Euthanised lamb

death, Lambs, SheepComments (5)

Last week I posted about a vet visit for a lamb that had swollen and bleeding leg.

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Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of matters. The lamb then lost the top layer of skin on it’s leg.

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I was advised to keep it clean and dry and to cover it with vaseline. Basically treat it like a burn. So for 4/5 days, I took the lamb in, cleaned the leg with a drop of iodine in water, dried it and covered it in vaseline. The leg, however, got progressively worse.

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By Sunday morning, I feared the leg was dead. It was black and cold below the knee. For some reason, blood was not circulating as it should.

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I phoned the on call vet and discussed matters. I didn’t want to shoot it, just in case there was something the vet could do, but I already knew the outcome. As it wasn’t an emergency, I told the vet to stop by if she got a call-out in Ness, which she did around 6.30pm.

The diagnosis didn’t take long.

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Whatever was affecting the front left leg had also spread to the other 3 legs. There was little option but to have it put down. This was a swift and painless injection. I’ve seen it done to numerous other animals, but never a lamb. Because they’re so small, it’s injected straight into the heart, meaning they die instantly, instead of the few seconds it takes for a larger animal.

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I think the worst thing about this experience was how lively the lamb was. If you didn’t see its legs, you would have thought it a strong and healthy lamb, as shown here.

» death, Lambs, Sheep » Euthanised lamb

April 26, 2014

5 Responses to Euthanised lamb

  1. Mary says:

    Awww the poor thing. That is awfully hard just to put down an animal.

  2. I found this article while I was doing some research about possible mastitis in one of my ewes. I don’t know if it’s common in Scotland, but the progression reminded me of what you describe in your lamb.

    http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/generalized_conditions/clostridial_diseases/blackleg.html

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