So much going on but no time. I will update this weekend.
The issue with Pixie, my downed ewe, grows more mysterious. The veterinary assistant told me that her fecal test was almost clear, that she did not need worming.
If Pixie doesn’t have toxemia, doesn’t have milk fever, doesn’t have anemia from a heavy worm load — why is she unable to walk? She is at a good weight. She looks great — except for the teeny-tiny, very small problem that she cannot move and will barely eat.
My online sheep group is stumped. A Maine vet contacted by a friend suggested that perhaps Pixie might have a selenium deficiency. Our soils are very low in selenium, but my ewes have constant access to a mineral supplement. Still, in the interests of doing everything, I bought a dose from my vet of BoSe, vitamin E and selenium. I gave her the shot last night sub-Q.
Poor girl. Pixie was already a nervous sheep and now every time I come near her I jab her with needles. I am giving her Vitamin B shots daily to stimulate her appetite. Yesterday morning I drenched her with lamb milk replacer to get some nutrition into her. Half an hour later she nibbled at some grain (the day before she had lain with her head stretched out in the feed dish, eyes dull, with no interest). Last night I drenched her with some fresh warm milk straight from the cow. Again, afterward, she ate a few bites of grain and even lipped tiredly at her hay. I know force-feeding milk to an adult has some risks in terms of upsetting her digestion, but I have been very concerned that Pixie is not taking in food or water.
Absolutely nothing about this health crisis is clear and I’m flying blind.