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Orphan lamb with Scours

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

We purchased 3 orphaned female lambs yesterday ages 5 days, 6 days and 8 days.  I'm certain one of them (6 day old) has scours. Probably from overfeeding but not certain.  We are brand new to lambs.  She ate her milk fine at mid bottle yesterday but refused to eat last feeding and morning feeding.  That's when I realized she had diarrhea.  Doing much research realized she has scours.  I think she probably already had it when we brought her home.  I made some electrolyte supplement from water, honey, salt & baking soda that I found on a ranchers site.  I have forced her to eat the electrolyte solution twice but am only able to get about 2 oz in her each time.  She isn't nearly as energetic as yesterday and this worries me.  How often should I feed her this, should she still be eating milk substiture etc... and please advise what else to do?    


Edited by Raggedyroad - 5/1/16 at 11:24am
post #2 of 4

She should be on a milk replacer that is formulated specifially for lambs.  The electrolyte/baking soda/honey mix is fine for adult animals, but I would not give it to nursing babies.  Very young nursing lambs like yours get 100% of their nutrition from milk, and giving her that solution is offering only empty sugar from the honey and nothing else.  You can mix a bit of honey in with her milk for quick energy, but that's the only thing I would mix in with the milk.  Taking her completely off of milk is hurting her.

The first thing I would do for her is give 5cc of Peptobismol or Kaopectate orally.  Do not use  Immodium.  You can repeat that dose again later this evening.  This will help dry up her diarrhea long enough for you to figure out what is actually causing her problem.  If she is acting slow and "off" then you are likely dealing with sickness or parasitism, not just an excess of milk.  It would be a good idea to get her in to a vet first thing Monday morning to have a fecal test done to check for parasites and coccidia.  Good luck with her.


Edited by WallabyOfChaos - 5/1/16 at 1:14pm

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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

(Wallabyofchaos)

She is on the replacer milk.  She seems to feel better since I have force fed her the last 2 times with the Dumor electrolytes.  I added milk to it so that it was about half and half.  I just gave her some Pepto about 30 minutes ago.  I had to run to the store for it.  She is still weak but seems stronger than this morning.  I have done a ton of reading on different sites and rancher's blogs and they all say to give the electrolytes in addition to the milk.  So she is getting about half and half.  I'm hoping she will eat a bit more on the next feed.  She ate around 4 oz maybe a bit less on this last feed.  I will add more milk with the electrolytes next feeding. I wouldn't cut the milk completely I was just concerned about getting her energy back up.  My store only had the tablet form for the Pepto-bismol.  What do you think would equal 5cc.  One of the sites said to give her 1/2 tablet crushed per day.  I crushed it very fine and got her spit on my finger and just kept dipping in the Pepto and placing it on her tongue till it was mostly gone.  The internet is so confusing since every site tells you something different and sometimes the complete opposite on the site you looked at previously.  We also purchased Probios and started her on that.  We also gave some to the other 2 lambs.

post #4 of 4

That's good that you didn't quit milk entirely.  You would be surprised at the number of people who do, and then are confused as to why their lambs died.

 

I don't use the pepto tablets because I can't accurately measure a dose with them, so I don't know what would equal 5 cc. 

 

The point of giving Pepto is just to dry the little critter up long enough to keep her alive so that you can determine the actual cause of the diarrhea.  There is a strong chance that you are dealing with Coccidiosis, which can afflict any animal regardless of age or background, and does not always manifest as bloody diarrhea in sheep and goats.  Did their breeder talk much about their flock health program?  Knowing what kind of deworming and vaccination schedule their mothers were on could help your vet with a diagnosis. 
 

Yes, there is a lot of conflicting information out there amongst bloggers, and sadly much of the information out there in the blog world is just wrong.  Here is a really, really good resource for sheep information:  sheep101.info
That website is run by the sheep and goat specialist with the University of Maryland.  She knows her stuff.  Also, you can read the Merck Vet Manual online here:  http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.html

Another thought - are you certain that they had colostrum at the appropriate time?  If she missed getting good colostrum in the first 24 hours, then the outcome is generally not a positive one.

Hopefully she feels better this evening and is back to her normal self by tomorrow.

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Mottled Cochin & Frizzled Cochin Bantam Chickens in Black, Blue, and Splash

 

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