Riddlesden Jacobs

A site about a West Yorkshire flock of Jacob Sheep

Learning about prolapse

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We’re not far off lambing now. Our first ewe is due in a week. We’ve been watching our ewes carefully and all seemed fine. We had a bit of a scare last Monday. Kath’s mum spotted something not quite right with our number 6. She appeared to be starting to lamb and something which looked like it might be the birth sack popped out. By the time we got there, Number 6 was up and absolutely fine. We spoke to our vet and took the ewe down to the surgery to be examined. She was absolutely fine (if a little annoyed at being bundled into the trailer). There were no signs of her lambing or of anything being wrong. The vet just advised to give her more time.

We kept her in over night and for much of the next day but there was no sign of anything being wrong so we let her out again and she joined the rest of the flock quite happily. Then yesterday while Kath was out for a run she saw Number 6 lying on her side straining again and a roughly mango sized pink fleshy thing coming out. However, it quickly popped back in – in just a few minutes. We realised that actually this was a vaginal prolapse that was popping back in itself. We phoned the vet for advice – there is so much information online that by the time we’d spent half an hour reading  some of it, we didn’t know whether to harness the ewe up to support the prolapse, use a prolapse spoon thingy or what. Anyway, the vet said that given that it was popping back in itself very quickly it was best just to leave the ewe to it but to expect it to happen again – several times possibly – before she actually lambs.

We’ve had no experience with prolapse. None of our ewes have suffered with it before and it was not something prevalent in the flock from which our sheep come either. I suppose that’s a good thing but it did make us feel a little lost and a little silly. We should have realised that this was happening and we could have spared us all a lot of stress on Monday! Now  of course we know! We have a set of 3 prolapse spoon/ retainer thingies that Malcolm gave us when he dissolved his flock but I’m really not sure about them! They make me cross my legs tight and make pelvic floor exercises seem strangely attractive.

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Prolapse Retainers – Hm!

There are also harnesses and instructions on how to make your own and it seems that basically you parcel the ewe up like a Christmas present! There’s a lot of info online and if we need to, I think we’ll be able to make a harness but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. We may however buy an adjustable  harness next time we’re in a shop or ordering stuff online anyway – we’ve got it then. In fact, I am wondering if the random contraption that we decided wasn’t anything or was missing the key bits, may in fact have been a harness. Oh well, that’s gone.

We are hoping to get some time to update and sort out the blog and website tomorrow so it’s all ready for the lambing updates. We meant to have done this already but we’ve been busy and I (Jess) have been down with flu/migraine and therefore nowhere near screens for a week.

Author: Jess Guth

Dr Jess Guth is a Senior Lecturer in Law. She blogs at jessguth.com She also doesn't really run - reallynotarunner.com

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