Friday, November 4, 2011

Go with your gut and don't believe everything you see

We had a sick lamb the last few days and I was at a loss as to what to do to help her. Sure I could treat the symptoms but I wanted to know the cause.

This was a 5 month old market lamb. She was lethargic, obviously constipated, not urinating, uncomfortable, very slight elevation of temperature, not eating or drinking. All really serious signs. We treated her with bloat ease and when that did not work mineral oil. Even though she had just been dewormed, I went with my instinct and retreated her with a product for tapeworms. I also did a fecal test and there was nothing present.

Yesterday morning she still had not passed anything so I brought in the vet. He diagnosed a slight respiratory noise put her on LA tetracycline and vitamin supplement.

Fifteen minutes after the vet left she pooped and peed (obviously too soon to have anything to do with his treatment). She immediately started to eat and drink. And then that afternoon she started to pass huge numbers of tapeworms. She was obviously blocked with these parasites.

By evening she was bright, eating voraciously, drinking and very vocal in her protests of injustice of isolation.

If I had just gone with what I saw (ie nothing in the fecal test) or treating the symptoms, I might have a dead lamb on my hands.

Lesson for others. Tapeworms are not inoccuous. This is the second lamb in two years we have had blocked by this parasite. It is not just barberpole worms that can kill.


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