Udder sloughing

A place to exchange ideas, stories, and to solve problems related to breeding the flock and delivering lambs.

Re: Udder sloughing

Postby lisainnh » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:21 am

Barb...about 2 weeks...we're now at 3 1/2 weeks, I've been alternating between spraying with Blu-coat and a screw worm spray...and it looks like it's healing some...
Image
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Re: Udder sloughing

Postby Janet McNally » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:48 pm

Having dealt with these over the years, my thoughts are this: while it is true that proper medical care as described (antibiotics and anti inflammatories on the onset, followed by lots of fly repellent for up to several months that the ewe will slough the udder and heal up, but once healed she is most likely not fit for raising lambs again and is in essense a cull. if the ewe can no longer raise her lambs (and the severe cases are often too sick to care), I have concluded that the kindest thing I can do is put the ewe down when it is clear she is going gangrenous. Bear in mind here in the midwest she will be worth maybe $50 once she is healed up and beyond all the withdrawal times. So I have come to question why put her through the pain and misery of fighting flies, and why go through the cost, if she is going to die (aka slaughter) anyway. I did see this one is a pet and that is fine, I am just speaking from a commercial perspective.

Despite the erroneous opinion some seem to have about views here on grain feeding, I do agree with Phil and Gail, that month old lambs would do best if they are put onto milk replacer and a suitable creep feed. Just be aware that you may not be able to just pull that grain away and throw them back out to pasture at a later date without a major set back. I find it most successful just to continue grain feeding orphaned lambs all the way to market.

Janet
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Re: Udder sloughing

Postby Saffronsheepranch » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:23 am

You can bring the lambs into their own little jug at night with the last feeding and leave grain for them all night while still keeping them with the flock by day. Or the other way around if your flock sleeps all day.
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Re: Udder sloughing

Postby Phil Crome » Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:26 pm

Janet McNally wrote:. So I have come to question why put her through the pain and misery of fighting flies, and why go through the cost, if she is going to die (aka slaughter) anyway. I did see this one is a pet and that is fine, I am just speaking from a commercial perspective.

Despite the erroneous opinion some seem to have about views here on grain feeding, I do agree with Phil and Gail, that month old lambs would do best if they are put onto milk replacer and a suitable creep feed. Just be aware that you may not be able to just pull that grain away and throw them back out to pasture at a later date without a major set back. I find it most successful just to continue grain feeding orphaned lambs all the way to market.

Janet


Janet,

I agree that recovery is difficult for both sheep and shepherd, and I'd add that it seems to me that one sided ewes are rarely half as productive as those with sound udders. The damage often extends to the half that remains, or maybe the ewe is so sick she never completely recovers. It's an individual decision, and I've made it both ways. Your analysis, as usual, is correct.

I plead guilty to the grain crack. I made it mostly in jest, but I don't think it's as erroneous as you do. I'm not willing to argue about it though, it's Sunday afternoon and finally fit to be outside.

Phil
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Re: Udder sloughing

Postby OogieM » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:02 pm

We have one ewe who lost half her udder. She is still here, not bred and lives on as a bell ewe or pet who teaches the lambs how to move through our handling system, keep them calm during weaning and more. I would do it again if I had too but probably butcher the sheep after withdrawal time was over. FWIW a slaughter sheep for me is worth about $350 gross income from the meat so I can afford to treat them a bit more than the average. However I use a triple withdrawal period for all drugs on my farm so I have to weigh the cost of the additional time vs the cost of treatment.
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Re: Udder sloughing

Postby GenFarmJewel » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:03 pm

At the risk of looking like a really bad and ignorant shepherdess..
This summer mastitis on a favorite ewe advanced to what the vet determined (over the phone) to be gangrene. I kept waiting for it to slough off like he said it would.. and waiting...
Finally there's a spot showing black through. My concern now is for her comfort. (I'm like Lisa as far as saving the ewe, and have a neighbor who will raise her bottle babies if she makes it that far.) Is this hard udder cut off from circulation? Will it freeze in the cold temps? Has anyone ever had an udder-ectomy done on their ewe?
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Re: Udder sloughing

Postby lisainnh » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:27 am

Are you sure it's dead tissue? My ewe lost a huge section of her udder...it just fell off on it's own, went out one day and found it in the pen, yuck!...btw my ewe came through just fine, as did her lambs. I definitely won't be breeding her again though.
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Re: Udder sloughing

