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Old 4th September 2007, 09:04 PM   #1
stripey
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bloat in bottlefed lambs

Luckily I don't mean the acute dead-within-three-hours type of bloat that lambs on artificial milk often get, but two of my current bottle fed lambs are having quite bloated bellies. In between feeds it goes down a bit, each new feed bulges the belly out again. They are 3-4 weeks old and should already be on bigger portions than they get, but because of the bloating I don't dare give them more than 250ml at a time, 4 times a day. I know it's a guzzling and swallowing air issue, I've experimented with easy-flow teats / slower-flow teats, different bottle sizes, but none of that helps. On the internet I have found suggestions of formalin mixed into the milk (sounds dreadful, but I'll try it if necessary), vaccinating with 5 in 1 early, sodium bicarbonate (but no instructions on how much and how often). Has anyone else struggled with this and found anything that helps?
 
Old 4th September 2007, 09:06 PM   #2
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What about probiotics? That would give the lamb the necessary enzymes to digest the milk better. It can be bought in powdered form and mixed in with the milk. Or, you could buy some probiotic yoghurt and mix a tablespoonful in with the milk.

Cowvet may be on later and can make other suggestions.
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Old 4th September 2007, 09:50 PM   #3
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Start by weighing both the powder and the water - 50g powder and 250g water. If the instruction on the bag is different to this then it is WRONG (too many solids can cause digestion problems, and too few the milk does not clot properly).
Use water the correct temp or slightly cool. Never make the milk up with hot water and allow it to cool - that can cause digestion problems.
Adding yoghurt or yoghurt powder to the milk is supposed to help lots, so would be worth a try.
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Old 4th September 2007, 10:27 PM   #4
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Hi, Having raised pet lambs for more years than I care to remember, it is an ongoing problem, if the lambs were feeding off mum they would get 10 sips so to speak little and often. I tend to be guided by the gut size rather than the directions on the milk powder, some lambs blow up more than others, and my father said a hungry sheep never died of bloat,an over fed one will. That is the theory I have always used and sometimes the lamb might only end up with 150mls and not 350mls. Some lambs I think eat more grass/clover than others so that has a effect on the reaction when the milk hits the gut.
I think I read that the milk bypasses the stomach when they take it in at the rate that pet lambs do. I make ours stop several times and usually count to 10 before they start again. They seem to get used to that system. Cheers.
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Old 4th September 2007, 10:35 PM   #5
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Try a teaspoonful of vegetable oil mixed in with the feed, it stops the milk from foaming in the stomach.
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Old 5th September 2007, 09:03 AM   #6
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Hi , We had this problem a couple of years ago and ended up loosing a couple.We where told they were drinking it to fast and to make sure the hole in the teat was very small and to have breaks for say 10 secs as already suggested, also as suggested add some yoghurt to their milk.When bloated I mix a teaspoon of baking soda with some cold water and give them around 5ml of it i also give 5ml oil as well.Haven't had any problems since.I know alot of people like to make the hole in the teat large so as to get the feeding done quickly but this is really bad for them.
cheers sandra
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Old 5th September 2007, 09:08 AM   #7
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I was told by a farmer that 10 mil of baby gripe water in the milk stops bloat. Anyone tried this?
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Old 5th September 2007, 09:30 AM   #8
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For a lamb or calf with bloat that is rolling or in pain with bloat, around you quickly need to mix up the following. Lamb mix is 1 disprin and about 1 tablespoon of cooking oil, the disprin needs a little water to dissolve it. and give it to the lamb with a syringe, for a calf, 2 disprin and about 3 table spoons of cooking oil, and also a little water to dissolve the disprin, has worked 100% of the times I have used that mixture.
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Old 5th September 2007, 02:53 PM   #9
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I have used both Bushie's and RaeM's remedies with success.

Had a lamb the other day bloat up from her lunchtime feed. By teatime she was so tight in the abdomen she could hardly breathe...she couldn't lie down, she didn't know where to put herself. So started with the disprin (I only used 1/2 tho') and tsp of grapeseed oil. The I suddenly remembered the gripe water thing...so drove into town to find a bottle. Gave her the dose for a baby...hoped for the best and when checked in the morning, her house was a disgusting mess but she was back to her old self. Thank goodness, I was concerned as our daughter had said the night before, I hope she doesn't die I've taught her some tricks.

