Which leg is involved?
Is she sloughing both claws or one claw of the foot?
Do the claws on the other three feet appear abnormal?
Have you seen any sloughing of the tips of the tails or tips of the ears in any of the lambs?
How many lambs were affected in the previous episode?
Has this happened to any of your ewes?
Maybe you didn't get my previous response?
No problems with ears or tails. Two or three lambs were affected in previous years.
No older animals have this problem. We have not had foot rot for over 15 years.
Lambs are given .25cc BoSe and .5 cc vitamin B on the first day. We have a problem with thiamine deficiency blindness in the last several years. Treatment is nearly always successful.
One more question, please.
Do you see any wounds or scrapes on the hind legs?
The best thing to do to save her is to continue with the Banamine and the Baytril, but give the Baytril once each day. Bandaging the affected feet will help to prevent infection. The bandages should be changed daily.
Are you feeding any grain to your ewes at this time?
I feed whole oats to ewes during pregnancy and while lactating. They have access to abundant spring grass now, so feeding less.
I have a second lamb now limping. Same age as first lamb, but developed problem later.
What do you think about using Banamine? What about a drying agent like Iodine?
Do the claws of the second lamb appear to be normal?
Banamine is an antiinflammatory drug. If it reduces inflammatory swelling it could give your lamb some comfort.
Iodine could burn and damage the exposed tissue. I would not use iodine solution in this case.
The second lamb is just like the first. One rear foot affected, only one claw has sluffed the nail. Otherwise the hoof looks normal. There are no other injuries.
Do you have any idea of how to prevent this in future?
There are fungi that produce toxins called mycotoxins. Grains can be infected by these fungi. Animals that eat infected grains can be affected by mycotoxins. One group of fungi called ergot will produce toxins that damage blood vessels. Tissues of the limbs, ears, and tail will slough because the blood flow to those tissues is interrupted.
If you only had only one lamb with the hoof problem, I don't think ergotism would be the cause of the sloughing. The facts that you may be having another lamb with the problem and that you've had this problem in the past makes me wonder about ergot.
I know that animals that consume infected grain can have the sloughing problem, but I don't know if nursing lambs (not consuming the grain) can develop the problem. The question is are the ewes eating something that is being passed to the lambs in the milk?
Ergot can cause reduced fertility in ewes.
The other important question is if the ewes are consuming infected grain, why aren't they having the sloughing problem or reduced fertility?
I suggest that you contact a large animal veterinarian and any sheep ranchers in your area to see if the problem occurs where you live.
Another thing you might do (and it would require some tact) is to ask the supplier of your grain if there have been any reports of sloughing by other people who have bought the grain.
I may be way off base with the ergot idea, but if you are seeing this in more than one lamb I think the ewes are consuming something that is passing to the lambs in the milk.
If you have a veterinary diagnostic lab or a veterinary college in your area, it would be a good idea to contact them.