Friday, March 16, 2012

March Madness

The first day or so of lambing could definitely be called March Madness. Four sets of triplets, a set of quads, and a c-section.

All of the lambs are doing fine except for a lamb from one of the triplet litters. It is smallish and still very weak. I am tubing it, but so far it hasn't shown me that it wants to live. Mother Nature will decide. I think it's a 50-50 proposition as to whether it will survive. (Update: it died).

The c-section was on a crossbred ewe that had developed a bad infection in all four of her feet. I diagnosed her problem as septic pedal arthritis. I don't know for sure if that's what it was, but it sure fit the symptoms I found on the Internet.

The problem had developed over a course of several weeks, starting with a simple limp. Whatever it was, it gradually spread to all four feet and caused her to be walking very far down on her pasterns. I felt so sorry for her. I didn't know her due date, but felt she wasn't far off based on the development of her udder. She had stopped eating, so I knew she was starting to be at risk for pregnancy toxemia. It was time to get the lambs and put an end to her misery.

The c-section was successful. The vet delivered two live lambs. After the lambs were out, he euthanized the ewe. He had confirmed that she wasn't going to be able to recover from the infections in her feet. He opened one of the feet; it was infected in both claws. A nasty mess. Poor girl. The infection had been unresponsive to antibiotics. I/we don't know what could have been done to stop the course of the disease.

There's still plenty more lambs to come and probably several more sets of triplets.

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