Aussies Living Simply

Staggering sheep

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  • #255749
    ahningahning
    Member

    I’ve put the subject that way round because I don’t know if what our DorperXMerino sheep is doing is actually Staggers. He’s not falling around, but he’s very restless, lying down and getting up every couple of minutes. First oddness I noticed was about 9 this morning, when his ears were drooping. Then this restlessness – which looks as if he’s in pain – started about 20 minutes ago after I moved them from a paddock onto the driveway.

    They’ve been in the paddock for 3 weeks, in the garden (closely supervised) for an hour or so each day for about the same time, and in the driveway for 4 to 6 hours on about 6 days over the same period. The staggering fellow is by far the most adventurous eater of the four.

    I thought one of the others was coughing a bit yesterday but there’s no sign of that today.

    Can anyone suggest what’s happening or what else I should be looking for. We’ve called our local sheep expert but if it’s really staggers he might not get the call in time?

    Thanks

    Ahning

    #508488
    bushybushy
    Member

    This is a tricky one….could be so many things….at first you described one ready to give birth till I read ‘he’, so it does seem like pain, most likely from eating something, heliotropes will do it also pattersons curse, fast growing phalaris shoots will cause staggers, but what you have described its prolly not staggers. Did the sheep get into the chook food or dog biscuits?

    Hope its nothing too serious

    #508489
    ahningahning
    Member

    Thanks Bushy. No he’s an ex-he, so it’s definitely not imminent labour 🙂 No chook food, but when this is over I’d appreciate more info about that.

    Heliotropes are a possibility. I didn’t see him get into them, but they are in the garden and he does like to sample things. He might also have snatched leaves from some bulbs, most likely bluebells or some kind of daffodil.

    I forgot to mention that he’s rubbing the sides of his head on whatever’s handy – fence, ground, trough – as if it’s either sore or itchy. One other odd thing is that one morning about 6 weeks ago with a large black spot appeared on one ear. It looks like soot but it hasn’t changed at all. I can’t believe that’s significant but…

    Seems quite likely the sheep man won’t call till tonight and wouldn’t get here till tomorrow at the earliest. We don’t know a large-animal vet, though our neighbours have recommended one and we could use their name if we call.

    Would you just wait and see what happens, or do you think we should be taking more immediate action?

    Thanks again.

    #508490

    Is the sheep worth more than the vet bill either emotionally or physically?

    #508491
    BobbeeBobbee
    Member

    :wave:

    :hug: Good luck with your sheep problem Ahning, I do hope it’s nothing serious.

    :hug: :hug: :hug:

    Bobbs :hug:

    #508492
    ahningahning
    Member

    barefoot_misty post=324385 wrote: Is the sheep worth more than the vet bill either emotionally or physically?

    OUCH!!

    I’ve been asking myself that, though not quite so bluntly. I haven’t given myself a definitive answer yet, but I think it would be no IF we were certain we could end pain, which we can’t, IF we were certain he’s in pain, which we’re not, IF we knew he couldn’t recover, which we don’t.

    OTOH, he was looking a little happier last time a checked so maybe he’s getting over whatever it is.

    #508493

    Didn’t mean to OUCH! ya. Been there before, but didn’t have time for a vet.

    #508494
    bushybushy
    Member

    OK, that’s another possibility if he’s rubbing side of head/upper nose parts/forehead, sheep are prone to nasal bott, some sort of fly lays an egg in nose and it grows in a big maggot/grub thingy, wont kill them but drives them crazy.

    It’s also not common

    #508495

    How is Mr sheep now?

    #508496
    ahningahning
    Member

    Good morning sheep lovers.

    Lamram looks a bit more comfortable this morning, in that he’s resting quietly. he latest symptom, which became apparent last night, is that he’s rubbed the skin right off over one eye. We’re now wondering if the whole problem is grass seed actually in the eye – tho’ would that explain the drooping ears? We haven’t been able to catch him and check properly. Sheep man is coming about 10, with dog. I’ll report back this afternoon.

    barefoot-misty, I appreciated being OUCHed. As I said, I have been thinking about the cost of the vet but we’ve been trusting to luck rather than thinking it through, and that’s unfair on the animals. We inherited these sheep with the property so they’re living through all our mistakes.

    Ahning

    #508497
    ahningahning
    Member

    Not quite “this afternoon”, but here’s the morning report.

    The sheep man, who really came as a favour because he’s finished retiring, arrived after I had to go out and just as a very sharp cold change hit, which aparently confused men and beasts. DH says the diagnosis was a wave of the hand, meaning there was obviously a problem but he couldn’t say what it is. The only additional symptom they found from closeup is very pale gums. Bot fly seemed like the most likely cause and he’s drenched for it.

    The sheep was up and eating when I got home. This morning he was laying down quietly when I went to inspect him. He got up when he saw me and he’s steady on his feet. His ears are still very droopy.

    I guess we wait and see.

    One comment from the sheep man was that he used to have a good sheep book but he’d lent it to someone and never got it back. I’m happy to buy a good sheep book: Any recommendations?

    Thanks everyone.

    Ahning (the ignorant)

    #508498
    brymarkbrymark
    Member

    Have you taken its temp silly question I know but that will tell you if it has a temp. If it has a temp then you can treat accordingly.

    Coughing can be a sign on Pneumonia as can a temp. There are lots of things it can be though.

    Has it got lice? They will cause droopy ears, head rubbing and make them look restless and uncomfortable.

    Would not let them out into your garden lots and lots of things are poisonous to sheep.

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