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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 20619
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Why is a dead lambs carcus very yellow in colour kidneys full

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why is a dead lambs carcus very yellow in colour kidneys full of blood and liver spotty ?thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.
Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:
How many lambs have you lost? All 6 months?
Is the fat yellow or muscle?
Had the lambs been vaccinated?
Any access to pasture?
Any access to toxins, odd plants, or heavy metals?
Can you take a photo of this? If you can do so and post them online, it will let me see what you are seeing. To post them, you can either use the paper clip on the tool bar. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, then you can post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr etc) and paste the web address here for me to have a peek.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi 3 Lambs all aprox 6 months old
fat is yellow and muscle
yes all lambs /sheep had Heptivac p
yes access to pasture
Very clean pasture ,have done nothing different to previous years
re photo will do later today
Thank you Any ideas ?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
I would be keen to see a photo when you can post one.
Otherwise, in regards ***** ***** you have told me so far, the first point to appreciate is that the yellow discoloration you have seen of both fat and muscle tells will be due to jaundice. This suggests severe liver damage and failure. We can see this with severe fluke infestations (though the kidney appearance doesn't fit), toxicities (plant, heavy metals, etc), and with some bacterial agents.
Now with those in mind, we have to consider the liver/kidney changes. It is possible to see post mortem autolysis if they have been dead a while. That said, your description does raise some alarm bells for me. Specifically, we can see a friable appearance to these tissues alongside jaundice and sudden death with Clostridium perfringens Type A.
I have reviewed the Heptivac datasheet and this is not covered by the vaccine, so that does make it even more a concern. And while this lamb has probably been open too long to use for diagnostic testing (culture or preferably toxin detection), it may be worth submitting any fresh unopened ones to your local vet/pathologist/vet school for analysis +/- full autopsy if you did want to confirm this.
I hope this information is helpful and I will keep my eyes peeled for your photos this afternoon.
All the best,
Dr. B.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Don't think photos really show how yellow it is
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
forgot to say aprox live weight 110lb dead weight aprox 53lb
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
While it may not appear as bright, I can certainly appreciate the jaundice here. It is quite dramatic, especially on the fat.As well, that is quite a friable hemorrhagic kidney (something we often see with clostridial spp.)
In regards ***** ***** diffuse nodules through the liver, they do look suspicious of diffuse micro-abscesses from a systemic/bloodstream infiltrating bacterial agent (fluke usually leaves more of a tract appearance, and cutting into the nodules will sometimes reveal flukes in hiding). Therefore, again this supports a bacterial agent (likely clostridial) lurking here. And in that case, if we have any more losses, it'd be ideal to have the carcass sampled for bacterial identification. And in the meantime, we could consider antitoxin treatment as a preventative or moving them to a different pasture for the short term.
All the best,
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok thank you all three lambs were born inside then put out then bought back in to fatten up Most abattoirs only see this once in a while we have had 3 in as many months The carcass also has a smell of bleach / urine ?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome,
The odor is likely ammonia and will be due to the struggling liver not filtering the body's toxins as it should have done.
All the best,
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok thank you for your help will get an autopsy done on it .
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
That sounds like a good plan of action to confirm our bacterial species suspicions.
All the best,
Dr. B
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is copper poisoning
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again,
While you noted no access to toxins/metals (with OD's on supplements being implied with that), that isn't the sole issue with that carcass. This is because while copper toxicity could cause the liver damage such to induce jaundice (yellowing), it would have no way to cause micro-abscesses of the liver. Therefore, you may have overdosed some with copper but the diffuse abscessation of the liver is more suggestive of a bacteremia here.
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok thank you. will get second vets opinion in our area tomorrow on the liver. Will let you know what they say as they would have both seen it "in the flesh " .
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome,
That would be fine.
It would be ideal to have them cut into the some of those nodules +/- take a sample for bacterial culture. Because while I don't doubt there is some copper issue here (though odd given you have reared other flocks on the same pasture and with the same management system), it looks like we may have multiple issues.
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sent food samples off to check copper in this feed batch as texels are prone to copper will let you know when we have all results back HO HO HO never marry a farmer !!!!!!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, it is always a challenge no matter how routine things may seem. Anyway,I am glad you are having that feed checked (though it'd be a shame if the company messed up the copper levels here).
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cattle seem to be on higher copper % if the food gets muddled up BINGO you know the rest Just glad we have hopefully found the cause Will let you know the full report when completed Many thanks
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
That's true.
Though with sheep (and goats) being so copper sensitive, you'd hope a food company would be vigilant on that score.
Anyway, let me know how you get on,
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi As promised reports from all labs and vet 100% COPPER poisoning level should be 125 -650 actual level was 2180 All reports said basically the same things .Poor lambs !
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Goodness,That is a shocking overdose of copper. I would strongly advise speaking to the manufacturer or distributor of their food as that is quite unacceptable and they will likely need to compensate (or cover costs of testing/losses) if this was a mistake on their end.Take care,Dr. B.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes been with the same food company for 15 years plus All in hand and now being sorted to be fair to them .