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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16280
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I have six blackbelly sheep. Two are rams, one with a much

Customer Question

I have six blackbelly sheep. Two are rams, one with a much larger rack than the younger. We have six ewes. I noticed yesterday that one of our ewes was squinting and not opening her eyes all the way. I didn't see any discharge, but as with all blacbelly's she is hard to get too close to her. She didn't seem to have any problem seeing where she was going so I am stumped as to what the problem could be and I am concerned about her. We do have a lot of blackberry bushes and all of the sheep eat off of them. Any help you can give would be very much appreciated.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Based on your history about Brownie, we do have a few concerns. Provided she hasn't gotten into any toxic plants (though we'd have expected more animals to be affected if we had a toxic photophobia), our main concerns here would be eye trauma (the bushes are a major predisposing factor that could cause this), corneal ulceration, or a brewing bacterial conjunctivitis. And it is worth noting that even if we have one eye effected, some animals will squint both due to discomfort.

With this all in mind, it'd be ideal to get her into a pen or run where you can handle her. We'd want to gently open both eyes and check for any scant discharge (especially snotty/green/yellow kind as that would indicate infection) as well as clouding/haze to that normally clear cornea covering the eye. Hopefully, we wont' find any thorns stuck in the eye (as these sometimes have to be removed and the conjunctiva surgically grafted over the hole to save the eye), but we'd want to give the affected eye a good flush with sterile saline. This can be purchased OTC as first aid eye wash or plain contact lens solution. This is a mild antiseptic that will help remove any debris/irritants from the eye and reduce any bacterial load present. Finally, since she won't be a likely candidate for twice daily eye drops, we can also cover our bases with an injection of long acting Penicillin (which most farm supply stores carry). This will address our common causes of bacterial conjunctivitis but also help keep infection away if we have an ulcer that needs to heal.

Overall, these would be our main suspicions for the signs we are seeing for Brownie. So, it would be best to catch her so you can have a good check for the aforementioned changes. Depending on your findings, we'd want to use the above approach to help prevent infection and encourage and healing her eye may need to do.

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 11 months ago.
Dr. B was fabulous. Quick response, excellent service that I'm sure will help us deal with our problem. I would recommend her to anyone anytime.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you so much for your kind words, my dear.

I am glad that I could assist you and wee Brownie today. :)

All the best and happy holidays,

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! : )