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Old 9th September 2006, 08:01 PM   #1
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Lamb with broken leg - update

We have a seven week old lamb who appears to have broken his back leg tonight at the knee joint, didn't see it happen but we think he has jumped and somehow got it caught on a fence? Definitely a break.
We have strapped it and he is in the shelter and hopping around, he is a very brave little boy!
Is there anything else we should do tonight, we thought we would see how he is in the morning and he may need to go to the vet - but is there anything else they would do?
Just wondered if anyone else has had experience in this - we have had a ewe with a broken lower leg which was strapped and finally came right but this break is in a different position. Thanks for your help.
Old 9th September 2006, 08:35 PM   #2
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We had one earlier that had a back leg ? break, xray didn't show anything but the vet thought # growth plate. Unfortunately his knee on the same side packed in probably through compensating and we had him put to sleep last week. He did really well and mum was attentive and he fed etc but the pain he was obviousley in,and given he was a male it was decided the kindest thing was to humanely end his suffering.I hope that you have a better outcome, it probably has a better chance given that it is older.
Good luck with it.
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Old 9th September 2006, 09:36 PM   #3
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I had a pet lamb (when I was little) that broke its leg jumping around the wood pile. The vet put a splint on it and it healed up nicely, but got a bit tired at calf-club day. When he got too big and started bunting my little sister, he got sent to a neighbouring sheep farm.
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Old 9th September 2006, 11:06 PM   #4
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Firstly you do need to confirm whether it is a fracture or not (sometimes a joint infection can look very much like a break because of the pain, swelling, non weight bearing etc)

With fractures in young animals they heal remarkably well if the farcture is properly immobilised (immobilisation is the KEY).
If the fracture is high up on a limb it is extremely important that it is splinted or immobilised correctly (this is difficult on a hind limb because of the shape of the leg (being wider at the top and skinny at the bottom) and therefore the splint/cast tends to slip down. If the cast/splint slips then it can make the situation worse by just adding weight to the affected leg below the fracture site and making the stress on the area worse.


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Old 10th September 2006, 10:43 AM   #5
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DIY fracture repair on any species is something to be careful with. There are numerous pitfalls - wrong diagnosis, complex fracture, non-union to name but a few ..

Not trying to put Carali or anyone else off - but just a little advice to keep a close eye on these when treating without veterinary input.

GOod luck with yrs Carali - as Cowvet says - simple fractures in young animals tend to heal quickly so I hope yrs is straight-forward and successful

Jess & Co

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Old 10th September 2006, 10:57 AM   #6
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We had a pet a couple of years ago that decided to play football with the donkeys. The donkeys won - two nil .... both left legs broken. The breaks didn't worry her at all .... which was a bit of a problem immobilising them, because she would stand up without any worry ...Confine the lamb and ewe in a small paddock for a few days, and use that lamb for home-kill because the exporters don't like mis-shapen joints.
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Old 10th September 2006, 07:06 PM   #7
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Many thanks for all your replies.
Our lamb has been to the vet this morning and the break is just below the knee (so we had strapped a bit high but the vet said still good as it immobolised it). He is now sporting a fancy blue cast, vet said at his age he should heal well - only problem is it is raining here at the moment so although the cast is waterproof we need to keep him in the shelter as it would not be good to get water going down inside the cast. So mum (and our lambs twin brother) are in the shelter with him tonight, quite happy with all they can eat of hay, sheep nuts etc but hope it fines up tomorrow so they can all venture out to the paddocks.
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