Wednesday, May 07, 2008

H is for . . .

Handsome! This is Valentine's son Bryden, probably the cream of my very nice ram crop. Look at that wooly poll even at the tender age of two weeks! His good-looking sire is shown below. (Yes, I know Braveheart's mouth is stuffed with hay, but I have a very hard time getting a photo that shows what a handsome head he has and this is one of the better ones!)

Hens. Well, they aren't really hens yet, but are looking more grown up every week. The Rhode Island Reds are finally losing the down around their heads and necks; Morgan lost hers awhile ago. This morning when I was bending over, Morgan flew up onto my back!

And finally, H is for Hopeful. We have settled on a diagnosis of PEM (sheepy polio), so last night Rick gave Brava both Banamine and dexamethasone to deal with the nerve and brain inflammation. This morning she was better, steadier on her feet and eating a little hay. We will continue to support her with thiamine/B-complex injections, probiotics, and anti-inflammatories; the antibiotics have been discontinued. Hopefully she will make a full recovery, but time will tell.

Was the initiator in this crisis wild cucumber (Marah oreganus)? I haven't been able to learn for sure if this is a poisonous plant (another species commonly called wild cucumber is). I did find some just outside the sheep lot that had been "nipped," but we also have English ivy in the area. We'll probably never know for sure. Thanks to all of you for your care and concern; your support means so much!

That's it for now at . . .

8 comments:

Kathy said...

glad to hear Brava is better! And love the photos!

Becky Utecht said...

Glad to hear she's doing better and I hope she makes a full recovery quickly. I've been amazed at how quickly dexamethasone can get a sheep back up on their feet and eating.

Alaska Shetland Shepherd said...

Is what you are calling sheep polio thiamine deficiency, like it is called with goats (goat polio)? We treat goat polio with Vit B Complex Fortified......the one with 10 times more thiamine in it. It comes on so quickly and in goats, causes them to loose their eyesight fairly early on although that is reversable. It also causes the staggers, off their feed, and worried.....and yes, can cause brain inflamation. Thiamine deficiency comes from Thiaminase....which is produced from moldy hay or grain. Thiaminase depleats the body of thiamine and then they suddenly crash...you don't know it's coming either. I had a case here in a goat and treated her for 4 days, then weekly boosters for another 4 weeks. I'll have to go look up sheep polio to see if it's the same thing. I hope that's it, that your therapy and banamine work to control the swelling and she returns to normal quickly!!!

Mim said...

Eating more food always is a good sign Brava is on the right track! In my studies of polio in sheep an excess of sulfer in feed or water was one thing to check. Maybe a plant growing around your area has too much sulpher. Slow introducyion to new areas helps. There are too many factors to look at, makes me crazy!

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Glad you figured out what it was, it so frustrating not knowing.
Good looking ram lamb! Way to go Braveheart! :)

A :-) said...

I had no idea that sheep can get polio :-( I hope Brava will continue to get better every day.

Lauren said...

Our chickens regularly hop on us or run up to be petted. I had no idea BC that they were as affectionate as they are.

Bryden looks great. H is definitely for handsome!

Karen B. said...

Best wishes to Brava, and what a lovely ram lamb!