Bloat

Bloat is a condition where the lamb is unable to belch up the gas which is formed in the second stomach (rumen). The pressure will build up until it interferes with the lambs breathing and heart and he can die. It is caused by certain alfalfa hays, clover and alfalfa pastures.

The lambs abdominal area (belly) will be very swollen looking, particularly on the left side. The left side will often be higher than the top of the back. The lamb will be uncomfortable and depressed. This is an emergency situation. You need to get the lamb to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Why do some of my bummer lambs have a bloating problem? Bloating is one of many problems a stressed lamb faces. Lambs that can’t/don’t get colostrum at birth have a nearly zero chance of survival. Keep a frozen supply of sheep colostrum from ewes that had singles or ewes that lost their lambs. Small plastic soft drink bottle make good storage and feeding containers. Use a lamb tube to feed a new born lamb in stress a couple ounces of sheep colostrum.

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