polio in sheep ???

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polio in sheep ???

Postby Steven Ernewein » Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:28 pm

We are currently lambing out a small winter lambing group(110 ewes) here in Ontario, Canada. Yesterday , I had a ewe go down with polio (CCN is what my vet called it) I was asking him if he had a cure for listeria. After our discussion he asked me if she was showing clinical signs of listeria, she was not circling or spinning, she was acting like she was blind, holding her head backwards, and later was down and wobbly. My son thought she was dead and moved her lambs to the bottle feeding pen. I was told by my vet to give her 1.5 cc of thiamine ever six hours for the first day. Then give her a daily dose for the next few days. She was back standing with in one hour of her first dose, eating balage by the second dose. WOW, we finally did something right :?. Just last week I had lost a ewe with similar signs, this is why I was concerned with listeria. 2 cases in one week.

So my question is, I now know what to cure the sheep with. But I am more of a person that wants to know what is the cause. We are feeding the ewes prior to lambing the same grass balage, that they will recieve after lambing. Feed test: 14.5% protien, 60% TDN, 110% relative feed value. Also they are getting 1 lbs mixed grain (65% barley/ 35%oats) prior to lambing and in the claiming pens. Once moved into larger group pen, have been switching them onto 2lbs corn. (This is where I think the problem is coming from) From what I can find out about POLIO in sheep , the rumen gets unbalanced and produced Thiaminases and causes the ewe to shows symptons similar to what I descibed before.

I will be leaving the fresh pen of ewes on mixed grain longer after moving then out of the claiming pens. Hopefully this helps the problem and stops the problem. Transitioning the ewes will be where I concentrate to help the problem. A friend of mine had told me that he has had this happen when he switches to different pastures sometimes.

Steven Ernewein
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Re: polio in sheep ???

Postby Saffronsheepranch » Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:01 pm

Do the sheep suddenly get a new ration of 2 lbs of corn post lambing? That is more than a 10% shift in feedstuffs at a time.
I suppose if you just added some corn to the prelambing ration (say 15%, less 15% of barley) and took away some from the post lambers( like 25%) and added back in some barley instead... that you would be good to go. Then you wouldn't need to worry about having changed anything ever. And I assume that barley is cheaper than corn?

Your sheep are lucky sheep though! I feed mine corn on the cob last 4 weeks of gestation and through lactation and that is as good as it gets.
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Re: polio in sheep ???

Postby Steven Ernewein » Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:37 pm

Actually the Barley is not cheaper, corn is $237.00/ 1000kg or 2200 lbs. Barley is $275 or so???? If I had to buy it in. I had grown barley this year, to seed a field down. The corn I am buying in, I want use some barley to my ewes prior to lambing and after lambing. I am using corn after lambing also, hopeing to keep their body condition or gain some weight for April breeding. We are on a star lambing(accelerated)program with dorset ewes. I do in increase their feed slowly, but sometimes we are creatures of habit and create our own problems when things are going to good. Fall into a rut, not paying attention to what the ewes are getting, likely.

Corn is about the only feed stuff that is in surplus where I live. We have 4 grain elevators with in 10 km and an ethenal plant with in 1/2 hour away. Most hay that is dairy quality is leaving for export to New York state from here for $220/ 1000kg. I have enough forage for this year, so I decided to buy corn instead, last year I was buying hay better than I had grown for half that price when corn was $275- $300/ 1000KG. We have alot of land grabbing going on here right now, with the increase in crop prices the last few years. Everybody wants to be a grain farmer I guess.

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Re: polio in sheep ???

Postby Bill Fosher » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:45 pm

Hi Steven,

Curing CCN makes one feel like a minor God. You may have put your finger on the cause of your problem, but I have had the odd case of CCN over the years with no grain, and no changes in diet. Pasture, pasture, pasture -- CCN -- treat, recover, pasture, pasture, pasture, and always just one in the group that gets it and never the same one twice.
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Re: polio in sheep ???

Postby Steven Ernewein » Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:07 am

Bill, I don't fell much like a minor God, just maybe lucky since we had put her for dead. Not to often I can have sheep turn around from being flat out. It almost reminds me of a dairy cow with milk fever and how they can go from down and out to standing with a little IV calcium in the milk vein. Thanks for the advice, hope things keep going well. :?

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Re: polio in sheep ???

