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Vet, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 83
Experience:  I have spent many years in mixed practice, dealing with all the major species.
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A 4 year old ewe suddenly off her food. has never had a lamb

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A 4 year old ewe suddenly off her food. has never had a lamb although previously with a tup and has been with one this season (Nov 2014). I'm pretty sure she isn't pregnant because she should have had a bag by now and hasn't and the other ewes have. She is drinking water a lot, has lost weight over the last week and is weak. She has developed a very noisy gut and has noise from her throat-sounds like indigestion. After not eating at all, she has started to take a few sheep nuts, but very slowly and not enough to keep her alive in the longer term. She is very miserable. Have noticed she passes urine but have seen her straining and have not seen any dung passed. Has she an intestinal blockage and if so, what can be done? She is drinking a lot of water.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If I can have an answer within the next 24h I'll wait, otherwise I would like to close my question with you and receive my money back.

Hi there, vet Andrew here.
I have just spotted your question about your ewe and see that no-one has answered it for you.
1. Is she bloated at all?
2. Is she dropping food/cud out of her mouth?
3. Has she passed any dung at all?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

There must have been an errpor as this is the second attempt to reply to your questions. Perhaps I selected by mistake the "not satisfied with your expert" hyperlink.

1. no she is not bloated but lost a lot of weight and is moderately weak. She suddenly went off her feed 10 days ago but 4 days ago she started to eat a few sheep nuts and is drinking a lot of water. She is experiencing discomfort on eating and her guts and throat make a lot of noise.

2. no she does not spill food from her mouth and there is no cud

3. I'm sure there has not been any dung passed and I have seen her straining sometimes

Do you think she will recover after making this improvement? She is not eating enough and has not improved any further since starting to eat a little. I don't want her to be uncomfortable if there is no chance of complete recovery and I am thinking of having her put down on Monday if she hasn't improved any further.

Do you think she will make a full recovery?

It does sound as if she's got a gut obstruction, but of course I can't tell for sure without seeing her. If she's not bloated and able to burp then the problem is likely slightly further down the gut.
If she had a full obstruction she would not have survived this long. By all means contiune the penicillin to complete the minimum 3-day course, but my first move in these cases is to dose them twice daily with about 200ml of liquid paraffin. This can be found in good animal feed shops. Also, find some twin lamb disease remedy and use as directed - this will give her instant energy while the paraffin has time to work.
As to her chances, my only guide is experience - about 60% of sheep survive these symptoms, but the fact that this has been going on for 10 days works in her favour - see above. Give the treatments 5 days to work, then make a decision. If she collapses or worsens significantly during this time then have her put down.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How do I dose her with liquid paraffin as she is only eating a little?


The best thing is to put the paraffin in a long-necked wine bottle and insert it into the side of her mouth, holding her head up. Some will be wasted, but most will go in.
Vet, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 83
Experience: I have spent many years in mixed practice, dealing with all the major species.
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