Which I might add she better grow out of or she will be history! ie let's jump up on the lounge suite, or try and jump up on your knee while you're not looking.

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Old 5th September 2007, 08:23 PM   #10
stripey
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. My milkpowder has probiotics in it already, but I might get some yoghurt powder too. Have tried baking soda twice already with no noticable effect, so I might try oil next. And I guess I should get another teat with extra little opening and try and make the lambs wait in between (not easy with 4 lambs going bellistic at me to get their milk). The lambs themselves are happy, playing and growing, so luckily no need for drastic disprin and oil measures, but I would like the swollen bellies to disappear.
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Old 10th September 2007, 02:19 PM   #11
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Hi there,
I was looking through the discussion forums and came across your post. I have a really good article from a vet magazine here on preventing abomasal bloat in lambs. It has proven to be succesful, it is rearing them on yoghurt. the article gives measurements etc. I have it scanned clearly and saved as a JPG on my computer, I dont know how to upload it on the forum but I could email it to you if you like. Also vaccinating the lambs with a 10 in 1 vaccine (Covexin 10) is suppsed to help. you can give it to them at 10 days to 2 weeks of age and the the booster shot 4 weeks later. My email is colin.emma@xtra.co.nz if you would like the article. Hope your lambs do well!
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Old 10th September 2007, 03:53 PM   #12
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Lambs are doing okay but still blow up after feeds, I have sent you an e-mail.
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Old 10th September 2007, 04:50 PM   #13
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If it goes down between feeds and they are not uncomfortable I wonder if its just greed. As 4trees says they get lots of small sips if they are on Mum. We have one that it happens to but he is not scouring and eating grass in between and is happily skipping round with his mates. He is a great one for stealing from any ewe he can so probably has quite a bit already in his tummy when I arrive with his bottle.
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Old 12th September 2007, 08:23 AM   #14
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Sad morning here this morning.

Went out to feed Annie and Clarabel (pet lambs) and found Clarabel dead. Her stomach was terribly distended and it actually looks like it has ruptured, also when I moved her, her stomach was making gurgling noises.

So I assume this is abomasal bloat? Last night when I left, her tummy was a bit more distended than normal but she seemed alright in herself so I thought she was fine

I am so upset as I never lost a lamb to this before and she was such a healthy lamb and I feel like I have killed her I was still giving them three feeds a day of approx 350mls rather than the two 500ml feeds as suggested on bag of milk powder(They are five weeks old). Obviously she had been eating more grass than I realised.

Annie is now being cut back and fed 4 times a day. She is my son's and he will be horribly upset if I lose her. Clarabel was mine Poor Annie is screaming her head off, I will have to bring down a couple of hoggets for her to play with.
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Old 12th September 2007, 08:29 AM   #15
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Sorry to hear that Louimay
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Old 12th September 2007, 08:41 AM   #16
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Could also be Pulpy Kidney, especially if she had been tube fed at some stage.
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Old 12th September 2007, 09:27 AM   #17
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Yeah LR, pulpy kidney crossed my mind too.

My ewes were vaccinated but Clarabel maybe didn't get enough milk from mum for it to be effective? I fed her off mum for 24hours before I relented and took her away but maybe it wasn't enough and also I suppose vaccinations aren't completely fool proof.

I am going to go do some reading about possible causes on the net. MIL said she saw Clarabel yesterday looking like she had a tummy ache out in the paddock.

So annoyed to lose a healthy lamb at five weeks old, after being so pedantic about trying to save every one that was born.
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Old 12th September 2007, 11:23 AM   #18
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If MIL saw her a couple of hours before lamb died, then it is probably not PK.
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Old 13th September 2007, 08:34 AM   #19
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Sorry to hear about your lamb louimay. I'm having the same problem at the moment. Three lambs, same age fed exactly the same as each other and two keep blowing up and scouring - they aren't even on grass yet.
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