Scours in Lambs


How scours in lambs affects their health

Unlike adult sheep, lambs do not have formed faeces (little round balls) until they are several weeks old but this can vary from lamb to lamb. It is not uncommon for scours to occur in young lambs. 

Scouring is another name for diarrhea. It is very common for lambs to develop some form of scouring especially when they are introduced to a new milk. It could be from colostrum to powdered milk or from Mum’s milk to powdered milk. At times it is unavoidable, but if treated properly it should not become a huge problem. 

Scouring is not what makes the lamb sick, dehydration from scouring is, so it is very important to ensure scouring lambs have adequate water intake. Feeding electrolytes in between milk feeds is a good way to keep them hydrated. Alternating bottles between electrolytes and milk is also a good way to slow down scours. 

Depending on the cause of scours D’scour may be sufficient to cure the problem. If the scours is caused, however, by an infection then a vet visit and vet prescribed ScourBan may be needed to get it under control. 

Scours that are a dark green to black colour with a very pungent smell are most likely caused by a bacteria like E Coli, Cryptosporidium or Coccidiosis. If a lamb scours for more than a few days with no improvement or shows other signs of illness such as a temperature or inappetence a vet should be consulted. 

Photo showing lamb health issue called scours
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