Group of 3 Ryeland ewe lambs

Monday 19 November 2012

 7th November
Our Ryelands were shorn.

Later that day about 4.30pm when admiring the newly shorn mums and lambs in the paddock I found a 7 week old ewe lamb that had been bitten by a snake almost certainly a deadly Eastern Brown snake. Her limbs were rigid and her heart rate and breathing were so fast I could not count them. I carried her into the shed and gave her  a massive injection of vitamin C and also B12. I was sure she would die. It was terrible to watch. At 10pm her breathing and heart returned to a more normal rate and I gave her another Vitamin C injection followed by another at 2am. I sat with her during the night as she went into spasms that propelled her across the floor. I wanted to make sure her head was higher and propped her up. I turned her every two hour.

Snake bite on chest behind elbow
One very sick and sad  lamb

8th November
Back from the vet who confirmed snake bite. Lamb now on antibiotics, anti-immflamatory, vitamin B1 and two fluids to be given 2 and 3 times a day. Not out of danger by any means. She has high temp, still has spasms, limbs becoming more flexible but still have resistance to being bent, breathing a bit rattley. The good news is that she has come home and had a little more (a very little) from the bottle. She can  swallow. She also is now aware of what is happening around her. Better than she was 24 hours ago! You get so attached to them so quickly when you join them in the battle for their survival.

9th November
Eaten from a bowl,of chaff and drinking water from a bowl. Cannot suck properly and does not want her formula but I am happy that she eats chaff and lucerne normally and enthusiastically. 

She wants to get up but cannot but if i lift her and support her she stands for about 30 seconds
First nibble of lucerne

11th November

This afternoon she got to her', feet by herself. She squats to wee and even stretched her front leg out to rub her nose. She is in the garden in the sun and grazing and is one very happy lamb with a very happy owner. Her co-ordination is not good yet but hopefully she will improve. 96 hours ago she was paralysed.
In the garden

Later that day 

Getting better by the hour. Currently walking around the kitchen! She is a very strong willed girl. I had her in the yards and i went up the ramp in to the shearing shed and turned to find her coming also. She made it with a struggle but even the adult sheep sometimes slip. She was quite pleased with herself.

12th November

Took her out to the paddock and she fund Mum and her twin. All the sheep came up to say hello. She ran in her funny way and I had to carry her back. Doing well, walked around the garden and down to the mailbox at the gate

13th November
Took her down the paddock to meet Mum again and then brought them up and penned them together.Mum has accepted her but not feeding her

That's me looking at the camera. Mum and sister are camera shy

14th November
All three are in the orchard and the lamb,now called Miri for miracle, is playing.

Lovely to eat grass in the orchard

19th November

Back in the big paddock with the flock. So lovely to see her doing so well.

Vitamin C and snakebite

In Australia there are many people who believe that Vitamin C or ascorbic acid assists animals which have been bitten by a snake. I was not convinced. However, when I found the lamb paralysed and in such a state that death seemed certain there was nothing to lose. I had Vit C injectible on hand and immediately gave her 20ml in the muscle. I also gave 5ml of B12. There was no improvement in her condition. It was terrible to watch her but 4 hours later she was still alive so I gave her another 20ml of Vit C followed by another 20ml 6 hours later and another 20ml 4 hours after that. I also had a product called Lamboost here. It is a glucose based high energy paste meant for newborns. I gave her that every hour - about 4 squirts each time on the back of the tongue. The mistake i made was not giving her antibiotics immediately as by the time we got to the vet she had a very high temperature. i will never know if Vitamin C pla
yed a role in her survival and i do know that without antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, glucose and saline fluids prescribed by the vet she would not have recovered. My vet has an open mind on Vit C. All i can say is that i have renewed my supply of Vit C.
If you dont have injectible you can crush tablets and dissolve in water and give orally every 30 minutes.

Monday 22 October 2012

Lambing is over and it is great to have contented Mums and their lambs in the paddocks.

It was a very wet and cold winter and early Spring with paddocks under water and all sheds  wet with the exception of the shearing shed that became the refuge from the biting cold winds, hail and driving rain that kept coming through in August and September.

I am not exhibiting sheep this year as it has been too hard to prepare show sheep and at the same time manage ewes and lambs. It is not worth exposing lambs to the weather while show sheep are warm and dry in the shed. Lambs come before ribbons.

The shows are fun and I am sure that I will get withdrawal symptoms. I did attend the Royal Geelong Show where Peartree Ryelands have had success in the past few years  - but only as a spectator. Good to catch up with friends and see good sheep in all breeds.

Sunday 2 September 2012

Lambing time

We are well into lambing with some really lovely lambs this year. Lots of singles when we usually get twins so wonder if this means another drought coming. Also an abundance of ram lambs which is not what we ordered!

It has to be the wettest and coldest winter we have had in 10 years -mud and water everywhere and sheds have had water through them so girls and lambs are still brought into the shearing shed at night to provide them with shelter. Here they come - the little hoodlums racing up the ramp to bed!

Lots of foxes around this year and good to know that Siri and Choccy are babysitting while mums are off having a moment to themselves

Wednesday 11 July 2012

We have had some very heavy frost with minus 4 degrees celcius and the sheep were white with frost. The photos look more like sheep in the Ryelands' home country rather than where we are situated in south-east Australia. I think they enjoyed the crisp mornings as they gambolled like lambs as they came up for breakfast - even though the girls are only about 4 weeks away from lambing.