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  Don Bailey, D.V.M. Vet Check  

    If you’re puzzled about a sheep health problem, write immediately to Dr. Bailey at the above address. He thoughtfully responds by mail to your sheep questions, and some of his answers get published in sheep! to help readers with similar problems.

    Please do not ask Dr. Bailey to practice medicine over the telephone. If you have an immediate problem, call your local veterinarian.

    Always remember to check with Dr. Bailey for a second opinion. Questions sent via E-mail to sheepmagazine@citynet.net will be forwarded to Dr. Bailey.

Scar Tissue In Udders

This lambing season I have found some ewes’ udders with scar tissue. They will be culled since their young are bottle babies.

This weaning I would like to infuse a dry cow formula into their teats. Would you still have an adapter that will fit the end of the syringe?

I have enclosed a self-addressed, stamped envelope and two dollars, in case there is one available.

I read your column faithfully. I rip out all the Vet Checks and put them in a three ring notebook for future reference. Keep up your excellent work!

Suzanne, Pennsylvania

After receiving your note, I sent you a plastic infusion tip. I am getting low on them. You can keep them in alcohol, but do not sterilize them in hot water. If you are dealing with contagious mastitis, then your “dry cow” treatment is indicated with a repeat in 30 days, but if you are seeing O.P.P. (Ovine Progressive Pneumonia, or hard bag) you would be advised to have your flock blood tested. That scar tissue you see now is probably due to chronic mastitis left over from last year’s weaning. Your infusion should help prevent new cases.

Best Breeds For Oregon

I have read your articles in the sheep! magazine for a number of years-look forward to them every other month. I have learned so much from them and always find you are right. I am 79 years old, still raise a few sheep. I would like to ask you what breed do you recommend for the Oregon climate, and do you know of anyone who raises the Polypay? I would like to get two or three registered ewes. Don’t have to have papers, just so they are good blooded Polypay.

Maxine, Oregon

Because western Oregon and eastern Oregon are so different climate-wise, it is hard to recommend one breed. You are in almost eastern Oregon and could probably use some of the fine wool breeds. Here in western Oregon it is too wet and the coarse wool sheep do better. Polypays are a fine breed. They should do a good job for you. …The Breeder’s Directory in sheep! lists Polypay sheep. Mr. Jeorge Nichols was a turkey breeder here in Roseburg before he moved to California to develop the Polypay breed.

Twinning, Teasing, Worming, Knots

I am from West Virginia and have a small farm. I raise Suffolk and Dorset sheep.

Right now I am in the middle of my lambing time. Normally most of my sheep have twins. This year I have had quite a few singles from ewes that have twinned before or have the capacity to twin. Would there be some reason why? I flushed my ewes as usual and I don’t recall that they were stressed in the early stages of pregnancy. My husband blames our ram. He is three years old and was with 38 ewes. All were bred but four ewe lambs.

Should I have my ram tested for semen quality?

Would a teaser ram help? I am somewhat interested in having a teaser ram. I have two ram lambs that would be a candidate for a teaser ram.

Would I be able to give the ram a vasectomy myself or should I get a vet?

What age should the lamb be?

To a different subject, I vaccinate my lambs with CoVexin-8 every year and the lambs usually get a knot at the injection site. It doesn’t seem to bother them; it just looks bad (especially in a show lamb). What am I doing wrong?

Also, in the March/April edition of sheep! you talk about worming with Ivermectin. Is this the same as the injectable Ivermectin 1% for cattle and swine? If so what is the dosage?

Thank you so much for all the great advice you give in sheep!

Nicole, West Virginia

Twinning varies from year to year in the same flock, using the same ram. Your ram has proven his worth. My concern would be in your flushing program.

The teaser ram effect on ewes has to do with synchronizing the breeding season, not to cause more twins.

You need to have your veterinarian do the vasectomy. My choice is around six months of age. I don’t recommend giving 8-way vaccine to young lambs. It is too concentrated. Use C & D until lambing, then use 8-way on replacement ewe lambs.

Yes, I use injectable Ivermectin 1-percent orally in sheep. The sheep oral solution has too much volume and results in coughing and choking. I dilute the Ivermec with equal volume of propylene glycol-the same product used in treating ewes with pregnant toxemia. It comes by the gallon and is not very expensive. The dose (of mix) is 2 cc orally per 100 lbs. body weight. This is a small amount. You need to find a horse veterinarian and ask for a “dose syringe” made for Eqvalan®, which is Ivomec used to worm horses. This syringe is accurate and has a small container for the wormer attached to the syringe. The nozzle that delivers the wormer is longer than you need. Don’t push back too far in the throat. Just place it on the back of the tongue and hold the mouth closed until you feel the swallow. You need to have your veterinarian prescribe the Ivermec.

Coughing Feedlot Lambs

It is the season of fat lambs in feed lots, and coughing, coughing, coughing! Which equals prolapsing.

I have in the past used sulfadimethoxine water solution with some success. I just read about putting Tylan® (feed grade) in the ration to help with this problem. What would you recommend and what experiences have you had with this coughing problem?

These are dry lot fed Suffolk lambs-fat lambs.

Marcia, Minnesota

Yes, I have had experience with coughing feed lot lambs. Usually there is an accompanying dust problem that seems to aggravate the coughing. It is referred to as atypical pneumonia. There are a number of causative organisms. The cardinal signs are chronic coughing with a nasal discharge. Sporadic deaths occur and when it occurs, an autopsy will shed light on the causative organism. Tylan® is used in the feed with some success. As a rule the lambs will stay on feed and finish all right with no treatment. We should not overlook the possibilities of Parasitic Bronchitis. Lungworm will cause a chronic cough, too. A fecal test or an autopsy would confirm this diagnosis.

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