Friday, March 4, 2016

Moose's Story (or Why Aren't We Having Fun Yet?)

Moose came to us in late 2014 already bred. She delivered a 13 pound ram lamb in Late Jan. 2015. That ram lamb died when he was about one month old. The vets could never figure out why.
Fast forward to this year's lambing season. Moose was due on 2/28. Finally on the evening of March 2nd she went into labor and delivered a large ewe lamb, 12 pounds, with a little pulling help from me. (She also needed a bit of help pulling out her lamb in 2015.) Mama Sadie was still not letting her ram lamb nurse so we tried grafting him onto Moose after her ewe lamb was born. Moose seemed very excited to have two lambs at first and even let him nurse. But then she decided she had enough and wanted nothing more to do with him. I even tried putting my hand in her vagina to stimulate the pressure of giving birth but she would not have it. By now a couple hours had passed and Moose showed no more signs of having anymore lambs. The quick check when I had my hand in her vagina felt like a cavernous nothing. She was nursing her ewe lamb well and drinking water and eating hay. I was disappointed Moose only had one lamb, she was huge and I thought she would have at least twins, but at least she was healthy. I moved the ram lamb back in with his family and took a couple steps backwards with Mama Sadie accepting him since he now smelled like Moose and her ewe lamb.

At the overnight checks Moose and her ewe lamb were doing fine and Mama Sadie was getting better with letting her ram lamb nurse. It wasn't until around 1PM, over 14 hours from the time she delivered her ewe lamb, I noticed that Moose looked like she was pushing. She still had placenta hanging from her vulva so I figured she was just trying to pass that. I gloved up to see what was going on an found a lamb lying with its back towards Moose's belly way down in her uteruss, but head and front legs pointing towards the way out. Lambs don't bend that way and need to have their backs aligned with the ewe's back for delivery. I attempted to spin the lamb so its back was in the proper alignment but it would not budge. I also thought it had died since I had a finger in its mouth and felt no movement. After only attempting for a brief minute or two I figured I needed to have the vet on his way since I didn't think I would be able to get this lamb out. Moose also felt very warm inside so would need antibiotics and oxytocin.
Dr Dickerson got to the farm in just under half and hour. Even he had a good bit of trouble getting this lamb rotated and out. Even the hips got stuck. It was a 15 pound ram lamb and he did not respond to any resuscitation efforts.
Dr Dickerson gave Moose antibiotics, oxytocin, some vitamins and steroids and banamine for pain. She was having rasping breathing by now and looked exhausted. In the evening she developed a nasty cough along with her raspy breathing and I feared she was getting pneumonia. Thankfully, by 3AM her breathing sounded much better and she was coughing only occasionally. This morning she looks a lot better, still tired, but has a perkier look about her.  So now I need to figure out Moose's future. She is a good mom once she is delivered but she has never delivered unassisted. And now I know I need to take the plunge and explore the uterus more fully if I think there is a chance there could be another lamb.

No comments:

Post a Comment