Monday, December 8, 2014

Shepherdess Notes: Calling the Vet

Emmet, our Gentleman of a Border Leicester

This past weekend did not come without some farm drama~

Mike and I were on an overnight trip, picking up some wool. (another story)  On our return home, I noticed the Tunis ram in the pasture, where he most definitely does NOT belong. It took just a few more seconds when I realized that he was standing next to Emmet, our Border Leicester Ram, who was lying down on the ground.

 Instant panic!

Mike grabbed a board (you don't want to go out unarmed in this kind of situation) I was relieved when Emmet was able to get up. Unfortunately, instead of making it easy to look him over, he ran, as fast as he could. There went Emmet, and the Tunis right behind him. After several minutes, we managed to catch Emmet. I removed him from the pasture, and put him in a pen. The first thing I  noticed was that  his nose was bleeding, and he was really shaken up. He was safe for the moment, so I left him there, and went out to help Mike get the Tunis Ram back in the barnyard where he belonged.

 I was grateful, it didn't take too long. It did take Mike a few minutes to get the gate closed, since the ram had tore the lock off the gate. I am not sure what compelled him to choose that day to break out and pick a fight with our other ram. I have to say, these Tunis Rams try my patience. The Border Leicester Rams, with the exception of one, have never really given us much grief.

After checking on Emmet again, we left him alone for a bit, to settle down. I went back out, about 30 minutes later, he was still bleeding a bit from his nose, and was grinding his teeth. I could not get him to stand up. NOT a good sign. I gave him a B shot, to try to help with stress. Another hour went by, Mike went out to check on him-still bleeding a little from the nose, but now he was trying to get up and couldn't.

I checked on some sheep forums, to see what was available for pain. It was recommended that he get an anti inflammatory and some pain meds. Prescription. You would think that would not be a big deal, but it is!

There are plenty of vets in our area, but NOT for livestock. The one we have worked with in the past, was no longer seeing sheep. I did have a friend that had told me about a new vet, in a neighboring county that had helped her with her goats. I decided I would try him in the morning.

I checked on Emmet first thing in the a.m.  He was up and walking normal, but appeared to be a little out of it.

I made the call to the veterinarian.  I wasn't surprised when she said he was out on call, and had several other calls, before he would be able to get back with me.

Several hours later, she called- Do I still need a vet to come out?  Emmet was eating, and moving around, but I decided it was better to be safe than sorry.

Good News-
No broken bones! Rumen was working! No temp!
He does have a lot of swelling on his face, most likely a concussion. But the doctor was optimistic.
Emmet was given some meds. and now we will wait and see what happens.

Sometimes I could just hang up my shepherd's crook! I know that sounds dramatic, but I dislike the stress that comes in these situations. Unfortunately, it is part of the package.

I am glad I found a veterinarian to call, I am even more happy to have found a veterinarian that doesn't mind working with sheep (rare find)
I am also glad, that we had not had  to call a veterinarian that often.

I am not one to call the vet for every little thing, I rely a lot on other sheep folk, and the livestock supply stores for what I need to raise sheep.  But, there are times, when you need to make the call, and when you do, it is nice to have a someone who is knowledgeable and helpful. ( years ago, I had one vet tell me, they are just sheep, they are most likely going to die! ) Did I mention this vet said he likes sheep?

Emmet  happens to be a favorite around here. (and truth be told, he is the most expensive Ram we have ever bought)  I hope that he pulls through okay, and is out chasing the ladies in no time.

The Tunis ram came out of the fight without a scratch, and is in the DOG HOUSE!  (figure of speech)


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  1. I know what you mean about all of this ! A vet who can help out with diagnosing & prescribing for sheep is a rare find now-a-days. And even more rare is a good vet with reasonable fees. But a good ram is a valuable ram. I am happy this story has a happy ending and hope all goes drama-free as far as the livestock go.

    1. I agree! I am very happy that we have a new vet in our area, that will help with livestock.

  2. I do know what you mean with livestock. We are very lucky to have a vet who works with goats. Many folks do not have one. Glad it all turned out okay for you.

  3. Oh, my golly! What a scare. I hope he continues to heal that concussion quickly. It can be stressful when animals are in your care and things aren't going right. I do know what that's like and it's no fun. I do like you expression at being ready to 'hang up your shepherd's crook. That says it all right there, but I know you won't. :-)

    1. Yes, it hasn't been the first time I have felt that way or the last, I am sure!

  4. Good vets are SO hard to find. We live fairly close to a university that has a world-class vet school and teaching hospital. I don't know what I'd do without them! Good luck to Emmet :-)

    1. That is so nice having that resource close by!

  5. I'm glad he's doing ok. There are many times when you just don't know what to gets so pricey to call a vet every time!

    1. Calling a vet is expensive. It usually isn't our first option. Thankfully it is not something we have to do often. I think I will be putting him back in with the ewes tomorrow.


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