Postby Saffronsheepranch » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:38 pm

I wonder if that is an east coast thing then, polio in full grown ewes?
Well, no matter how you mix and match for the most economical way to do it, if you add some corn to the pre-lambing ration, then you won't be changing anything.
When I had a small flock, they all came down with acidosis, they were so miserable; it makes one forever nutty about sudden ration changes. It is unforgettable. But now I see why you feed so well!
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Re: polio in sheep ???

Postby Bill Fosher » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:17 am

Kirsten,

It's not an East Coast thing. It happens everywhere. Lots of people never see it -- just find a dead sheep. Or they find a down sheep and either put it down or bring it in and it dies in the barn. CCN will kill the sheep in fairly short order without treatment.

Others confuse it with something else -- it can look a lot like listeriosis. I'd imagine that other folks might mistake it for trauma or toxic plant ingestion.
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Re: polio in sheep ???

Postby Saffronsheepranch » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:20 pm

Then I shall make it my policy to give any suspicious acting ewes B12 first thing and sort the rest out from there.
I have only seen polio in lambs develop from other initial problems which affected their guts, thus far. And these were bummers. In a big flock, it would be hard to know who has a problem before it was too late.
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Re: polio in sheep ???

Postby Bill Fosher » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:31 pm

B12 (cobalamin) will do nothing for a thiamine deficiency. You need thiamine, which is B1. Straight thiamine is available only through vets, but there is a little bit in Vitamin B complex. Last time I figured the dosage on B complex to treat CCN, I think I would have needed to give about 30 ccs to a 150-pound ewe. The straight thiamine is an order of magnitude stronger.

In a large flock it's no harder to notice a ewe that can't stand up and has its head thrown back over its shoulder than it is in a small flock. You just have to look.
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Re: polio in sheep ???

Postby MuscledCluns » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:24 pm

In the late winter/earlyspring of 2011 I had some lambs and mature sheep go down and I suspected polio.The first one being on a sunday and I tried to treat it with B12 because I didn't have any Thiamine on hand and the B12 did not work. My local vet had to come to the farm on the monday morning to do some blood testing for a MV health program I am on and that morning I had another lamb come down with polio, he gave it thiamine and it was up and going again in short order. I had not changed anything in the diet previous to my polio problems or did anything to stress them. The one thing that I could pin point when these sheep did go down was sharp fluctuations in the weather. Plus 5 than dropping to minus 15 or the other way around. Since that time I have had Thiamine added to my mineral at a low cost and have not had any more Polio problems since.
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Re: polio in sheep ???

Postby Saffronsheepranch » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:17 am

Oh sorry. yes, I have B complex. It says 100 mg of thiamine per bottle. 30 ccs it is then!
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Re: polio in sheep ???

Postby Bill Fosher » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:48 am

Whoa!

FIgure out the dose yourself.

I would give a 150 pound ewe 1500 mg of thiamine (10 mg per pound of liveweight). Whatever B complex you have might have more or less thiamine in it than what I had. There are dozens of different formulations out there.

I was just pointing out that the B complexes generally have so little thiamine in them that it is nearly impossible to treat CCN with them. If your B complex has 100 mg per bottle, a 150 pound ewe would need 15 bottles.

This is why I buy the stuff from the vet: 500 mg per cc means a 3 cc dose for a 150 pound ewe.

Plus, B vitamins degrade fairly rapidly. I have seen plenty of expired B complex on farm store shelves and even more in sheep farm med cabinets.
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Re: polio in sheep ???

Postby Brian Dietrich » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:17 pm

Whoa, whoa, whoa folks. Let's not go killing a bunch of neurologic ewes with our mathematics here. I don't know any medication that lists the concentration in mg per bottle. Most "Vitamin B Complexes" contain between 12.5mg and 100mg of Thiamine PER ML. Giving 15 or 30 bottles to any sized sheep would surely not be advised. The dosage for thiamine to treat polio is 10 mg per kg (not per pound) given IV slooooooowly. I would advised that it be given only by someone skilled in IV injections. Thiamine (which also comes in multiple concentrations per mL) is only obtainable through a licensed veterinarian.
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Re: polio in sheep ???

Postby Tom Nichols » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:27 pm

Tweaking (now Lana, remember you are 10-7)the question a bit here...
Is there a higher incidence of thiamine deficiency in these "new " genetics?
Tom
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Re: polio in sheep ???

Postby Lana Rowley » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:55 pm

Tom Nichols wrote:Tweaking (now Lana, remember you are 10-7)?
Tom


:lol: :lol: :lol:
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