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Author Topic: Rickets in lambs  (Read 2636 times)

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Online dorpersheep

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Rickets in lambs
« on: August 06, 2011, 09:17:36 AM »
Has anyone successfully treated rickets? The only info I could find in a rush last night was aimed at calves, and suggested exercise (ok), sunshine (I'll do the best I can), and cod liver oil (no problem). I have started all the above. Any other suggestions that might help? We are talking a 5 week old twin ram lamb, whose brother & mum seem fine & in good health. This bloke was fine until 2 days ago when he started to limp. Now he is almost crippled. We've only had rickets once before in a lamb, who died, so any help gratefully received!!!
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Offline Mark

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Re: Rickets in lambs
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2011, 10:10:20 AM »
Hi DS,
 
I couldn't find anything in my books about rickets in lambs, though I do have one that recommends vitamin C for just about everything!! I've never experienced this myself. What were the symptons that your little lamb had?
 
Good luck
 
Mark

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Re: Rickets in lambs
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2011, 12:51:10 PM »
2 days ago noticed a lamb alone in the maternity paddock. 6 hours later saw him still off a bit by himself although mum + brother were nearby, so didn't worry overmuch.
Yesterday realised same lamb was alone again, and seemed to have a swollen hock. When went to catch him he ran off on 3 legs. Uh-oh. Penned him & mum/brother, caught lamb, wondering if he had got a leg stuck in a fence or something and wrenched the joint. Nup, joint not hot or sore. Double uh-oh. Only seen this once, the lamb died within a couple of days as her mum abandoned her. Watched closely for 3-4 hours, didn't see him get a drink. So offered him a bottle (NOT easy with a 5 week old stubborn lamb!) and started him on the cod liver oil, plus B & C. Left family penned overnight.
Today he is swollen in a knee as well as the hock, and the fight has gone out of him - not a good sign. Continuing with the bottles plus the same meds but I have my doubts he will make it.
Strange that his twin is just fine. Only difference in them is the other boy has a real hair coat, this bloke is woolly. The only other lamb we've had with rickets was also a wool coat. Coincidence??
Dorpers are taking over the world - one lamb at a time......

Offline Suzie Q

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Re: Rickets in lambs
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2011, 03:37:51 PM »
I don't know anything about sheep, but if you had said the same thing for a calf I would be thinking Joint Ill, which alas can be fatal.

Offline Heidi

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Re: Rickets in lambs
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2011, 10:35:31 PM »
My thoughts too spring to joint ill/navel ill. Is it possible in lambs? Ring your vet on Monday and ask about it, and if a dose of antibiotics might help.
H

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Re: Rickets in lambs
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2011, 04:27:05 PM »
Yes, joint ill is possible in lambs, although usually very early on, not so common at 5 weeks old. From what i have read joint ill would cause the joints to feel hot, and be sore, neither of which is the case here, they are cool and it does not cause him any pain when you manipulate them (a pretty sure sign of rickets).
Joint ill also requires the infection access, it is usually via the navel soon after birth or after castration/tail docking, neither of which occured here.
Poor little guy didn't make it - but thank you to all for your thoughts & assistance, as always much appreciated.
Dorpers are taking over the world - one lamb at a time......

Offline Heidi

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Re: Rickets in lambs
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2011, 04:32:48 PM »
I'm sorry about that, at that age you sort of think they're home and hosed, but I suppose not.
H

Offline Suzie Q

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Re: Rickets in lambs
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2011, 04:49:48 PM »
Awww Rest in Peace little lambie.

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Re: Rickets in lambs
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2011, 08:21:34 AM »
sorry to hear of your loss.  sad news.  i wonder if it is related to floppy kid syndrome in goats?  also something that may be worth investigating is a selenium deficiency.  this tends to manifest itself most in spring and has similar symptoms to those you describe.  i believe most Australian soils are deficient in selenium so we need to be supplementing via lick blocks: also black sunflower seeds (BOSS) and seaweed are high in selenium....

 

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