Thursday, June 16, 2011

Update on Ewe, Ram Lamb, and Fainting Child

After the ewe didn't seem to be progressing, I took an exploratory feel.  There was no lamb at all in the birth canal, and the pelvic bones were so tight I couldn't even get into the uterus.

Unfortunately, the voice mailbox for the large animal vet was full so I couldn't even leave a message.  I took a chance and tried a small animal vet down in town - I knew they took unusual animals because two of my former students work there as vet techs.

They agreed to see the ewe and so I just threw the dog bitten ram lamb in just to make sure everything was going well.

Meanwhile, in the back of my head is this calculation - ewe who will certainly die without help and kid who's fainted and is probably okay, but maybe it's something awful....On top of that, three of my four kids were in Hilo at various locations (friend's homes, work, etc.) and needed to get home.  Stressful, to say the least.  Figuring out who needed what help in what order was challenging.

By the time I got the ewe to the vet, the lamb was in the birth canal, but it was firmly stuck and the most determined tug of war between the vet tech and my self holding the ewe and the vet pulling on these giant hooves couldn't dislodge him.  I gave the go-ahead for a very expensive c-section.  It doesn't make any financial sense, but there was the chance that there was another live lamb (there wasn't);  I actually think if the vet were at the farm I would have just had her put down, but somehow the decision was different in front of a pet vet and a kid I taught from sixth to twelfth grade.  I asked to see the dead lamb after - he looked like a two week old lamb in size.  Just huge.

I appreciate very much that the small animal vet took the sheep in - but it wasn't terribly confidence inspiring to see him looking up how to do the c-section on the internet!

The good news is Sally is up and eating, I have plenty of penicillin and syringes and sharps, and so far we are not seeing bloat or the types of breathing difficulties that might mean pneumonia.  Spot (the dog bite victim) is also chipper and eating, and although me with a bottle of antiseptic spray and a needle in hand isn't a favorite sight, he is quite a patient little fellow.

I am taking my daughter into the doctor later - the only available appointment was at 2 pm, which actually works out to get my son from work (he is programming for the USDA - he's 16! I am pretty blown away), my other son from his friend's (he stayed a second night because it was easier), etc. etc.  Summer is turning out to be busier than the school year.  The bright spot is all these veterinary issues are happening when I actually have time to babysit sick sheep.


vcassie88 said...

Wow Nancy, it sounds like you have really gotten hit! I am sorry about your dead lamb, that is rough. It is amazing how resiliant animals are for the most part, they are amazing at healing themselves with a little help from us. Is your husband as in to farming as you are? I think my husband tolerates my animal endeavors because I love it so much.

NancyDe said...

My husband does support the farming - in fact, the sheep were his idea - but I am definitely the one on the ground if there are things like shots, or wormers, to be given. But he is the guy who will build them the barn!