Thursday, February 21, 2013

Electrolyte For Sick Lambs


Electrolytes are responsible for keeping the body hydrated so that the muscles and nerves can function properly.
Electrolyte solutions help restore electrolytes lost by the lamb during sickness due to dehydration.
Its best to feed electrolytes 30 minutes before or after feeding as electrolytes slow down the digestion of milk. You can purchase electrolyte tablets and solutions from your vet or you can try home made electrolyte. Commercial electrolyte solutions are preferred over homemade.
A well made fluid electrolyte will be able to replace the fluid and electrolytes lost during scouring. It will prevent excessive dehydration which is a leading cause of death in sick lambs.
A dehydrated lamb is an almost dead lamb.



Home Made Electrolyte Recipe

1 Quart Water
2 Ounces of Dextrose(corn syrup)
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda




Before you give the lamb the electrolyte ensure that that the lamb is not chilled. Mix the electrolyte with warm water. Try to get the lamb to suck on the bottle that contains the electrolyte. If the lamb will not suck from the bottle then you will need to use the stomach tube and syringe. You can also inject an electrolyte solution intraperitoneally you can get a lesson on how to do this from your vet.




9 comments:

  1. thanks for this post, can I use sugar to substitute the corn syrup?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello
      You could use an organic honey or maple syrup to subsitute the corn syrup. Hope you enjoy the blog thanks for reading. Bye Linda

      Delete
  2. how much Electrolyte do I feed the lamb?? Is it 50/50 of lamb milk replacement? 1 quart is roughly 950 milliliters (almost 1 liter), which seems like a hell of a lot. So do I also make 1 liter of lamb milk replacement then mix both mixtures (1 litre of Electrolyte and 1 litre of milk) together to then have a formula of 2 litres?? It would take the lamb a little while to drink all that...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello.
      You are right a little lamb would not drink all this electrolyte. Treat the electrolyte as a replacer for the lamb milk replacer. The electrolyte recipe just works out to be a large volume one. Like the way you make a pot of tea but you just drink one cup. The first 24 hours should be just electrolyte. But also many are of the opinion that it should be 50/50. Its best to give the lamb small regular feeds. The amount feed to the lamb depends on the age. Under two weeks it should be 200ml four times a day or if possible 100ml 8 times a day. After two weeks 500ml 4 times a day or since the lamb is sick 250ml 8 times a day.

      Delete
  3. Hi, I have been feeding my 8 day old lamb only electrolytes store bought solution for the last 24hrs and his poop has turned from bright yellow to dark green is this normal? He seems in better spirits and is actually looking to be fed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The electrolytes can change the poop into a dark shade of green. What is the consistency of the poop. It should not be runny. Lambs start off with yellow poop are you sure it has the scour. Is it a bottle fed lamb.You could also use probios. http://www.probios.com/about/what-are-probiotics/ Probios is a probiotic, formulated especially for sheep and goats to help cure them of scours. I find the electrolytes great for curing lamb scour but you should try to find out the reason the lamb got the scour as to prevent further outbreaks.

      Delete
  4. Hi Linda,

    Thank you for your response the poop is very runny sometimes runnier than other times. Sometimes the poop is watery and the other times a little thicker like stew. He wasn't very interested in feeding for a couple days so I thought he must be sick and the local farm supplies store told me to buy electrolytes and that he must have scours. What is the right consistency? The lamb has been bottle fed and did not receive colostrum from it's mother. I did feed it replacement colustrum for 2 1/2 days then onto lambs milk replacement. After 2 days on the powder milk the runny poops started and got even runnier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello. The lamb first poop should be a black and sticky , then an egg yolk yellow goo, then normal beige to brown. The black poo is a tarry plug they are born with, the yellow is from colostrum and the beige to brown just normal. The normal poop should not be very runny or watery. It should be the consistency of pudding. There are other products you can use scour ban http://www.bayeranimal.co.nz/en/product-detail.php?p=3284. Sometimes if a lamb is overfed it will get yellow scour. The best option if you are not confident in what the lamb has is to go to the vet. The vet would not be very expensive for a quick check up. How old is the lamb.

      Delete
    2. What consistency is the dark green poop. Did the lamb get the replacement colostrum soon after birth.

      Delete