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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20839
Experience:  As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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I have a 3 year old ram who went off feed two days ago...

Customer Question

Hello, I have a 3 year old ram who went off feed two days ago... hasn't eaten anything, drinks too much water with electrolytes, but no food. lost some weight. the rest of the sheep are nice and round and healthy. he moves around the pasture, seems depressed.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if the sheep will be able to digest that. What is the sheep's name?
Customer: George
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about George?
Customer: No.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Forgot to mention that he has the runs, and some green stomach fluids coming out of his mouth on the sides. Looks like it is from the cud when he chews, but doesn't swallow. That was yesterday and the day before that. Today he hasn't had any coming out since he hasn't eaten anything. I think one of his stomachs won't digest food or something? He also has been licking a lot of the white salt block. He sure drinks a lot of water and I mean a lot. I didn't see him urinate. Extremely thin.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
His stomach makes a lot of noises like a boiling pot or gurgling. . .
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me: Any changes in his mouth (ie broken mouth/missing teeth, sores, ulcers, or swellings)?Are his gums pink or pale/white?Any changes to his breathing? Any coughing, sneezing or nasal discharge?What color is the diarrhea? Any black material or blood?Any teeth grinding/crunching, flank watching or kicking, or belly distention?Did he drink more before or after he started using the salt lick?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
His bottom left exterior of his mouth has a swelling of about 3/4 inch wide by 1/8 inch deep.. His gums are pink. No changes to his breathing. Yes, he coughs and has a nose discharge. His diarrhea is black to dark brown in color. No blood. Yes, some teeth grinding. And a mild belly distention right side. He started to drink more after the salt.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** *****!He does sound to be in quite a state. Especially since his thin body condition suggests that he has been having issues for longer then 2 days. Therefore, the appetite loss is likely this chronic issue coming to a head for him +/- a sore mouth.Now in regards ***** ***** stools, if they are black that is a real concern for George. This is because not only do we likely have weight loss, lethargy, and the increased thirst/salt ingestion from the diarrhea; but also black stool is a major warning sign of an upper GI bleed. This could be related to a stomach ulcer but could be secondary to toxins, harmful ingestions and severe GI worm burdens. Just to note, if his thirst spiked after overindulging in the mineral lick, then we may need to limit his access. This is because increased salt intake (a dehydration triggered behavior) will increase thirst and too much can upset their electrolyte balance. That aside, we do need to be proactive if he is off food and fading on us. Therefore, to start, I'd suggest purchasing a liquid (ie Action brand Sheep Syrup, Propylene glycol) feed support for him from your local farm supply. That way we can bypass the sore mouth and get some energy into him. You can keep offering electrolyte solution alongside this. If he starts to perk up, we can hopefully get him eating. Else we may need to crush his pelleted feed and mix with the electrolytes and canned pumpkin (since this is high fiber and will bulk up his stools) to again syringe feed and get some nutrition into him. At the same time, since you noted that swollen mouth, you can start a broad spectrum antibiotic (ie Penicillin) to address any abscesses present there. It will also help if we have a Listeria induced lesions (as they can gain access to the body via mouth wounds). As well, since he is so thin with diarrhea, consider also worming (worms/flukes) at this point as well. As well, to counter damage to the gut, we can you can use antacid therapy to neutralize stomach acid and prevent any further erosion. Antacids are effective in increasing abomasal pH in ulcer cases when administered at 4-6-hr intervals though the efficacy is decreased by ruminal dilution. Therefore doses have to be high (oral doses required for cimetidine (100 mg/kg, 3xdaily) and ranitidine/zantac (50 mg/kg, 3xdaily)). Or (and preferably), we want to be administering antacids via injection rather then orally. Though if those aren't an option, then plan to start OTC Milk of magnesia (Magnesium hydroxide) as this too is a stomach coating antacid. The dose for this would be 5ml for every 20 pounds of his weight twice daily and should be given via oral drench or stomach tube. And while it'd be tempting to use anti-inflammatories for that swollen mouth, do avoid them since their side effects can increase the severity of ulceration in the GI. Overall, I am quite concerned about George. He has a lot going on at the moment. So, we need to address his anorexia with the above but also need to get to the root of it. Therefore, we'd want to take the above approach here to cover all our bases, slow the diarrhea, get some nutrition into him, and protect his stomach. If we can get him feeling better, we'd hope to get him back to eating on his own and thus getting weight back onto him. Please take care, Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )