We’ve been having a few eye issues in the flock of late.
Chloe, a beautiful ewe from Maryland, developed a cloudiness in her left eye recently. It looked like she managed to get a solid poke in the eye, and our vet comfirmed such. So we are giving her some eye ointment that might increase her healing rate and comfort. Unfortunately, Chloe is already on the shy side, and we were only able to sneak in and get her about four doses before she wised up and began to assiduously avoid us. I have often wished that there were a way to communicate to sheep that they’ll be happier with the help. We’ve abandoned chasing Chloe for now, especially as the treatments we did manage clearly helped a lot and she is still making progress.
The other eye case is a little weirder and more complex. One of the lambs born last Friday had strange-looking eyes. He was newborn and gunky, so it was hard to pinpoint exactly what was going on. Gradually, it became apparent that he had some sort of eye issue. Our first thought was Entropion, where the lower eyelid is folded inward so the eyelashes irritate and injure the eye. But we couldn’t find any sign of lower eyelashes at all.
The vet came to look at both sheep. Part of being Animal Welfare Approved is providing treatment when treatment is needed, not leaving animals to “fend” and suffer. Our vet felt like the lamb had some defect or issue in-utero that is expressing itself outside. The little ram does play with his friends and is active, but does behave as though he is not completely sighted. So we have been treating him with ointments, drops and antibiotics, trying to improve his condition. Like Chloe, he now avoids us like the plague and associates us with mean stuff. It’s so hard to do what is right but sometimes uncomfortable for the animal. He is on the mend, as demonstrated by his increasing ability to evade me, so I know that the medications are helping.
Everyone else looks fantastic. The lambs are bouncy and jolly, and I can see on the shorn ewes that most are in fantastic condition. Fred has been showing off his lovely conformation and I finally got a good picture to show you the difference between 2 month old Agnes and a 5 day old lamb (probably the brother of our cloudy-eyed guy).