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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16202
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I have a baby lamb that is 19 days old. The mother died at

Customer Question

I have a baby lamb that is 19 days old. The mother died at birth and the lamb never got colostrum. When we found it a crow had pecked one of its eyes out. It was infected. We gave it pencillin and the eye socket appears to no longer be infected. It is drinking well and drinks the prescribed feeds each day. About a week ago it started limping on one front leg. We could not find any open wound nor did there appear to be any heat in the joints. After a few days it seemed to be limping on the back leg as well - on the same side. It seems to be stiff. The front knee joint may be a little swollen but does not feel hot. We have been experiencing terrible weather over the last two days and it has been kept in a small shed with hay. Today the lamb was reluctant to get up for one of its feeds, but drank well. At the next feed it got up and came out of the shed - albeit limping and again drank well. Any advice would be welcome.
Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
When was her last dose of Penicillin for the eye?
Have you taken a rectal temperature? What was the reading?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Last dose of pencillin was when she was 6 days old. Have not taken her temperature
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
Based on your wee lass's current history, her signs are highly suggestive of bacterial septicemia that is leading to joint ill in multiple joints (even without joint heat). This is very common in lamb's her age but is a very high risk for a lamb that hasn't had colostrum (since that is effectively their immune system for the first 4-6 weeks of life).
Therefore, in this case, we'd want to restart the Penicillin now or consider using an alternative (ie Oxytetracycline). Furthermore, to reduce stiffness, you can warm compress, massage, and flex/extend those affected joints. Just to note, in case you do not have a compress on hand, you can make one by using a clean sock filled 2/3rd full with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min). Make sure to shake it before use to allow the heat to distribute. Make sure its not too hot as we don’t want to burn her. If it cools, you can re-warm as required.
Overall, her signs are characteristic for bacterial sepsis inducing infectious arthritis (joint ill) into multiple joints. So, at this stage, we'd want to use broad spectrum treatment to fight this off for her and give her the best chance of recovering from this without a permanent limp.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we will give her 1ml of pencillin. How many of these will she need? Every three days?Also she has not had her six in one vaccine yet - should we give her that too? And can that be administered if she is on pencillin?Many thanks Jacinta
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome, Jacinta.
First, we cannot vaccinate her until this is settled. Vaccinating while they are unwell will risk bombarding her immune system too much and allowing the infection a chance to get a great hold on her. So, we need to settle this completely, give her a week to restore normal immune function and then vaccinate.
Otherwise, dosing is going to be based on the preparation you have (since they can have different IU/ml strengths), so you do need to check the label for that. Otherwise, if you can give me her weight and the IU/ml on the bottle, I can work that dose out for you.
All the best,
Dr. B.
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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

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