Melody’s saga, the final lap of the lambing marathon, continued into Wednesday. Three vet visits without lambs and without relief from the pain and discomfort of the prolapse. When Vet Steve came on Tuesday evening, he confirmed what John found as he tried to push Melody’s prolapse back into her: there was no dilation of the cervix, no active labor. No way to get the lambs out. Steve said, let’s wait till tomorrow morning. Melody seemed so tired, almost like she was giving up. The vet said, maybe she is a little ketotic [toxemia]. Could I give her some of that propylene glycol that we gave Clarissa? Yes, good idea. So we started giving her squirts of this clear liquid. She seemed to respond, perking up, eating a bit.
Wednesday morning, 6:00 am, we are up and heading for the barn, praying that we will find a happy ewe and a lamb or two. But unfortunately there was just Melody. John patiently worked to lift the prolapse so she could empty her bladder, then firmly pressed the innards back into her. Though Steve wanted a call at 8:00 and felt it was urgent to deliver the lambs soon, John wanted to wait. The cervix had seemed a little more open, maybe she needed more time.
In the early afternoon, John checked again. A tiny bit of progress. He called the vet again. This time, Vet Meagan was available to come. She has smaller hands, Steve said, and maybe that will be an advantage. That, combined with the patience to spend an hour working with the problem.
Meagan pulled the first lamb, hind feet first, with no heartbeat. The second, a little ewe 8.25 pounds, required some diligent attention [rubbing, wiping mucous away] but managed to make it through the first hour or two. When Marilyn got home from work it was not difficult to expose the ewe’s teat and let the lamb nurse. She isn’t strong, but she is eager to eat and sucks vigorously.
The hurdles: lamb is weak and needs to eat every hour or two; mother is recovering from her very difficult birth and wants only to rest; mother does not lick or claim the lamb and tries to butt her away; mother has not delivered the afterbirth yet. Good news: mother has colostrum, the essential first feed. The lamb is a cutie with very nice bright white wool. You can see in the picture that Melody is exhausted and not really ready to take on motherhood. Cross your fingers everyone!