Sunday, June 16, 2013


A single tear rolled down my face, as Scarlet slumped to the bed of my truck. The drug that the vet injected into her jugular vein worked fast. Her death was peaceful.  She died in my arms.

A month or so ago, Scarlet had begun breathing very heavily. In fact, you could hear her breathing from across the barn. Her nostrils were also very clean, like a horse's. I treated her with two different antibiotics, but to no avail. Then one day, a growth appeared outside her right nostril. The growth, a probable tumor explained her labored breathing. It would have to be dealt with.

Scarlet raised twin rams in 2012.
A vet removed the growth, but the stem was still inside her nose. Removal of the growth did not have any effect on her breathing. There was minimal bleeding. I don't think the removal caused much pain.

If the tumor was cancerous, Scarlet would have to be euthanized. If the growth was benign, she would require surgery. The surgery would be extensive, expensive, and not necessarily successful. Without surgery, Scarlet's breathing would remain strained and the growth would likely expand to her other nostril. The vet said there was already some inflammation in her nasal passages.

Scarlet's first lamb.
Scarlet was six years old. She had raised eleven lambs, including one set of triplets and a single ram lamb this year. I decided it was best to have her euthanized.

Baby Scarlet
I'll always remember Scarlet as one of my favorite ewes. My niece had named her. From the day Scarlet was born, she was sweet and friendly. She was never afraid of me. She was a good producer, who raised many good lambs that I sold for breeding.

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