Monday, March 25, 2013

Constipation in Lambs - Dairy Sheep Constipation

A constipated lamb usually stands rather humped up, looking uncomfortable with no signs of droppings or a few very hard ones. Sometimes the lamb will grind its teeth and if the condition worsens the lamb may enter into convulsions or die without proper medication.  Administer two tablespoons mineral oil for a small lamb under two weeks old. For lambs over one month old, give ¼ to ½ cup of mineral oil.

There is an external kind of stoppage that is fairly common in very young lambs, usually under a week old. The feces collect and dry into a mass under the tail plugging up the lamb. If not noticed or corrected the lamb will die. Be sure to clean off any visible mass with a warm damp rag, disinfect the area if irritated and lightly apply mineral oil to prevent feces from sticking. Check all lambs on a regular basis. This is another good reason to keep ewes with newborn lambs in a separate pen for the first 3-4 days allowing for easy inspection.
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1 comment:

  1. Hi Andy, we are really worried about our 4 day old lamb. He is very constipated and doesn't seem to have passed any feces for a couple of days now. We have been feeding him diluted formula with brown sugar and rapeseed oil as we read in other forums that helps. We have also been putting oil into the anus about twice a day but just found him shaking in the field up on his front two legs looking into the sky- would you say that was a convulsion? We're stuck as to what to do now- really worried he might die because we're not doing something for him. He walks very hunched up and finds a corner then sits again. One of his eyes is cloudy blue as well with pink outer rather than white. Do you have any advice? Georgia