Treating Twin Lamb Disease (Pregnancy Toxaemia)

Twin Lamb Disease or Pregnancy Toxaemia is a metabolic disorder where the body’s energy requirements are not being met, resulting from a significant decline in the level of nutrition. In the final two months of a ewe’s pregnancy, 70% of the lamb’s growth is taking place. It is therefore particularly important at this time to make sure the ewe has enough good feed to keep her and her lamb going. Ewes carrying twins are more often affected, but ewes carrying single lambs can also get the disease.

Stressful events like worms, feet problems, mouth problems, yarding and transport can bring on Pregnancy Toxaemia. Late pregnant ewes should not be without feed for longer than 4 hours.

Signs:

Separation from the flock.

  • Don’t run away when approached.
  • Appear blind.
  • ‘Star gazing’ – stands looking into the sky.

 

Treatment

For any treatment to be successful it must be given early. For treatment to be effective the ewe should be able to chew and respond to food in her mouth, if not it is unlikely that she will respond to treatment.

We have had the best treatment results with Botonic Energy oral paste – this is available from the surgery.
Other treatments are:
Glycerol (Glycerine) given orally 100ml twice daily
Glucose, 100ml of sterile 6% solution given under the skin daily
Glucose Solution, 100 – 200ml given orally twice a day,
Continue treating the ewe until she recovers, if she doesn’t respond to treatment, she must be humanely destroyed.
For valuable ewes or goats, caesarean section may be considered; this immediately removes the demand for glucose and alleviates the cause of the disease.