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Sudden Lamb Deaths

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nsPosted 04/27/12 10:47AM Send a private email to ns. Changed 00/00/00 12:00AM
Just wanted to see what some of you thought might be happening. We have had some lambs that were healthy looking all of a sudden just falling over dead. To me, it looks like they are choking but yet they arent. We first thought it was overeaters but we gave C & D anti-toxin. On the next day, we had another die on us again. What gets me is that when we feed our ewes at night, this is the time they are dying. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

 
EmsoffLambsPosted 04/27/12 10:55AM Send a private email to EmsoffLambs. Changed 00/00/00 12:00AM
How many have you lost? I'd sure be getting a necropsy done on them to determine what's going on. One saved lamb will pay for the necropsy.

 
SHADOWRANPosted 04/27/12 10:57AM Send a private email to SHADOWRAN. Changed 00/00/00 12:00AM
agree with Ems, with us just guessing will do you no good, get them checked fast

jim

 
KyhampbreederPosted 04/27/12 11:05AM Send a private email to Kyhampbreeder. Changed 00/00/00 12:00AM

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Two common causes are white muscle [heart failure] and a recessive heart defect.

 
MossCreek1Posted 04/27/12 01:48PM Send a private email to MossCreek1. Changed 00/00/00 12:00AM
How old are the lambs that are dying?

 
feedguyPosted 04/27/12 02:56PM Send a private email to feedguy. Changed 00/00/00 12:00AM
You said you gave anti toxin. Have these lambs been vaccinated (twice) with a toxoid vaccine?

 
nsPosted 04/27/12 05:14PM Send a private email to ns. Changed 00/00/00 12:00AM
we have lost 3 total. We lost two the first night and we did some research. With what we found, we figured it was overeaters. No we have not vaccinated with cd&t toxiod yet. The lambs are 4-6 weeks old. All along, we were planning to vaccinate all this weekend. For some reason it didn't cross our minds to get a necropsy on this last one that died. We are going to on the next one.

 
kciDPosted 04/27/12 08:03PM Send a private email to kciD. Changed 00/00/00 12:00AM
I've never seen a 4-6 week old lamb overeat...

I'd say pneumonia is the cause...

i don't CDT until my lambs are 3 or 4 months old.

 
feedguyPosted 04/27/12 08:25PM Send a private email to feedguy. Changed 00/00/00 12:00AM
It's called Overeating Disease. They don't overeating, it's just called that because it's usually the biggest, fastest growing lambs that just drops over dead.

The real name is enterotoxemia, caused by Clostridium perfringens Types C & D.

Just my two cents (okay maybe 3 cents): lambs that are 4-5 weeks old need to have been vaccinated alteady. The organism is pretty much ubiquitous. So, when lambs begin eating in earnest they are at high risk. The organism proliferates rapidly on protein (they live in the intestinal tract of sheep).

And it's their waste product that is toxic. The toxoid vaccine takes 14-21 days to provide full immunity. The anti-toxin works rapidly but falls off quickly and the protection is pretty much gone in 21 days.

Anyway, this is one disease that can be prevented.

 
Sheepherder007Posted 04/27/12 09:56PM Send a private email to Sheepherder007. Changed 00/00/00 12:00AM
There was a real issue last year with vaccine failure to protect lambs. One Mylamber came home to a barn full of dead lambs that had been vaccinated. Several lots were failing to produce immunity. We safeguard our vaccine supply now by buying from several sources and alternating sources in vaccination. Lambs are vaccinated with 1/2 cc when tails are banded, again at 30 days with full dose and again at 60 days with full dose and again at weaning and six months and annually thereafter.
Common misconception to think overeating is caused by overeating and it is just as Kevin explained. It is the toxin produced by the clostridium perfringens bacteria that kills the animal and the bacteria is normally present in the intestinal tract and suddenly blooms with high quality feed intake.
Vaccine is one of the cheapest vaccines available for livestock use.
One of the common symptoms is normally appearing lambs suddenly falling over dead.

 

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