Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Heat stress

As usual, the signs were subtle, registering in my brain over a day or two or three but not shouting for attention. Benny, my little loud-mouth, had gotten quieter. And sometimes he didn't hang tight with his "band of brothers" (actually two brothers and an nephew). Monday morning while doing chores, I stopped to actually watch him for awhile. He was off by himself laying down, moving his mouth occasionally, but not chewing cud. I called to him; he didn't call back. I mentioned it to Rick, to bookmark my concerns; I've learned it is helpful to do that. But rather than receiving the information as duly noted, Rick said, "We'd better catch him up and take a look at him." Okay, then!

When Benny made it clear he wasn't interested in coming up to me, we ran all four of the wethers into the sheepfold (the ewes and lambs were out on pasture). Poor Benny was heaving after the exertion, and when I caught him to hold him for Rick's examination, I could feel the heat radiating from him. The diagnosis: heat-stress-induced pneumonia. He got a shot of Banamine and a long-acting antibiotic; the boys spent the day inside with primo hay and access to minerals, kelp, and plenty of fresh water.

Last night Benny was somewhat better, so Rick gave him another shot of Banamine and the boys went back to the wooded lot so the ewes and lambs could come in.

This afternoon I went out to gather eggs and check on everybody. I couldn't see Benny anywhere, so started walking the wooded lot, dreading what I might find. Finally he peeked out at me through the branches. Obviously he's not out of the woods yet! (I wish that were only a punny joke....)

We'll be keeping a close eye on him and everybody while waiting for the weather to normalize. (If I could, I'd pack up the farm and move everyone with me to the cooler coast!)

That's it for now from . . .


Anonymous said...

The coast is definitely cooler, but it's been a lot warmer than normal for us. Glad your boy is feeling better,

LannieK said...

Hope Benny is feeling better soon! Heat is hard on everyone - take care!

Debbie said...

Glad everyone is ok! Poor Benny ...poor you having to catch him.
Hot here as well. It has stayed windy and that has made a difference.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Ugh :-/. Would it help to take his coat off?

Michelle said...

Ruth, he's not feeling a LOT better yet, unfortunately.

LannieK and Debbie, it cooled off nicely (normally!) last night and this morning, thankfully. Today is only supposed to be in the 80s. :-/

Sara, I don't think the coat adding to his trouble especially since he's always in the shade. Last night (window open) I heard him cough a few times, and this morning he has a snotty nose. He's not eating, either, so he got another antibiotic shot and a good dose of B vitamins.

Lisa Smith said...

Poor Benny . . . I'm sorry to hear he's under the weather (no pun intended, honest!). The extremes in temperature are so hard on everyone, or so it seems. Here in the Portland (Lake Oswego) area we had a low of 75 degrees one night, and 57 degrees the following night.

Benny is so fortunate to have expert medical advice and loving care on tap. I hope the antibiotics and vitamins work wonders very soon.

Best wishes, Lisa