Ewes blowing guts out

sheepdogtrail

Member
Livestock Farmer
To me this is classic mineral imbalance. What is the hay? Have you had it tested? What is in that 900 g a day supplement? Look at Calcium in the blood, forage and supplements. There needs to be enough but not to much. A good livestock nutritionist will know exactly what the problem is based on analysis of your feed and supplements and some questions to you about your sheep.

I have not used any protein/energy supplements in the last 20 years. But when I did feed it, I never feed them more than 1 lb. a day and that is for 140 lb. ewes carrying lambs. Singles, Twins, Trips or Quads. I do not scan but I know my sheep and I have a custom trace mineral salt that is based on the ground (soil/forage analysis) where I run the ewes.

Water, anything about their drinking water. Are they getting enough of fresh water?

What is the ambient temp?

Do these ewes have full length tails? The last rectal prolapse I had was about 14 years ago on a ewe with a tail docked to short, was a heavy (4) body condition and was stuffing her face on fresh and sweet Italian Rye Grass and white clover. I fixed her.

A vet should be able to draw a few tubes of blood, right?

Good luck. You will figure it out with the right help.
 

hally

Member
Location
cumbria
So will adding sheep minerals to the tmr mix help pre lambing ? As there doesn’t appear there is a lot of minerals in bought in compound.
 

Optimus

Member
So will adding sheep minerals to the tmr mix help pre lambing ? As there doesn’t appear there is a lot of minerals in bought in compound.
We give ours minerals.not in the feed,just in a tub an let them help them selves.we used to get a fair few prolapses but maybe not as many in recent years.wether it has anything yo do with the minerals I'm not sure.
 

ERL

Member
Livestock Farmer
Exercise is just another underlying factor, but not a trigger. Ewes on hills can be more severely affected than their contemporaries on the flat under tight rotational grazing leading to some farmers incorrectly claiming it is due to terrain steepness. The difference in prolapse incidence where the cation : anion balance has been measured has always been in what goes down the throat.



Correcting any deficiency will help as such measures reduces the underlying nutritional problems the flock suffers from. A shot of Vitamin B12 in a cobalt deficient situation will also help, as this too simulates appetite and metabolism. However the trigger remains if high K and low Mg in feed exists to severely limit Calcium mobilisation in ewes.
In such a situation where under-feeding exists (inside or outside) the problem manifests as Milk fever.
Thanks for this very useful info.

I read somewhere of some link to vitamin D deficiency as well. Could make the problem worse in housed use due to lack of natural light?
 
The following article was written by Dr. Rex Dolby (former head of Soil Science for NZ's crown research inst. AgResearch) and is also available as a chapter in a book which can be downloaded free off the website: www.easy-rams.co.uk ,or contact @easyram1

My Romney flock suffered 2-6% annual incidence of prolapse over a 15 year period and all offending ewes and progeny were culled. It was not until Rex's advice was sought that I fully understood the science behind this complex problem. His advice and the simple treatment followed reducing this incidence to under 4 ewes out of 2800 lambing (including ewe lambs) per year. Some warmer/sunnier years we recorded no prolapses. Hence my ram clients were each given a copy of this article leading to a chorus of praise and thanks from those whose flocks had previously been affected by prolapse and ewe losses, particularly in steep hill country where daily shepherding was impractical.View attachment Rex10 Prolapse.doc
 
So will adding sheep minerals to the tmr mix help pre lambing ? As there doesn’t appear there is a lot of minerals in bought in compound.
Rumenco do lifeline minerals in powder form. First nutritionist we used years ago said put calcined magna cite in the TMR along with a general mineral
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
The following article was written by Dr. Rex Dolby (former head of Soil Science for NZ's crown research inst. AgResearch) and is also available as a chapter in a book which can be downloaded free off the website: www.easy-rams.co.uk ,or contact @easyram1

My Romney flock suffered 2-6% annual incidence of prolapse over a 15 year period and all offending ewes and progeny were culled. It was not until Rex's advice was sought that I fully understood the science behind this complex problem. His advice and the simple treatment followed reducing this incidence to under 4 ewes out of 2800 lambing (including ewe lambs) per year. Some warmer/sunnier years we recorded no prolapses. Hence my ram clients were each given a copy of this article leading to a chorus of praise and thanks from those whose flocks had previously been affected by prolapse and ewe losses, particularly in steep hill country where daily shepherding was impractical.View attachment 1011308
Noted and obviously opposite to the positive effects of an alkaline rumen interestingly mentioned , the acidity caused by feeds (high starch ) conc. feeding will help .......but and its a big one because if they are getting a lot of that , although nutrient dense is helpful in the last stages , the type or lack of fibre wouldn't help either .
.......and the beggars gorge on it as well even fed carefully , theres always ewes that barge and bully.
Although expensive to do indoor sheep fed a complete mixed ration is such a good thing imo. (as long as they cant separate / be too selective )
as a base for that clamp Silage (made without too of what you mention ) cut at the right time would be ideal

certainly being too fat early on is a baddie in other ways also like causing dystocia another one ..

I sympathise with the ops problem as its a shocking one to have, the speed it happens and its quicker that any treatment can help at the time.
 

