Friday, February 25, 2011

Scours in Young Sheep and Goats

Scours is not a disease, rather it is a symptom of another problem. Scours is basically another name for diarrhea in livestock animals. Scours can be caused by many things, but because it dehydrates an animal, it in itself can be deadly and should be addressed immediately, especially in young lambs, and goat kids.

Scours is noticed often because the rump of an animal with be dirty with diarrhea. The lamb, or kid, may stand hunched up, look thin, hang its head, be lethargic and not interested in eating. An odor may be noticed if they are penned, and ideally their stool should be checked for signs of blood, if present a vet should be called to determine if the problem is bacterial, or the result of parasites, both of which will need to be treated.

In a pinch a sheep, or goat, keeper can treat scours with Pepto Bismol, or better still, Kaopectate (which does not hamper food absorbtion). Neither should be given for more than two days, and if the problem continues, or the source of the problem is unknown, a veterinarian should be called.

A healthy lamb!

We currently have two lambs with scours - brought on by the cold weather (-39C) chilling some of the lambs, as this can be a cause of scours in both lambs, and goat kids. 

In the summer an additional risk - Fly Strike - can be brought about because of the dirty bums attracting flies to lay their eggs, as such care should be taken to prevent flies on such animals.

More information on Scours in Lambs and Goat Kids

More information on Scours

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