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kajarrel

Ammonium chloride

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Anyone know the drench dose in volume (not weight) of ammonium chloride for acute urinary calculi? I tried giving this to one of my ram lambs for the first time yesterday and he is alive and peeing (first one I've ever saved!) but the initial dose I gave was obviously wrong as he had s/s ammonia poisoning. Pipestone says 1/4 ounce/head/day, but I think this is for prevention, and the other charts I've seen give the dose by weight. The lamb is ~ 100 lbs and I can't market him for another week or so . . . obviously, I don't want him to suffer in the meantime, if it can be helped.

 

Thanks!

 

Kim

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Can I piggyback onto this to ask if anyone has ever run into urinary calculi in a lamb as young as two weeks old? One of my ram lambs is failing to thrive, and I'm trying to consider all the possibilities, however unlikely.

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Hi Eileen,

 

If you're seeing a watery belly in a lamb that age, I would tend to think more along the lines of an E. coli infection. I don't think I've ever seen UC in a lamb under 75 lbs -- doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but I would think it would take a lot more than two weeks' exposure to a Ca/P imbalance to produce stones.

 

The other thing that can cause similar symptoms to UC -- hunched walking, teeth grinding, disinclination to eat, play, etc. -- and would be common in lambs about two weeks of age would be white muscle disease.

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Eileen,

I know this is a silly question but are you sure the mother has an adequate milk supply? Other than that, and the causes Bill has mentioned, I'd think about joint ill. Have you had any problems with abortions? Sometimes weak full term lambs are a result of various "abortion diseases."

 

Regarding UC, I tend to have problems with my biggest, fast growing, older lambs (1 or 2/year). I think it's due to eating large amounts of my grain mix, plus our hard spring water, conditions you wouldn't expect to see in a lamb as young as 2 weeks.

 

Kim

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Tony,

Thanks for your suggestion but that is the table I keep seeing - trouble is that I don't have a good scale and the dose is in grams. I'm trying to figure out how to convert that information to a volume amount.

 

Kim

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Thanks, Luisa. That is helpful. Looks like I should give about 1 Tbsp - I think I'll see if I can find someone to weigh that amount, as Tony suggests.

 

Howdyjabo, How much do you give? Are you giving Vit C pills? Do you give this when they're blocked or as prevention?

 

Thanks,

Kim

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It could be used as prevention--- better to balance your feed.

 

Its citric acid-- NOT vitamin c

 

Thats the great part of citric acid. Just put a tablespoon in water and dose. If that doesn't work do it again and again ect... Till its resolved.

 

When I had several with problems I just put a cupful in thier small water tank. And refilled it when half full for a couple of days.

 

Worked everytime for me when I was tinkered with castrating goats--- PS don't do it.

 

I figured it out by accident-- I had citric acid and didn't have ammonium .

I knew that citric acid broke down calcium deposits(why I had it in the first place). So I used it.......

I told my results on a goat list and now its common place for people to use it.

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Since this is only a problem for a very small number, <1%, of my lambs, I don't want to change my feed. If I can successfully treat the 1 spring lamb per year that gets urinary calculi, it would be easier and more cost effective. Once they're out on pasture, I don't have to worry.

 

In the past, I've eliminated the problem entirely by slaughtering the lambs before they get to this size, but this year I've got a lot of US lamb customers requesting larger lambs so I've run into the problem again.

 

But thanks again for the tip about citric acid. I'll definately look into this because the ammonia poisoning reaction was dramatic :eek: .

 

Kim

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>

 

I've pretty much ruled out all of these. Mom has lots of milk and is very maternal, his twin is flourishing, no abortions, I've never had white muscle disease and all the other lambs are doing great. I saw him pee yesterday, so I've rejected urinary calculi too now. Doesn't seem to be an infection. Not tetanus. No diarrhea. Not hunched, no teeth grinding, but he's gotten progressively less inclined to nurse, more listless and easier to catch.

 

The only thing I suspected that's still on the table is kinda weird. This year, for the first time, I have the lambs and their moms in a new field, which is usually used by horses. There are a few "dust bowls," apparently made by a horse rolling around. The lambs seem attracted to these and I've seen lambs nibbling at the dirt. I'm thinking he may have eaten enough dirt to get an impaction. I've given him several doses of vegetable oil, but no results. He did pass meconium and those mustardy looking first feces, but I haven't seen any fecal output in the last week (doesn't mean there hasn't been any, of course, but I've been looking), and his belly is definitely swollen. Think it's possible?

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Lambs love to eat dirt, but I've never had anything bad come of it.

 

If it were my lamb from what you're describing, I would treat for white muscle disease and gastro-intestinal infection. BoSe and oral tetracycline-family antibiotics, such as Neomycin.

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Would citric acid be effective if stones were phosphorous, as is often the case in lambs on a high-corn ration?

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I don't really understand the physiological reasons for the calculi that I had-- for all I know it was phosphorus too ?????????

 

Guess there is only one way to find out.........

wouldn't hurt anything to try it first-- on an early case.

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Never heard of a sheep with hardware disease. Cattle are susceptible because of the way they eat (using their tounges as excavator shovels). My vet once showed me a photograph of several dozen wires recovered from various cattle, and they were all identical. About four inches long, with a J-shaped hook at one end, just large enough to get caught on a cow's tounge. Very interesting.

 

Stones will generally be one or the other. They are caused by an imbalance between calcium and phosphorus in the diet, and whichever is in surplus settling out of the urine. Calcium deficiency is a pretty common problem in sheep fed diets rich in corn, and most cases of UC are phosphorus settling out. That's why most feeders use a small amount of Amonnium chloride in the feed as a preventative.

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Thanks, Bill & Howdy. This lamb was too little to have eaten anything much bigger than dirt -- he was the last-born of all the lambs, and I lambed late this year (finished 4/14), and though he was normal size when born he grew very little.

 

You notice I'm using the past tense. Before I could try the BoSe and Neomycin, he died. Worse still, he died soon after I left home for two days, so I didn't even get to cut him open and see if there was an impaction or any other clues. My husband's real good about feeding and checking on things while I'm gone, but I can't really imagine how he'd react if I asked him to PM a dead lamb!

 

Too bad -- that dropped my percentage from a nice even 200% down to 190-something. But still a good lambing -- no other problems at all, so I can't grumble.

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Sorry to hear that Eileen.

 

If you have a lamb slaughtered for your own freezer, I'd suggest sending the liver off for analysis to see where your selenium levels are. We were very surprised to find that our very best lambs were either just above or slightly below the level that's considered deficient. When we correct selenium levels, lambs grew better, were more robust, and died less often (well, of course any one lamb only ever died once, but you know what I mean).

 

On PM, look for white or pale bands in the heart muscle. They're visible to the naked eye on cross section. These would be a textbook case of WMD, but their absence wouldn't necessarilly rule it out. The liver analysis is the best way.

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Way late on this post but my diagnosis would have been selinium deficency ...wonder what came of the post mortem???

 

melinda

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