Author Topic: Congenital Goiter in newborn lamb  (Read 2883 times)

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Offline Farmergirl

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Congenital Goiter in newborn lamb
« on: October 11, 2011, 08:21:19 AM »
Hello all, I have a newborn lamb (2 days old now) with lump at the front of the neck around middle area.  I've been googleing and it most probably is a congenital goiter - which means the ewe had an iodine deficiency during pregnancy.  My other lambs this year (8 of them) were okay so it may be that particular ewe has a reduced capacity to take up iodine into her system.
My problem though is the lamb.  It is not strong, but is feeding well and eagerly (from a bottle - I am milking what I can from the ewe and supplementing with formula) - it has not got a strong enough suck to drink from the ewe's teat, but is taking around 500-600ml per day from bottle.  It drinks, then goes back to sleep.
I have looked elsewhere on the internet and can find advice on prevention, but not on any treatments for the lamb.  Does anyone have any experience with this? 
I am thinking of taking the lamb into the vet tomorrow to see if they have any ideas.

Love to all
Sandra

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Re: Congenital Goiter in newborn lamb
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 09:13:02 AM »
Hi Sandra,
Sorry to hear about your lamb. I too could only find info on prevention. If you do get to the vet, please let us know what they say so that if ever presented with it we might have a clue as to what can be done.
I hope it is a simple fix.
Cheers, Cate
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Offline Farmergirl

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Re: Congenital Goiter in newborn lamb
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 06:06:18 PM »
I spoke with the vet on the phone and he confirmed from my description that it is indeed a congenital goiter.  He had to look up a response and get back to me - later he said that the situation was not hopeless, and to give the lamb a "pinch" of table salt containing iodine daily, or wipe iodine tincture on the sheep's teats, and see how it goes.  Also to treat the flock during next season's gestation (don't know quite what that entails yet though). 
Lamb and mum went out for a little graze today for just over an hour - baby walked about a little but is still wobbly, but is eager for feed from bottle.  I've decided that as it doesn't have a strong suck, and because mum's teats are not free flowing, that I will abandon attempts to keep her milk going by milking her, and just bottle feed the lamb - letting her keep it with her of course (she is mothering well apart from the feeding bit). 

Offline Farmergirl

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Re: Congenital Goiter in newborn lamb
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 06:17:37 PM »
Just did some more research on internet - DPI Tas website has info - here is link

http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/WebPages/SSKA-4ZLVN4?open

Basically due to higher than average rainfall, pastures grow lush and particularly in sandy soils (rather than clay) and when only lightly stocked, animals do not eat enough of the soil to get their minerals - so can result in iodine deficiency leading to development of goitre in offspring.





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Re: Congenital Goiter in newborn lamb
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2011, 08:54:13 AM »
A supplement of seaweed meal will up their iodine levels. If you can get hold of a copy, read Pat Coleby's book I think it is called "Healthy sheep naturally" or something along those lines. Many libraries around the place have copies for loan. If you try to buy it over the net, don't do as I did and buy a US copy - the supplier's list is useless!!   :tongue:
 
You are doing the right thing getting lamb to grow up with mum even if you have to feed it - at least that way they grow up learning how to be a sheep rather than a spoiled pet! Keep up the good work, sounds like you are doing a great job.
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Offline Farmergirl

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Re: Congenital Goiter in newborn lamb
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2011, 05:41:27 PM »
Thanks Dorpersheep - will try to get a look at the book and also use the seaweed supplement - assume I can get this through my local rural supplier?
Baby doing very well today - got up this morning and she wasn't interested in the bottle and seemed to have a round tummy, then I saw she was drinking for herself from mum, so I've been made redundant!  I let them out in the nursery paddock this afternoon so mum can graze, just about to bring them back into the warm straw lined shed.
So all is looking up, but I'm still not sure about the prognosis for this lamb - I suppose I will have to cull her to the freezer and not keep her as a breeder. 

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Re: Congenital Goiter in newborn lamb
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2011, 04:22:22 PM »
Yay!!! That's great news that she's drinking off mum. Excellent outcome. I am not sure what the long term prognosis is for her, if you can breed from her or not, but if I can find something out in one of my books I will post here.
There are 2 types of seaweed meal, I know one is better than the other, I will try and find out for you - but yes, local rural supplier should have it/be able to get it.
 
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Re: Congenital Goiter in newborn lamb
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2011, 05:21:35 PM »
as it is quite expensive you can buy it in small bags and you only need a bit at a time.  i think some lick blocks might have iodine in them?

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Re: Congenital Goiter in newborn lamb
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2011, 10:01:45 AM »
Just to let everyone know, the lamb is now growing well, looking strong, playing, and the goiter has almost disappeared.  I am painting some tincture of iodine on the soft flesh inside the thigh weekly, as apparently it absorbs through the skin.
With the blocks, I have read that the iodine quickly leaches out.  I have been feeding a pinch of Vita Max (seaweed meal) with their pellets when I bring them into the shed nightly, but now that they are big enough to stay out in the paddock all night, that's no longer an option and there's just too much grass to warrant giving them pellets without another reason.


So the focus now is on giving a supplement to the lamb only, and I will make sure all the ewes get iodine and mineral supplements in the third part of their pregnancy next year.


Thanks everyone!  Been a good learning experience!

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Re: Congenital Goiter in newborn lamb
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2011, 04:53:09 PM »
I've got a tub full of iodine pellets somewhere if you want to use them.
It's not rocket surgery!

 

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