Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The mist hangs heavy

The mist hangs heavy in the air. It froze last night and the temperatures is predicted to reach the 40's today. A perfect day for the sap to run in the sugar bush. I should be happy.

I have a sick lamb in the barn. He broke his leg last week and Dave and I set it. He followed his mother just fine and was practically running with the rest of the lambs. Then he got his splint caught in a feeder and in struggling to get free, broke his leg in a second place. This was a bad break, a compound fracture with 3" of bone sticking out. Way beyond my area of expertise. Dr. Magnusson cleaned up the bone and the tissue and set the break. But the possibility of infection is high, and the blood vessels and nerves for that leg were badly damaged. When I took the lamb home, I knew it was an iffy proposition.

I set up the group pen again and bedded it with clean straw and laid the lamb under the heat lamp. His mom wasn't actively looking for him and wouldn't come unless he baaed, which he wasn't up to doing right then, but she would search out his sister if she called.

So I caught his sister and set her next to him in the group pen. She baaed and mom came running. This morning, mom and sister are quietly eating hay. The lamb with the broken leg hasn't moved. He won't drink from a bottle. I fed him milk replacer by gavage last night, but this morning, I can't get the tube into his esophagous, it keeps going into his trachea. He coughs and I pull the tube out.

He's only had 6 ounces of milk since I brought him home from the vet. I have to figure out a way to keep him nourished. I am not optimistic. My heart is heavy.

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