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Dr-Bonk, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 236
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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I have a 6 day old lamb that I am hand rearing. She was fed

Customer Question

I have a 6 day old lamb that I am hand rearing. She was fed by her mother for the first couple of days until her mum rejected her. I gathered she had got some colostrum from her mum so I started her on good quality milk replacer for about three feeds. I noticed that she was doing runny stools so I started giving her half milk replacer & half colostrum replacer. I also spoke to the local vet & got some electrolytes so am now alternating milk replacer & electrolytes.
Now she seems to have gone to the other extreme & seems to be straining to do poos & wimpers like it hurts. She only seems to pass a very small amount.
She feeds really well but I try not to give her too much. She is very active & does lots of lamby bouncing.
Should I still be feeding her the electrolytes & do I alternate with milk feeds? Should i be feeding her water as well? I hate seeing her cry out when trying to go to the toilet.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The noise must be worrying. I'll connect you to the Veterinarian. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the lamb?
Customer: I think I have mentioned everything. I live in a small town & there isn'the a vet in town for another 4 days.
JA: What is the lamb's name?
Customer: Molly
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr-Bonk replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I'm Dr. Bonk. I'm sorry to hear about your lamb's troubles. What you can do to try to relieve the constipation is put some mineral oil or vegetable oil in with the milk. About 10 cc with every feeding of milk for three or four feedings. If that doesn't work, you can try giving an enema. You can use either soapy water or mineral oil, use a 10 cc syringe and put the water or oil gently up her rectum. Let her force it back out. You can repeat this several times until some fecal material passes.

Also, be aware that feeding her the mineral or vegetable oil might give her diarrhea for a short time, but that's okay. It should resolve once the oil has cleared her system. Continue giving her electrolytes at least once a day to keep her hydrated until things are normal again.

If she doesn't improve with these treatments or gets worse, gets bloated or stops eating, it is time to see a vet for further work up.

I hope this helps. Please contact me with any further questions you may have. Thank you and good luck!