I have my hands full. Dorrie is now fine, update to come.
Lucy’s little dog Toby went to the small animal vet over the weekend while I was on the road. I used the opportunity to have his annual vaccinations and tests done. I picked him up Sunday afternoon. I was on the road again eleven hours Monday. The vet called my husband and left a message Tuesday evening. While testing for heartworm, they discovered he is suffering from anaplasmosis, a tick-borne illness. Yesterday I set aside an hour to run into town for the meds but the vet was busy, the meds were not ready, and they would “call me right back” to let me know when I could get them. No call.
Meanwhile as of Tuesday night my young ewe Pixie is down, mysteriously. She is too weak to walk and will not eat. I have treated her for ketosis (called toxemia in sheep). I even gave her calcium injections sub-Q for milk fever, though she is not pregnant — calcium won’t hurt her and it was suggested by my sheep group.
I now think Pixie is suffering from barber pole worms, a blood-sucking parasite that burrows into the stomach lining and causes anemia and will eventually kill the ewe. I will drop off a sample at the large animal vet 45 minutes away this afternoon, to be sure, but in the meantime I’m looking everywhere on the internet for a treatment plan. I can’t find one. (I will tell you, if I am able to save Pixie I will write up the results so other people won’t feel as helpless as I do now.)
As she won’t eat, my current plan is to drench her (livestock speak for “force down her throat”) with warm electrolytes (Bounce Back brand — cheap packets of powder that I always keep on hand) and lamb milk replacer for nutrition. For the anemia I will need either oral or injectable iron. I will give her daily shots of vitamin B.
I’m not sure what will kill the barber pole worms. Pixie was wormed with the rest of the flock last week and obviously Ivomec did not touch them.
Meanwhile I am scheduled to pick up a bull calf this afternoon after work to help keep Dorrie milked out.