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laurie etc

hind leg fracture on a ewe - any experience fixing?

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I had a pregnant ewe come up to eat last night with what looks like a hind leg fracture - just below the hock. The ewe seems bright and alert otherwise, and is eating and drinking. It's not compound, no wound, and there isn't much, if any, swelling. I could restrain her myself well enough to tell that there isn't really "crepitous", and she has circulation to the lower leg. It's almost like the ligaments that attach the hock and cannon bone may have been severely strained or partially ruptured on the medial side. She is not weight bearing on it, but when she touches her toe down, the whole lower leg obviously abducts to the outside, below the hock. Anyone have any experience with how these would do in a splint? I won't have help to splint it until this evening, but I was thinking of wrapping/padding it with cotton and vet wrap, then splinting with PVC from above the hock to below the fetlock joint on both sides of the leg, to keep it from bending side to side. For right now, she's in a stall with a buddy, she is doing fine just standing on the other 3 legs, and doesn't seem overly concerned. She's not due to lamb the until first week of April. She looks to be carrying twins. Is it worth a shot to try to fix her?

thanks,

Laurie

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You've got the right idea. Brace, pad, and tons of tape. It's hard to know without seeing it, where to support it, but you can probably tell just by looking.

 

The only caution I have is don't wrap it too tight and check it several times every day to ensure that any swelling is not restricting circulation.

 

I had a ewe break her shoulder. It took about six weeks of complete rest but by the end of it she was jumping out of a full-sized horse stall, so I would call that a successful treatment. We didn't even splint her up in any way.

 

In spite of an annoying propensity to die on you when you least expect it, sheep have amazing recuperative powers.

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Sounds just right to me. I've known some shepherds who tie a hind leg up round the belly so the ewe can't put any weight on it at all. Unless of course she falls over on it.

 

So far all the breaks I've mended on adult sheep have been front legs, but there's no reason why a rear would be any harder. Definitely worth doing, in my book.

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Sounds just right to me. I've known some shepherds who tie a hind leg up round the belly so the ewe can't put any weight on it at all. Unless of course she falls over on it.

 

So far all the breaks I've mended on adult sheep have been front legs, but there's no reason why a rear would be any harder. Definitely worth doing, in my book.

 

Thanks Becca and Bill - when my daughter gets here to help hold her, we'll give it a try. I'm going to take a picture of it - hopefully "before AND after". I've wrapped enough horse legs in my days as a horse owner/vet tech , I think we can manage as long as the ewe cooperates. I do know about padding it, and using LOTS of Duct tape to secure the splint.

Laurie

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You mention wet wrap, I would advise against this as this will cause shrinkage and tightening of bandage and could cause blood flow restriction, but otherwise sounds fine.

John

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We've had good success splinting broken legs including a compound fracture on a rear leg that my wife set. Based on advice from a long-time shepherd, we extended the PVC splint below the hoof, jugged the ewe with a buddy for several weeks and changed the dressing every 2-3 days.

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