Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Perils of Farming - the story of our "Black Bag" Ewe

The first ewe to produce a lamb had a ewe-lamb about 6 days before any of the others.  We called her one lamb "Fluffy".

At injection time and drenching we noticed that one of her udders was all blood-blistery under the skin, all the udder had gone hardish and swollen and the teat was protruding up and about twice the size of the other side. Like a pyramid on one side, and she was limping so it was obviously sore.

We called the vet on the phone who diagnosed her with mastitis, sight unseen.  We started her on antibiotics which I had to inject her with, and Mastalone injected into both teats following milking her out by hand every night for 5 nights.  She was kept separate with her lamb in the yards, so I could keep an eye on her and treat her every day.

She stopped limping and recovered her oomph, so we let her back out into the flock.

Then last weekend we did our crutching.  There she was again, this time with most of the udder fallen off and hanging on by a thread of "meat".  All the wool had also gone from her underside.  We called the vet, again.  He came out within 1/2 an hour and operated, cutting off the udder totally.  She had a large open sore where it had fallen off by itself, but it looked good, no infection, and it was granulating and healing nicely in the from the edges.

He shot her up with antibiotics again and left with instructions to treat her for flystrike a couple of days later.  Well, we got them into the yards again today, and put on the flystrike powder.  The wound looked great.  It has decreased in size down to about a 10cm square piece and is all healed looking.

I can't believe one her udders just "fell off"!  how wierd is that, and what a lot of pain she must have been in.  She certainly is one tough old bird!

Apparently she will raise a lamb quite successfully with just one teat, but if she has twins we should take on off her next year and hand raise it.