Agrivator

Member
The following article was written by Dr. Rex Dolby (former head of Soil Science for NZ's crown research inst. AgResearch) and is also available as a chapter in a book which can be downloaded free off the website: www.easy-rams.co.uk ,or contact @easyram1

My Romney flock suffered 2-6% annual incidence of prolapse over a 15 year period and all offending ewes and progeny were culled. It was not until Rex's advice was sought that I fully understood the science behind this complex problem. His advice and the simple treatment followed reducing this incidence to under 4 ewes out of 2800 lambing (including ewe lambs) per year. Some warmer/sunnier years we recorded no prolapses. Hence my ram clients were each given a copy of this article leading to a chorus of praise and thanks from those whose flocks had previously been affected by prolapse and ewe losses, particularly in steep hill country where daily shepherding was impractical.View attachment 1011308

The article seems to confuse vaginal prolapse with prolapse of the uterus. Can anyone cite another of his articles which specifies one or the other?
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
The article seems to confuse vaginal prolapse with prolapse of the uterus. Can anyone cite another of his articles which specifies one or the other?
but regardless of type of prolapse if there's one common/key factor /symptom (after the weight of something or other pressing against ).... i think that it could be this one as GO mentions above "less able to maintain good muscle control preventing minor contractions (eg. Braxton hicks) becoming excessive,"
drugs don't stop that after they wear off either .
 
There was talk years ago of sugar beet( fresh) causing prolapses and I asked one nutritionist whether it was true. He said the only reason was that the sheep absolutely love them,like offering kids sweets after they're full of dinner,they will always try to ram that bit more in out of greed. Same thing would apply to cake/concentrate I suppose,if the sheep are already full of hay/ silage and then you put cake out no sheep has ever thought " I don't think this is a good idea" ,they just ram it in and the weak point in the system has got to give.
 

Agrivator

Member
The article seems to confuse vaginal prolapse with prolapse of the uterus. Can anyone cite another of his articles which specifies one or the other?
but regardless of type of prolapse if there's one common/key factor /symptom (after the weight of something or other pressing against ).... i think that it could be this one as GO mentions above "less able to maintain good muscle control preventing minor contractions (eg. Braxton hicks) becoming excessive,"
drugs don't stop that after they wear off either .

But the two types of prolapse don't seem to have any common causes.

The one saving grace with vaginal prolapse is that it is highly repeatable, and culling the younger culprits will very significantly reduce the incidence within three or four years.

Uterine prolapse is much less common, and it doesn't appear to be connected to either body condition or nutrition - it just happens, and the culprits tend to cull themselves, often by dying.

And why is it that cows rarely if ever suffer from vaginal prolapse, but 1 or 2% can have a prolapse of the uterus each year.
 
The article seems to confuse vaginal prolapse with prolapse of the uterus. Can anyone cite another of his articles which specifies one or the other?

Obviously the author did not also add the word vaginal in his opening, as this is the common complaint from many sheep farmers in developed pastoral nations thus this explanation was requested by me after "fixing" the problem in my flock, or rather on my farm. The background cause remains the same for both conditions, be it uterine prolapse in dairy cows or vaginal prolapse in ewes. The questions it answers is why normal muscle control is lost resulting in prolapse either before the birth process is instigated (vaginal), or immediately after parturition (uterine).

Vaginal prolapse is very repeatable. Is it because so much tissue damage has been done, or because those ewes are genetically more susceptible to the triggering chemical situation?
There is a genetic link, as in all disease incidence, with breeds like Finn sheep being extremely resistant to prolapse, even in a quarter Finn flock prolapse is rarely seen where straight UK breeds, eg Romney have this occurring.
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
Or a genetic factor actually in pelvic floor 'design' or natural strength ?

after the cause ......Trouble is once the intestines or something equally disastrous gets pushed /kinked in around the pelvis itself that's going to cause one heck of an irritation ...
 
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Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
But the two types of prolapse don't seem to have any common causes.

The one saving grace with vaginal prolapse is that it is highly repeatable, and culling the younger culprits will very significantly reduce the incidence within three or four years.

Uterine prolapse is much less common, and it doesn't appear to be connected to either body condition or nutrition - it just happens, and the culprits tend to cull themselves, often by dying.

And why is it that cows rarely if ever suffer from vaginal prolapse, but 1 or 2% can have a prolapse of the uterus each year.
Not sure about comparing a ewe with a cow but don't 'they' compare a ewes with a Woman's pelvis/pelvic area as being similar in some way anatomically?

but nutrition / mineral/vit needs would be a be common factor in all types
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
me thing would apply to cake/concentrate I suppose,if the sheep are already full of hay/ silage and then you put cake out no sheep has ever thought " I don't think this is a good idea" ,they just ram it in and the weak point in the system has got to give.
the big difference between the 'cake' and the (good) silage/hay is the fibre it contains which is better for their 'throughput' than the lack of comparative fibre in the cake , course the cake will be vitamin and mineralised in a balanced amount which in normal or not too high quantities / fed at one time are good in late pregnancy ( i mean thats one good reason for it to be fed other than just energy and protein )
Trouble is with say, the intestines if they get like 'Strangulating obstructions ' after pushing and pushing / rupture of the pelvic floor its all up....
 

BAF

Member
Livestock Farmer
Not sure about comparing a ewe with a cow but don't 'they' compare a ewes with a Woman's pelvis/pelvic area as being similar in some way anatomically?

but nutrition / mineral/vit needs would be a be common factor in all types
I did say to the midwife when my youngest was born thst I'd at least use some lube before I stuck my arm elbow deep in a ewe!
 

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