Sick Sheep. Can anyone offer any advice?


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
11 Years
Feb 20, 2008
Opelousas, Louisiana
I have barbado sheep and I think that one of my females is sick. She is a little over a year old. The reason that I think that she is sick because yesterday when I came home from work, I do like I always do and let the sheep out into the yard to graze more. Well, this sheep came to the fence but just stood there. She didn't follow the rest of the sheep as they went to graze. She continued to stand there with her head down as if she were grazing but she wasn't. She stood away from the rest of the sheep with little or no contact. After a while, she went back into the fenced yard and just stood there more. Her eyes look good, so I don't think it's worms. I did notice that she could possibly have a little diarrhea because her back side was a little "messy". Yesterday was the first day that she has exhibited this behavior. This is not her normal behavior. The only thing that I can think of that may be wrong is that maybe she got into some feed that she wasn't supposed to. She could have eaten some medicated starter/grower feed or she could have gotten into some bad hay that may not have been good or she could have eaten some of the chicken treats (bread) and the bread may have been molded. These are the only things that I can think of. I dont know if she has eaten or drank water because I was not home to see. I will notice today. If any of these are the reasons, what can I do to help here. Is there some kind of medication that I can give her? I'm at a lost and I don't know what to do. Any advice that you can give me would be helpful.


This is a pic of my girl that is sick.


*Edited to add a pic of my girl.
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usually our sheep get worms. but we have market sheep. The diarrhea usally means over eatting, and/or worms, but again, that's in our market sheep. I don't know if that's the way for yours....

Do you have a vet for her? I wonder if she did overeat and could use either a mineral oil drench or even to be tubed to get any extra gas off her stomach.
I wish you the best with her. Sheep can be difficult once they get sick.
ETA: if you can, could you at least bring a sample of her stool in for a parasite check. If she has them, they others will, too.
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I must admit that I did feed a little extra feed on Wedbesday because it rained so bad that day, I wasn't able to go out and put any feed, so I gave them a little extra the next day (Thursday).

I do have a vet that I can take a sample of her stool. I just have to wait for her to drop some stool and collect it. The only thing is that the vet's office closes at Noon on Saturdays and closed on Sunday. I would have to wait until Monday to take the sample. If I collect the sample this weekend, will it still be ok for testing on Monday?

What can I do for over feeding? Will the bloat just go away or will I need to do something to help her?

I read online that a sick sheep is a dead sheep but I refuse to believe that.
We always kept a bottle of Pepto Bismol (sp?) in the medicine cabinet for our sheep. If your Barbados just has a tummy ache, pepto works really well to relieve some of that gas.

If she has bloat (and you can tell because her sides will get really hard and her abdomen swells up ferociously), then you have a serious problem. Her rumen needs to be pierced to relieve the gas. It's probably better to have your vet do it with you the first time, so you can learn from him/her exactly the right place. The picture you posted looked like an uncomfortable tummy ache to me, so try the Pepto or some other antacid - alka seltzer, something like that. Approximately same dosage as for a human; we are about the same weight. Good Luck.

EDA: Barbados are pretty tough sheep, so you have that going for you. I agree with you that sick sheep are not necessarily dead - I've resurrected many. Now as for chickens . . . .
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I've got Barbados too; does she have a fever? I've never had any of mine get sick, other than when they were very young and I was trying to keep them alive.
Her rumen needs to be pierced to relieve the gas.

That would be a LAST resort

The easy way to take care of of bloat is to give them plain vegetable oil, and you'll start to see results in just a few minutes.
Mineral oil will work, but not as well.

If theyve eaten too much grain, a little baking soda with some water will help neutralize the acid

From the symptoms, I dont thinks she's bloated anyway​
Please watch her close. I had a Katahdin ram who was a little sick one day. Started working on him as hard as I could and lost him. Went from perfectly well to dead in a 36 hour period. Call the vet, if you have one.
make a paste ball out of baking soda put in her mouth it helps toget rid of gas, also leave some out for them as free choice. this helps with bloat

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