It’s been a while since I posted. Things have been a little crazy lately…sometimes I think another crisis is right around the corner!
Last Wednesday I noticed Rosy, our ewe who had triplets, just wasn’t herself…she wasn’t walking around much and her ears were droopy. When I took grain into the girls she didn’t come for food. That confirmed my suspicions – she’s always the 1st to come for food. She didn’t appear to have a fever but her udder was discolored in spots like it was bruised. I called Dale (our vet) and he didn’t like was I described to him. He’d be to our place in about 2 hours to check her out.
Getting Rosy from the front field to the barn wasn’t too easy…she did not want to walk and I didn’t want to push her too much because it was obvious she was in pain. Dale examined her and, just like he thought, she had mastitis. He gave her some fluids and medicine for the pain and shock, as well as a long-acting antibiotic. This type of mastitis is called “blue bag” because the infection affects the blood supply to the udder, resulting in discoloration. The affected tissue may become gangrene and eventually slough off.
Dale gave me instructions and left medication. 2 – 60 cc syringes of electrolyte/amino acid and 1 – 60 cc syringe of calcium gluconate (SQ) twice a day for 4 days. Banamine once a day for 4 days and another shot of antibiotic to administer in 1 week. He also left his stomach tube and pump in case I needed it. Dale told me if Rosy was around for the 2nd antibiotic shot, she’d make it. He also suggested that I leave her lambs with her, as long as they don’t beat her up trying to nurse.
Thursday morning I gave her all those injections and she didn’t even flinch. Of course she has to be my favorite ewe, right?! I had some hope because she was eating and drinking on her own, but I didn’t want to hope too much. Every time the lambs tried to nurse Rosy would just walk away….well, more like hobble away. I wasn’t too concerned about them – they were 3 weeks old and would be okay if they were weaned now.
Rosy’s udder was so swollen it was difficult for her to walk and she wouldn’t lie down at all. From Wednesday afternoon until Saturday I didn’t see her lie down once. Each day I let her out of the barn to graze with her babies and I’d see her lean against the barn occasionally to sleep.
By Saturday her udder wasn’t as swollen and she started lying down again. We also started giving her the electrolytes orally instead of subcutaneously. Some of the skin on her udder is rubbing off, like Dale said it would; and parts of her fleece are falling out – a condition called wool break caused by sever stress.
Yesterday Rosy trotted to me for food… I think she’s going to be okay. No more babies for her, though.