drenched as a concentrated solution. It may also be prudent to induce parturition/abortion if the ewe or doe is also thin or fat and cannot manage fetal demands that late in pregnancy. This can be done by administering dexamethasone (20 mg, IV or IM). Parturition is expected within 24–72 hr, with most animals giving birth within 36 hr. Does may also benefit by the addition of prostaglandin F2α (dinoprost [10 mg, IM] or cloprostenol [75 mcg/45 kg body wt]). Contributing factors (eg, nutrition, housing, illness, other stressors) should be corrected for the group, and feeding management assessed (eg, adequate feeder space, feeding frequency, protection from adverse weather).
     
    Daxigait likes this.
  9. Jan 20, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    I've not had any of my sheep show such symptoms, so I am reading this with great interest. I sure hope your ewe recovers and does well.
     
  10. Jan 20, 2019
    Mike CHS

    Mike CHS Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Same here Bay!