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Dr-Bonk, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 227
Experience:  Five years as a veterinarian performing farm calls for livestock, including herd health checks, vaccinations, and pregnancy testing. Also operate a small cow/calf operation.
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My lambs have stunned growth, diarrhea, weight loss, drag their

Customer Question

My lambs have stunned growth, diarrhea, weight loss, drag their hind legs and eventually die. what could be cause? They are 4 months old
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr-Bonk replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I'm Dr. Bonk. I'm very sorry to hear about your lambs' troubles. It sounds like your lambs are experiencing copper deficiency. There are two forms, the congential form, or swayback, which is apparent at birth, and the acquired form, or enzootic ataxia, which shows up in the first few months. These lambs show a progressive paresis or weakness in the limbs along with muscle atropy and unthriftiness. They can also show diarrhea and abnormal fleece. This usually occurs due to lack of copper in the ewe's or lambs diet. It can occur due to copper deficient soils or soils that are too high in other elements that interfere with copper absorption. You should get any other lambs on a copper supplementation. There are many forms available including drenches, injections and sustained release boluses. You may also want to provide a different trace mineral mix formulated specifically for sheep and possibly have your soil tested for copper blocking agents. Your best bet would be to contact your local feed store to see what products they have available.I hope this helps. Please contact me with any further questions you may have. Thank you and good luck!