This past week was definitely a tough one. When I went out to give the sheep their afternoon hay on Thursday (1/14) I noticed our wether, Pippin, was having trouble walking. He’d stumble and have trouble getting back to his feet. This is the sheep that was attacked by a coyote in April 2008. I called our vet right away and from my description he concluded that the sheep was probably suffering from severe anemia due to a high barber pole worm load. Pippin had gotten increasingly flighty after his recovery, and we were unable to catch him in the fall for worming.
I caught him and wormed him right away and let the other sheep and goats into another pasture so I could hand-feed him and give him some Nutri-Drench. Friday he was worse but still eating. When Dave got home from work we put him in a stall in the barn. He was so unsteady that we had to load him on to our farm wagon and wheel him down to the barn. By Sunday he couldn’t get up by himself; and he stopped eating on Monday. I talked to our vet again to see what advice he could give us. He suggested euthanasia but couldn’t come out until Tuesday morning. Dave decided he would put Pippin down that night so he wouldn’t have to suffer any longer.
Tuesday the state vet came out to take samples before we buried him because we’re in a Scrapie Eradication program with the USDA. At least the past couple weeks have warmed up enough for the ground to thaw a bit!