Denise: We have another wee lamb to care for! She’s got a bout of Coccidiosis, and if J hadn’t spotted her, yesterday morning, lying behind a boulder … That’s why livestock need to be checked at least once a day! J and I have been sharing nursing duties. Anti-biotics are the standard veterinary treatment for Coccidiosis (the alternative humane treatment being euthanasia) but we’ve been working with a combination of ‘electrolyte’ (see below) and TLC. The (apparently) bizarrely-named electrolyte was invented in the 80s, I think, as rapid and extremely cheap treatment for diaorrhea amongst famine sufferers, without which no earthly kind of famine-relief would be of any use. But back to the lamb! This morning she’s on the mend, standing up and wobbling about to find a quiet nook in the dappled shade of the Sweet Cicely. So that’s the name sorted!
The TLC? Well sweet little Cicely does seem to respond to being held close, talked to gently, and stroking to the cheeks and the side of the neck, and along the body. A little attention frequently is best, we find.
Electrolyte? 1litre water, boiled – then cooled down to 30-40 degC. Stir in 50g glucose (you can buy it cheapest as body-building or fitness supplement), 5g bi-carbonate of soda, 5g table salt. 250ml (a quarter of the recipe quantity) is enough for one lamb, if necessary given in small quantities over a number of hours. Adminster using a feeding bottle with teat, or a plastic syringe, or a plastic pippette/dropper, or (in exceptional cases, and only if trained to do so, as it can go disastrously wrong) with a syringe and stomach-feeding tube. If the lamb is weak (but not so weak as to require a tube), wedge the lamb’s mouth slightly open with index finger and thumb, and drop the electrolyte into the mouth a few drops at a time, ensuring that the lamb is swallowing (check for tongue movement). Slowly, slowly, gently, gently!