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Ask Dr. Steven Osborne Your Own Question

Dr. Steven Osborne
Dr. Steven Osborne, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 4277
Experience:  20 years of Veterinary Medicine expertise with experience in canine and feline medicine and surgery
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i have aewe that falls down and has some kind of fit her eyes

Customer Question

i have aewe that falls down and has some kind of fit her eyes rool in her head and she is unable to get up for about twenty mins
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Steven Osborne replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Hi, I'm Dr Steve. I am sorry to hear about your ewe's condition. I have a few questions for you. How long has she been doing this?

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Could she have gotten into any toxins/poisons or poisonous plants?

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Does this happen after exercise or her becoming excited?

Dr. Steven Osborne :

I will check in a few minutes to see your reply.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

I see you are offline. I will give you some thoughts and check back later or possibly tomorrow to see if you have more questions

Dr. Steven Osborne :

From your description there are a few things that could be going on with her. One thing could be a brain infection ( meningitis) this can be caused by bacteria and usually requires antibiotics to treat. Another possible cause cold be enterotoxemia ( overeating disease). This is caused by eating too much grain and having hte rumen overgrow with clostridium bacteria that produce a toxin that can cause "brainer" symptoms. ANother fairly uncommon cause could be Rabies. I once had a ewe that would charge you , then when you stepped to the side she would try to turn and end up falling in a heap. 5-10 minutes later she would get back up and try it again. We had her tested for Rabies and she was positive. This is rare, but any brain symptoms can potentially involve Rabies.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

If Rabies is the problem. you or anyone who ha handled her is at risk of contracting rabies. THis is fatal in humans and sheep. Form now on avoid any contact with her mouth and saliva sinc the Rabies virus can be trasferred from the ewe's saliva to an open wound of cut on you hand and you could get Rabies.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

As you can see with CNS ( central Nervous System) symptoms., it is always best to have avet some out and perform a neurological exam to try to see what may be her exact problem and then he can develop the correct treatment plan.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

I wish there was something else I could tell you or something else you could try at home, but it takes a vet and some equipment to try to determine what her specific problem is and how to treat it , if possible. I hope this has helped give you some idea about what her problem could be. It would be best to have the vet out as soon as possible. The sooner she is treated the better chance of making it she has. I will check tomorrow to see If you have more questions. Thank for your question and good luck

JACUSTOMER-8pjg8t48- :

hello dr osbourne she seems ok to day , but this is what normally happens . she goes down after she is rounded up by the dog or is excited

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Ok, Thanks for that extra information. The possibilities I mentioned earlier are not very likely at all.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

I have a few questions that I hope you can answer for me and I will check late this evening ( it is 2:30 PM here). How old is she? How Long has she been doing this? Does she have a cough? Does she act normally when she is not excited? I look forward to your reply and I will check in around 9:00-10:00 PM my time Thanks for your patience.

JACUSTOMER-8pjg8t48- :

hi she is four ;she does not have a cough , she acts normally when she is not excited. she has done this three times over the last month .

Dr. Steven Osborne :

She is showing some unusual signs for a ewe. Her symptoms are consistent with brain problems. There is a condition called nervous coccidiosis in cattle that may also occur in sheep. This is caused be coccidia ( a parasite in the intestines) that accidentally migrates into the brain and causes symptoms like she is showing.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

This condition seems to be brought on by excitement and that is why it is called "nervous" coccidiosis. To check this possibility out you should have a vet check a fecal sample to see if there are coccidia eggs present. If there are , it is possible that one of the eggs hatched and migrated to the brain. There are oral products that can be sued to kill coccidia, but it would be best to know if there are coccidia present first. With any brain infection or damage there often is inflammation or swelling on the brain that can cause additional problems. You could discuss treating with antiinflammatory medicines like Dexamethasone ( do not use in pregnant ewes) or Banamine to reduce swelling and hopefully this will show some improvements.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

This condition is very unusual and will require some additional testing to try to find out exactly what is going on. If the coccidiosis is notpresent, the next step would be to have a blood test done to look for liver or kidney disease that may be causing elevated nitrogen in the blood. This can also cause some abnormal brain activity. I hope this has helped. I wish I had more of an answer for you, but as I mentioned, this is going to take some hands on investigation to determine the exact cause. Thanks for the question, if you have more questions , I will be checking in daily.

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