Postby GenFarmJewel » Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:51 pm

I don't really know. It's mostly normal-color pink, except a few little spots. It's just hard and non-functioning. The vet said this summer when one teet expelled blood that it was gangrene and would slough off. :?:
Was your ewe's udder black?
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Re: Udder sloughing

Postby DonDrewry » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:38 pm

Some thoughts on mastitis. First, it's a generic term for infection in the udder, thus reality is that all sorts of different antibiotics might work and might not it really depends on the pathogen. In our case the two things that rarely benefit our ewes with mastitis are PenG and any cattle mastitis treatment. Rarely had any positive response regardless how much and how often. We have seen some response to Tylosin or Oxytetracycline(LA200). When we've cultured samples they show susceptibility to Tylosin. However, the most powerful drug we use that has worked very well for us is Micotil. We don't use it right away as I don't allow other people on our farm to give it and so it only is used when I'm available to provide the treatment. My vet has told me that they have seen very good response in other flocks from Micotil.

One of the previous posts notes that scar tissue is likely to damage even the remaining half. I agree with this.

Because of the variety of pathogens, and the varied duration of infection that can cause an infection I don't think you can generalize and expect the udder to slough off or not. Most of the time we see hard spots or a discolored section and not losing the whole udder. In a typical commercial flock I'm with Janet that the ewe has very little value. I found that susceptibility to mastitis did run in ewe families and culling those family trees has helped me reduce what was once my most common reason to cull ewes.
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Re: Udder sloughing

Postby Phil Crome » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:42 pm

Don,

My experience with mastitis has been that pain relief and anti-inflammatories have been about as useful as antibiotics, and the antibiotics I use are typically the ones my wife dispenses. Also in my experience, in a true case of blue bag, or gangrenous mastitis, about the best outcome you can hope for is a half-bag. There is a difference between being a poor milker and having mastitis, and I know that I have often willfully confused the two, as in: "She must have mastitis, because I really like her and she can't just be a poor milker (or have OPP, or not be getting enough feed.)"

That said, one of the antibiotics my tough-as-nails veterinarian wife will not, under any circumstances, dispense or use is Micotil. For those unaware, the carrier that suspends Micotil is cardiotoxic, leading to no fewer than 14 deaths as of 2007. An accidental needle stick can literally be fatal. For those of you rolling your eyes, check this out:
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/wp-solutions/2007-124/pdfs/2007-124.pdf

I mention this not to pick at Don, whose thoughts and input I greatly value and appreciate. Rather, I say it because there will be those who might request or seek this product based on a positive review without being fully aware of the risk associated with its use, a risk that I personally would not take. As always, it's a free country, sort of.
Phil Crome

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Re: Udder sloughing

Postby Janet McNally » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:25 pm

Phil, I am glad you brought that up, and Don is wise to not let others administer the drug. Between holding the animal still (not!) and giving the injection..lets just say I have stuck myself a time or two, so have decided there are other drugs out there that are effective enough to use.

On a pasture operation, it is nearly impossible to detect mastitis early enough to affect the outcome, so really the approach needs to be one of keeping the animal comfortable, and making sure the lambs are adequately fed. I would concur that the anti inflammatory and pain relief are probably just as important.

On whether or not a bag will slough, my experience has been any time the skin turns back on a significant amount of area on the udder, it will slough. If the skin remains pink then it is rare that there will be any sloughing of tissue.

Janet
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Re: Udder sloughing

Postby DonDrewry » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:05 am

In hindsite, I should have added to my above post why I don't allow others to give Micotil. Janet's and Phil's cautions with the product are correct. It took me over a year to get my vet to prescribe the drug to me after lobbying as I'd read another board it was useful for this purpose. After thanking the original poster I was told he used it as a preventative not as a treatment, but as I stated when we don't see anything else working it works. I've tried other antibiotics without the response. It's a dangerous product and when discussing it in person I usually caution people with the comment that if you stick yourself you've got enough time to call people up and say goodbye. I also know of people that have used it without incident and then watched a ewe drop dead 5 minutes after a shot. The last caution is, it's also the most expensive antibiotic we use.
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