Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sheep Healing Nicely

Wow! After lambing I thought things would slow down! Ha! No such luck.  Just after lambing we had the sheep sheared.  Though I know some shepherds find this practice to work for them, next year I will sheer them a month before lambing time.  Our Spring wool was a matted mess.  The ewes had begun their wool break and our oldest ewe Eliza Jane didn't need the shearer at all for she shook, rubbed, rolled her wool away! Typically, the spring clip isn't good for spinning after being matted down and laying in hay all winter, but our flock was looking pretty darn good and nice felting projects were in my future.  Seriously though, what I was able to salvage may make one hat! Ahhh the learning curve of the new shepherd.

During our shearing, the last to be sheared was Rhum, our Shetland wether yearling.  He is such a doll, but a sprinter.  He proved rather tricky for Jim to keep a hold of and on one occasion Rhum kicked and Jim couldn't move the clipper fast enough away.  I wasn't there when it happened.  As luck would have it, I had taken a stroll into the pasture to check out the lambs.  No one informed me that the cut was pretty bad.

By the end of that day as my hubby and I took a walk down the fence line he noticed Rhum was not eating and was laying down not chewing his cud.  We tried to coax him up but he just looked up at us.  Normally a sprinter, he couldn't get out of the way of his own shadow.  I was very worried.  Bringing them all into the barn we managed to get a hold of him and put him in a pen.  At close inspection, the wound was really bad.  Seemed like his was cut down to the bone.  I quickly sprayed it with a wound wash and then an antiseptic.  My fear was fly strike since the weather was unseasonably warm the flies were out in big numbers.

After a few days of this repeated treatment plus a shot of Penicillin he was still not putting any weight on it and seemed rather lethargic.  I gave in to my worries and called out the vet.  She told me we had taken the appropriate measures and in fact he had cut through a tendon.  She did a much better job of cleaning it out and injected him with more penicillin and an additional shot of pain killer and wrapped it up with a lovely neon pink bandage!  After a couple more days he began putting weight on it and we were beyond happy.
Though I feel a lot more comfortable caring for a wound now especially after watching the vet, it was well worth the cost of her coming out just for the pain killer.  We hated seeing him in that condition.  I liked knowing he wasn't suffering while healing.

Here is a picture of Rhum a few days after the vet visit.  Isn't he just the cutest!!!

I know accidents happen in shearing all the time, however I am really disappointed that Jim didn't let me know how bad it truly was.  It must have been pretty darn obvious when you looked at the leg.  If I had not been out that night checking on them (granted that is my job) Rhum would have been out there with an exposed leg suseptible to all kinds of flies and critters.  But it didn't happen and I thank God for that!

Alls well that ends well.  Life on the farm is really never dull!!!


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