Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Shepherdess Notes: Fly Strike
I have a ewe lamb that has had a rough time of it the last couple of weeks.
I knew something was off because of her droppings. They were not pellets like they should be, but loose. That can happen when the pasture was really lush, but I knew that was not the issue here.
We isolated her in a pen to treat her. Usually when they have poopy bottoms, I treat for parasites.
After a couple of days, her droppings were looking more normal, she was eating, drinking and all seemed to be well.
Fast forward a few days... she seemed to be regressing. She wasn't that interested in eating, she was lying down more than usual and we also noticed some of her wool was falling out around her backside. I wasn't sure what could be wrong.
Mike and I were outside working and I commented how bad the flies were this year, worse than I can ever remember. Just as I said it, I thought of the ewe lamb. Could it be fly strike? I was hoping I was wrong. I wasn't!
What is Fly Strike?
In simple terms, flies lay eggs on the sheep, eggs hatch into maggots and the maggots eat the flesh of the sheep.
The conditions were perfect-Warm humid weather, and a poopy bottom.
First thing I did was clip all of the wool around her backside, so I could see what I was dealing with.
Once I did that I could see the maggots. As you can probably imagine, it is disgusting! ( But you do what you have to do, when faced with these situations.
Next, I took a hose and washed off what I could.
A trip to the farm store was necessary. Fly strike is not something we have had to deal with very often. This was my third time, in 18 years. They had what I needed, Screw Worm Aerosol.
After applying the spray, the remainder of the maggots were killed, and the flies that were swarming around her backside disappeared.
To be on the safe side, I gave her a shot of penicillin to help fight off any infection.
Days have passed, and she looks like she is going to pull through. Thankfully, we caught it early.
I continue to apply the spray, once a day to prevent re infestation,
I did not take pictures of the process, If you are interested in what it looks like you can google it.
My focus, was to get through it as quickly as possible.
DISCLAIMER: I am a shepherdess, not a veterinarian.These are my opinions and this post does not constitute treatment or veterinary advice.