A couple of weekends ago we were out of town a for few days and left the care of our farm to a trusted friend and neighbor. Just before we were about to head home my neighbor contacts me to tell me that Daphne (one of the yearling ewes) has diarrhea with mucous and a little bit of blood in it. "Great", I thought to myself, "Now what do I do?" I really wasn't sure what it was and began to imagine the worst, thinking it could be some contagious parasitic disease or something. (There are parasites that can cause diarrhea.) Daphne was apparently unfazed by the whole thing, acting fine, and continuing to eat grass like nothing was out of the ordinary. I decided to call on a more experienced shepherd for help.
One poop sample later, I was relieved to find that we were not facing an attack of deadly parasites. I might add that one can never be too careful of parasites in sheep. Especially in the deep south, these free-loading vermin can be a major problem. Thankfully, katahdins are more resistant to them than other sheep breeds. That doesn't make them immune though. Anyway, possible diagnosis after this point (since no other causes were staring us in the face) was either eating a noxious weed or, most likely in this case, wet grass. This is called grass scours. It had rained a lot recently. I had no idea wet grass could do that. I washed off her messy backside to make sure I would know if the diarrhea continued and to get her all clean. She was less than thrilled about this but handled it pretty well and quickly forgave me after I gave her some hay. I was given a tube of probiotics and instructions to give to it to her twice a day.
Daphne is totally fine. She actually didn't have any more diarrhea after that point and neither did anybody else. So, she basically scared me and then acted as though nothing had happened. Just like a sheep to do something like that.
Special thanks to some great neighbors for helping me take care of my sheep.
I'm Debbie. I love listening to chickens cackle and sing. I love Lindt chocolate truffles, a good cup of coffee, and a good book.