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I have a 6 week old orphan lamb who has suddenly become lame

Customer Question
on 1 front and rear...
I have a 6 week old orphan lamb who has suddenly become lame on 1 front and rear leg, he's grinding his teeth, still taking milk but under the weather, not himself. He's been in with 2 other orphans that are bigger than him but been fine with them, is it he's been knocked about by one them or a underlying problem. Regards Sue
Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Large Animal Veterinary
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
6/1/2016
Large Animal Vet: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 1 year ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21,662
Experience: As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Does he have any swelling, sore regions or instability when you feel that leg?

Any stiffness or pain when you flex/extend his joints on this leg?

Any fever?

Any belly distension, stool changes, or paling of his gums?

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Hello Dr B
He has no swelling of the legs but they do seem stiff and sore, his gums look pale, he is finding it sore to walk about. He was fine yesterday, he's not off his milk but he seems dull.
Large Animal Vet: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 1 year ago

Thank you,

Poor lad!

Now in regards ***** ***** signs you have reported, we have 2 concerns for this little one. The first is that he has sustained trauma to the legs (ie soft tissue, bone based being less likely here); though with two legs affected we'd be more wary of an infectious polyarthritis (aka joint ill). The latter is very common in lambs as they are immune naive and often arises from bacterial infection in the blood stream localizing into the joint.

With this all in mind, you can consider starting broad spectrum therapy to see if you can get him more comfortable and settled with this leg. To start, we’d want to tackle any bacterial joint infections with a broad spectrum antibiotic. Specifically, you can consider using Penicillin G at 0.5 ml per 10 pounds of his weight daily subcutaneously. Most farm supply stores and vets can dispense this for you.

Otherwise, since he is telling us that he is painful with his teeth grinding and has no signs of stomach ulcers or GI complaints, we can consider an anti-inflammatory for pain relief. Now ideally and especially if you think his gums are paler then the other lambs, then we’d want his local vet to use an injectable anti-inflammatory (ie Meloxicam, Ketoprofen, Flunixin, etc) so we can bypass his stomach. Otherwise and as long as he keeps eating and if he is of a similar shade to his companions, you can consider trying him with a low dose of buffered Aspirin. This can be given at a dose of 2 mg per pound every 12-24 hours. This can be crushed and mixed into Karo Syrup and then syringed orally. Of course, any appetite loss, belly pain or black stools and we'd need to stop this and have him put onto injectable alternative pain relief.

So, these would be our concerns for poor wee Barney. So, you are right to bring him in and monitor. Otherwise, we'd want to make sure he is getting his daily feed allowance but would want to also use the above to address infection and reduce his discomfort here. Of course, if he isn't settling with this, is very pale, or has any of those GI signs; then we'd want to have his local vet involved for further treatment to get him settled.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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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!: )

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Thank you for the prompt reply, my husband thinks he's been beaten up by the other orphans, but it was the grinding of the teeth that I was concerned about. I will take your advise and if he dosen't improve I will take him to the vets. Regards Sue
Large Animal Vet: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 1 year ago

You are very welcome, Sue.

Abuse from the others is always a concern, but I agree his grinding and both legs being affected are just a bit more severe then we'd expect from lamb bullies. So, it is ideal to have him seen (especially with those pale gums), so we can ensure we treat this as effectively as possible for wee Barney.

Best wishes,

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!: )

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Large Animal Vet: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 1 year ago

Hello,

How is everything going with your wee one?

Dr. B.

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