BreedingPairThe sheep with the broken leg has healed nicely. I left the spoon splint on for eight weeks. The vet changed it out one time halfway through. She said normally she might change them weekly, but that due to being on dry, soft bedding, it was holding up well enough to leave it alone. I guess she normally splints a lot of animals that are left outdoors, and then their splints get wet and muddy and need more attention. I initially took it off at the end of the eight weeks and let her walk, only to be shocked by how bendy her leg looked. Though the break was well below her knee, near (or perhaps involving) her wrist, her knee looked very week and was bending backwards. I suppose it was just due to weakened muscles and ligaments from being on rest so long.

So I made a soft splint using foam pipe wrap secured with vet wrap, to stabilize the leg some. I did this for another four weeks, changing it once at two weeks. By that time, her lameness had converted to maybe just a mild favoring of the leg, but she was weight-bearing on it pretty well. So I let her out of the itchy, stinky splint so she could finally be comfortable.

Thought she originally tested pregnant when I brought her into the barn after the break, that pregnancy didn’t come to fruition. Not surprising given the stress. And, probably best for nutritional resource allocation to healing the leg rather than growing fetuses. Once she was out of the spoon splint and just in the soft splint, but still in a jug, I paired her with a ram to try to get her re-bred. This worked, he was wearing a harness, and he had her thoroughly marked within a few days. Blue crayon everywhere, on the ewe, on the ram’s head, on the fencing panels… Open-mouthed smile So hopefully the season is salvaged, she is due to lamb late June.

I’ll keep her in the barn as long as she is favoring the leg at all, which may be all the way through lambing. I don’t want her putting a lot of stress on the leg from all the walking and grazing the pastured ewes do.

Here is a video of her walking with the soft splint, I am really pleased with how smooth her gait is already. The break itself is really crooked and wonky looking, who knows if that will eventually re-shape or if she will be productive long-term with a weakened leg?But for now, it looks pretty good, and it has been an interesting learning experience.

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