Weak Pasterns-what would you do

Bridgemoof

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So of the 5 little jacob/icelandic lambs we bought back in April, 2 of them have the very weak pastern problem. You may have seen me mention it in posts before. We've been giving them the BoSe injections regularly based on our vet and what others here have said. Beastiie, the ram, seems to be doing a bit better. But poor Snowcap, he's a wreck.

His front 2 hooves are all the way on the ground, and has been having a very hard time getting around. When it rained the other day I realized how much skinnier he was than the rest. Then, just 2 days ago I noticed something even worse. One of his back hooves was flipped all the way backwards and he was walking with it that way on his ankle bone. It just made me sick. He still has a good appetite and everything, and his little body is full of muscle. But his pasterns, ugh.

We brought him up and put him in a stall so I could at least feed him. We put a split on his back leg and hoof so it wouldn't flip backwards. He's just a mess and I didn't intend for him to be a slaughter lamb, but now it looks like that may be the only thing we can do with him.

I just love him and didn't want to have to put him in the freezer. :( I'm really sad about it.

What would you guys do if you were in this situation? He's 6 months old and probably only weighs about 40 pounds.
 

Roving Jacobs

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Someone I know with Icelandics has been having problems with copper deficiency with similar symptoms. I guess they need more copper than the average sheep. She whipped up a concoction of red cell and some other stuff and it fixed them right up. Did your vet run a blood test to see if they were Se deficient or just guess? Before making any decisions I would have bloodwork done if you can afford it.
 

Bridgemoof

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The vet didn't even see him, it was a guess. We've been giving him BoSe shots every 3 weeks. I will check into the copper deficiency and yes, I will get the vet to do bloodwork.

It's good that there is a glimmer of hope for a cure! Thanks so much!
 

SheepGirl

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Weak pasterns can usually be fixed with a vitamin B shot. You can get it at any feed store usually.
 

cedarcurve

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you have some kind of serious mineral deficiency

if the se doesn't work by now-- then quit giving it to them.. you'll over dose them easily.

what is your feeding program, and do the sheep limp?.
 

purplequeenvt

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It could be a mineral or vitamin deficiency, but it could also be that he just has very poor structure.
 

cedarcurve

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purplequeenvt said:
It could be a mineral or vitamin deficiency, but it could also be that he just has very poor structure.
in either account-- culling is the best option.
 

Bridgemoof

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He has been out on pasture for months. When I first got them back in March (they were about 5-6 weeks) they had a creep feed which I'm sure was high in protein, and some corn here and there. Then when the grass started coming in he was put out with the rest. They've always had access to loose sheep minerals from Southern States. He got his CDT vaccine. He's had the BoSe injections 3 times I think.

SheepGirl, I think you made mention of the Vitamin B in another post, and after looking up the benefits of Vitamin B I didn't see anything referencing the relationship between that and foot and ankle joints. BUT, since you get your knowledge and experience from your old time sheep farmer neighbor, I'm going to trust that you know what you are talking about. I'm going to go to Southern States this morning and get some.

Out of the 5 lambs we bought, 2 have the problem. Beastie and Snowcap had the same father (Jacob) and different mothers. Snowcap had the Icelandic mother. They've all been fed the same thing since I got them. So it's 50/50 whether or not it's genetics or vitamin/mineral deficiency.

I'm still debating having the vet run bloodwork. DH is opposed to it basically.

Thanks everyone for your input.
 

purplequeenvt

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cedarcurve said:
purplequeenvt said:
It could be a mineral or vitamin deficiency, but it could also be that he just has very poor structure.
in either account-- culling is the best option.
I agree. Especially if his pasterns are so bad that it is causing him pain. If they were mine, I would cull the ones with bad legs and start over.
 
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