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ewe with blocked teat

by JulesMoore
One of my ewes with a single born friday is not yielding any milk from one side. The lamb will have nothing to do with it and i cannot get any milk from it. It is starting to get red and nasty. On very close inspection (with a torch), i cannot see a hole. Is this possible does anyone know and what can i do?
last edited on
by Di
Have you phoned the vet?

by danielle
it could be blocked with a thick blacky grey type of secretion, it can be squeezed out if it is, it sits likke a plug in the teat.
by Gervase
It needs unblocking, as she's a prime candidate for mastitis. If the waxy plug isn't the problem you may have to 'tube' her - putting a small amount of anti-inflammatory paste and antibiotic into the milk duct with a little tube applicator. Give your local vet a ring - they should be able to let you have one.
by JulesMoore
Vet on her way, but no sign of teat hole - apparently this is possibly, i read on the internet! Will keep you posted!!
by woollyval
Ring vet, she will need a course of antibiotics as you have a mastitis case there. Treating mastitis in sheep is a case of giving antibiotic to make that side go down as the infection has already got in. Do not tube her as tubes for cattle will not fit sheep unless the sheep concerned has a whopping udder with huge teats, you could do more harm than good esp if you have never tubed a teat before!

Once a ewe has this problem she will never recover that quarter and will always be a 'one tit wonder (otw)'. She is capable of raising 2 lambs on one teat if she is a milky ewe but I'm afraid I always sell the otw ewes in the culls in the autumn.....unless they are a very valuable pedigree ewe who has not had this sort of problem before.

Good luck
Find out about the woollyshepherd on her blog Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009
by JulesMoore
As predicted, the vet had to create a teat opening with a needle - not nice. I still cannot get the lamb to feed on that side and she is producing insufficient for him on the other and as he was getting very floppy, i have tubed him and am trying to get him to take to the bottle - lots of sucking with little effect, but we will persevere. I also have to milk the ewe to keep the mastitis down, but it obviously hurts her a lot poor thing. Has anyone ever used dandelion as a treatment for mastitis? Is a herbal remedy apparently, so am picking her dandelion leaves too when i can!!
by woollyval
Try uddermint or golden udder.....very good for mastitis as is bodyshop peppermint foot lotion Hope vet jabbed with a long acting ab or gave you some usual ab for a 5 day course?
I personally dont hold much hope of you saving the quarter but good luck anyway.

Keep lamb on other quarter and tube it twice a day rather than bottling if its weak.
If you do have to bottle feed use the red teats and cut a cross on the top for weak lambs as it means they don't have to suck so hard
Find out about the woollyshepherd on her blog Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009
by Gervase
I can vouch for uddermint - it's very good for troublesome bags (and also good for people, too - soothes aching necks and inflamed joints). Nice smell, too.
by JulesMoore
Thanks for all this - am just hoping that udder will dry up quickly as i dont want to keep milking her twice a day - how long do you reckon that will last? The other steep learning curve is the bottle feeding - how can a lamb suck so much and swallow so little? It may not have much strength, but it sure knows how to resist my attempts to get it to live!! Any hints? It shakes like a leaf when it is on my lap - is it terrified?
by woollyval
Jules....if it is sucking for great britain but not getting anything down make the hole bigger!!! a cris cross in the top of the teat rather than a larger hole will work well. Put the lamb on your lap head facing away from you and stick one hand under its jaw and hold bottle in other hand. force teat into mouth if it is reluctant to take hold and clamp non bottle holding hand around jaw avoiding nostrils. keep lamb firmly sitting there with your elbows so it feels safe. Check if shaking that its not cold and going hypothermic by feeling in mouth and ears which should be nice and warm. Have you got it in house or under a lamp? Its perishingly cold and damp outside for a waek lamb......keep going some take ages to get the hang of it!
Find out about the woollyshepherd on her blog Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009
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