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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21196
Experience:  As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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My sheep was chased by a dog yesterday and although not

Customer Question

My sheep was chased by a dog yesterday and although not attacked, is traumatised and won't get up. We got her back into the stable, but every time we try to get her on her feet her back feet are curled under and she won't stand
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Did the dog have any actual contact with Ethel?
Did she walk back to the stable after the attack or was she down then too?
Does the whole leg curl up (like she is holding them up and won't put them down? Or just the back feet (as if she is trying to stand on the top of her hoof)?
Does she stand as if she cannot use those legs?
If you pinch or poke a needle into the skin above her hoof, can she feel it?
Since she is older, has she had any issues with stiffness, slowing down, or arthritis before?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Dr. B, thank you for getting back to me.
The dog didn't have any actual contact with Ethel, just chasing her, scaring the daylights out of her. She rushed to a stone wall and we found her sitting there and hauled the barking dog away from her - not contact, as I said, just barking from about 6 ft. away.
She didn't walk back to the stable - we hauled her on a log carryer to a place where we could get the front loader tractor near her and I rode up with her in the bucket.
She hasn't walked since then, but has moved about the stable - away from the water bowl then away from the sun. When we try to lift her she extends her legs down, but wont uncurl her back hooves and just wants to collapse back down again. Yes, as if she is trying to stand on the top of her hoof. She doesn't stand, so I cant really say that it is as if she cannot use those legs - she actually doesn't use them.
She has had various issues before (she is a rescue) but not obvious arthritis or stiffness. She has slowed down and also hasn't enjoyed this summer with heat, humidity and flies and tends to find a corner to lie down in.
I look forward to your reply. Helen
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Helen,
Did you know if she could have hit the wall when running from this dog?
Have you noticed her passing dark or brown urine since this happened?
Or pass any urine at all?
And while I know it sounds harsh to do, did you try poking her back leg with a needle or give her a pinch to see if she could feel it? (just as we need to determine if she has feeling in these back legs)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She has passed urine - on my white pants! and it wasn't dark brown - usual sort of colour.
I don't know if she hit the wall. She was about three feet away from it when we found her. She's just eaten a couple of kale leaves. She is looking perky still and sitting on her sternum.
I'll go and try her with a needle. Helen
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
well, she definitely felt the needle on both her back ankles. winced and turned to glare at me.
By the way, my daughter is a massage therapist and adjuster and wellness therapist and came to look at her last night. It was admittedly first time with a sheep, and she felt there was nothing broken, but there was some clicking. She wondered a) if she was traumatized from reaching unaccustomed speeds in a short time or b) she also wondered if the sacrum was displaced somehow.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
While its not ideal for that to happen for you, I am glad to hear that she can pass urine and that it looks normal. As well, while I do apologize to Ethel, I am very glad to hear that she could feel the poking and prodding. The reason why both are so important is because her signs (this hoof knuckling) raises concerns of either severe weakness/discomfort associated with having stressed her aged joints or could also fit with a spinal trauma (ie inflammation, a bleed or emboli compressing the spine, or even a disc dislocation). But if she can feel her feet when we poke, this does suggest that she still has nerve function and reduces the risk of severe spinal disease secondary to this situation.
Now we don't often see sacral displacement in sheep and it wouldn't fit with the lack of severe trauma here. That said, clicking in the joints is a common finding in arthritis. So, your daughter's findings does make our concerns of underlying arthritis being present. And therefore her signs are likely related to discomfort from having strained her compromised joints as she tried to evade the dog.
With this in mind, we'd want to start her on some supportive care here. First, if she is down, you will need to keep her deeply bedding and turn her every 4 hours to avoid pressure sores. Furthermore and as your daughter can likely guide you, we'd want to start using passive range of motion exercises for her while she is down. This is where you gently flex and extend all her joints as she would naturally move them. This will keep her muscles from getting stiff or atrophying. Further to this, we can warm compress these joints for her as well.
Otherwise, we do need to consider starting her on an anti-inflammatory pain relief to reduce swelling/inflammation for her joints. Ideally, we'd want to obtain this from her vet. But if you have any delay in doing so, then I would note that you can consider starting her on OTC buffered Aspirin. If you need to do this, you can give her between 50-100mg per kilogram of her body weight twice daily. This can be crushed and mixed with molasses or water to give via drench. This should be given with or after food to avoid giving her any stomach upset.
Overall, thankfully her signs do not sound spinal as they first did with her knuckling. Instead, it sounds like Ethel has been coping with arthritis but this episode has lead her to overdo movement and thus case her weakness and collapse. Therefore, we'd want to start supportive care to address this for her at this stage. Of course, if you try the above but she is still so uncomfortable that she does not respond to our home care, then we'd want to have her local vet start her on prescription pain relief (ie Carprofen, Flunixin, Meloxicam, Dexamethasone, etc) to reduce that joint inflammation and get her back on her feet.
All the best for Ethel,
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so much. The vet will be coming tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile I'll put her on deep bedding and get some help moving her joints around. I have some aspiring USP for animals. I'll try and get a dose into her.
Do I have to worry about her not drinking?
Thank you so much for your help. What a wonderful service. I really needed some feedback as I have to wait a further 24 hours for my vet, and I just wanted to be doing the right thing meanwhile.
you are great. Helen
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome, my dear.
It is not ideal that she isn't drinking, so I'd try sweetening it with molasses to see if we can encourage her to drink. Otherwise, you can syringe/drench water or use an electrolyte solution (ie Resorb, Lectaid, etc) to keep her hydrated until she starts drinking on her own or until her vet can give her some fluids subcutaneously (under her skin).
All the best,
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok thank you so much. I hope if I ever have to ask again that I get you. warmly - Helen
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome, my dear.
Should you need me again for any thing with Ethel or any other wee ones, you need only start your question with "For Nekovet/Dr. B." and I do promise to answer as soon as I am online.
Take care,
Dr. B.
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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Ethel. How is everything going?
Dr. B.