Sheepandakom wrote:I talked to the vet today, and based on what I've observed/felt with this lamb, we've narrowed it down to two options. Neither of them nutritional. The first is that she was injured at birth and had some sort of trauma to her spine. The second is that she has some sort of birth defect that has caused her to have a twisted spinal column. If it is a birth defect, the vet thinks it might have been caused by Cache Valley Virus. I had never heard of this before, but the info and photos she gave me look and sound a lot like what I'm seeing with this lamb.
Where do you live? From the lambs I've seen with Cache, I'm not so sure that would be it. One way to be sure would be to test the lamb for antibodies to the virus.
"Cache Valley (CV) virus, a bunyavirus found throughout the USA, Canada and Mexico, infects a wide variety of domestic and wild animals, and humans. Transmission occurs through bites of infected mosquitoes. The majority of infections in sheep are subclinical. However, when infection occurs in ewes during the first trimester of pregnancy, the virus may cross the placenta and may produce embryonic death, mummification or fetal malformation, including arthrogryposis, torticollis, scoliosis, lordosis, hydranencephaly, microcephaly, porencephaly, and cerebellar and muscular hypoplasia. Infections that occur in the last two-thirds of pregnancy are clinically innocuous to the fetus. The demonstration of specific CV virus antibodies by neutralization test in sera of malformed fetuses or precolostral serum samples of newborns is the best method to corroborate intrauterine infection. Currently, there are no vaccines or treatments available to protect sheep against CV virus infection. Ewes that are exposed to CV virus and are seropositive before breeding are protected from reinfection and the adverse effects of the virus on pregnancy. Breeding ewes outside of the mosquito season may help reduce CV virus fetal infections. However, short-term changes in weather patterns during a particular season may result in renewed vector activity and increased risk of fetal infection. Cache Valley virus-seropositive animals are not protected against infection by bunyaviruses of a different serogroup, some of which may induce similar fetal pathology."