Poor fella. The vet just left and his prognosis is okay. At least it’s not bloat, and I’m waiting to hear back about all the horseweed he ate yesterday, which I think may be the culprit.
Yesterday, the normal piggy Uncle Honeybunch showed zero interest in their nightly grain treat, and just lurked back in the barn, away from everyone. This morning, he was still off feed and hanging back, and his belly felt really taught (they always feel that way at night, so I didn’t think anything of it last night; but everyone else was decompressed this morning). He didn’t seem to be burping, was was generally listless and not himself. I made an appointment with the vet, but it wasn’t until 2.
He looked twice as wide as everyone else (to be honest, he’s ALWAYS the widest one), and his fleece is longest, too, so I got worried he had bloat and the heat would make it way worse (a real threat, according to the internet), so when he passed mushy poop and the temperature crossed 90 before 11am and the lady at the vet asked if I might bring him inside when I fretfully telephoned, I marched out and dragged him inside.
He did not come willingly, and I was sweating and grunting and fighting him the whole way. He’s currently too big around to pick up (assuming I could lift him–which I’m pretty sure I could if he weren’t so barrel-like and if my arms weren’t so tyrannasaurus-like), so it was a war of cajoling and pleading and dragging and wondering if I was making a terrible mistake in the burning sun. I finially go him inside, and up the six stairs, and down the slick hall to my office, were he promptly crammed himself into the corner and shunned me. One he cooled off, he was a little nicer and relaxed a little and even begged some pets.
He still doesn’t look content, but he seems stoic and calm, throwing me the occasional winsome glance and the occasional dirty look. I have some probios to give him for the next couple days, and a little better understanding of what bloat would look/feel like, but no solid explanation of his appetite, poop, and taut belly. He was gorging on horseweed yesterday. Ed had told me it wasn’t dangerous, so I didn’t stop him, but with all the dryish grass and hay they’d been eating, maybe his tummy couldn’t take it, or maybe he just ate way more than a normal sheep should. I know I’d probably look like that if I ate a whole carton of ice cream.
The vet said he hadn’t heard horseweed was a problem, but that might just be because they don’t usually eat much of it. The Kansas wildflower and grass site says it may be toxic to sheep and cows, but that there’s no experimental evidence.
Anywho. I’ve got a waterproof tarp and some ratty tatty blankets down, but so far, he’s been dainty. My plan is to put him back with the others after the temperature’s on its way back down (usually around 7) give him the probios over the next couple days, and keep an eye on him.
Hot damn! A burp, and a few seconds of chewing! Not a rousing recovery, but I’ll take what I can get.
None of the sheep are loving this heat wave (which is planning to stick around until Saturday, apparently), but I let them out at 6.30 to get a little grass before Mother Nature fired up the broiler, and I hung a Coolaroo shade and an extra fan this morning, and I’m rotating frozen jugs of water into their bowls to keep it cool and encourage them to hydrate. The chickens are hanging out in the cool shade of the building, getting fresh water every couple hours. Everyone is moving as little as possible.