Someone said "I think you don't need any more mouflon rams", and maybe they are right. Our first mouflon ram was Indico, and he died as a result of Ivomec-resistant barberpole worm about 10 days after we brought him home. It was summer, and hot, which didn't help matters.
January 28th we brought home Indico's sire, Falkur (see earlier posts). Now, it's January, and then February comes and we have weather which stays below freezing for 3 straight weeks. Worms supposedly go dormant in winter, as if they somehow sense that life outside the sheep isn't all that hospitable. However, Falkur's worms were apparently different. So there he was, losing blood slowly, and we had no idea. Yes, you are supposed to worm new animals when you bring them in, but as it was the middle of winter, it didn't occur to us that it might be necessary. First lesson.
So last Sunday we decided to bring the rams into the barn, because we had noticed him losing weight and thought it was probably the crappy hay we had. However, we'd just gotten a load of nice green good hay and thought if we brought them in, we could fatten them both up a bit. We hadn't up to this point checked his eyelids because again, we didn't think worms would be an issue. Second lesson - check eyelids anytime you get a chance.
He followed us readily into the barn with the aid of some grain in a bucket, but after we got them both inside, he suddenly seemed to lose interest in anything. He was standing there head hanging, not moving. Definitely not normal. On a whim, I checked his eyelids. Pale. Really really pale. Oh NO, not AGAIN! Got the wormer out and drenched him, found a fleece dog coat that would fit to keep him warm so he wouldn't be using what little energy he had left for that, and started wondering if he would survive the night.
Long story short, he survived and is on the road to recovery, but he's very thin and it will take some time to get his weight up back to normal. However, he's eating and pushing Flint around so he definitely feels better, as long as we can keep him from getting pneumonia or something else while he's building up his reserves.
Main lesson - don't assume worms aren't a problem just because it's winter. We both feel like dolts, but at least he survived our ignorance.
Color me surprised because I have to admit—we too don’t generally worry about worms in the winter. Though we do check eyes for curiosity sake—but not because we ever THOUGHT of worms in the winter. Bleepity bleepin’ #$%@ worms! Hate um.
Glad he’s o.k.
I took a fecal sample to the vet today, just to make sure we got the bleepity bleepin’ things. I’m looking at getting my own microscope from eBay or a used lab equipment supplier, and doing my own checks. I used microscopes on a daily basis for 12 years, so that part at least will be straightforward enough.