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loumabel

Sheep with a split hoof

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One of my pet sheep 'Beatrice' is limping. On closer inspection it appears that her hoof has split horizontally about half way up. I have felt it and its not hot so I don't think its infected yet and I have cleaned it with hibiscrub and hot water then dried it and sprayed loads of septi cleanse on it. I know a few people on this forum are experienced with sheep and I was hoping you could give me some advice. Should I call our farrier and get him to look at it and see if it can be trimmed or do I need the vet. The minimum the vet charges me is £90 for a home visit so I am hoping it is not necessary. :pray: I have googled it and it comes up with some very conflicting advice about feeding the sheep cubes of jelly to stop it happening again and to strengthen hoofs (not sure about this at all!!!!) and also said to apply some kind of foot paste? I feed the sheep on Pasture and Hay, plus some sheep mix in winter and they have a crystalyx tub with garlic supplement, am I doing something wrong to cause this to happen? Thanks in advance for your help :)

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I dare say it's related to the recent damp weather, my guess is that the outer wall has come away and split rather than the whole hoof if that makes sense

 

Personally I would treat it as you would foot rot

 

Do they have a hardstanding area or stable? I'd bring them both on to hard ground if you can and use a horse hoof pick and stiff brush to clean the hooves, let then dry out a bit (I always leave them in with hay overnight but a couple of hours is better than nothing) then spray with blue spray from the vets if they will let you have some - I think it's tetracycline or something like that... Anyway it's magic stuff. If you dont have blue spray the nettex purple foot rot spray is pretty good and can be bought from agricultural merchants

 

Another good option is a footbath, ours is a powder from nettex that you dilute and stand the sheep in

 

Whatever you use leave the sheep on hard ground for a few hours after then put it back out to graze

 

If its wet it's always a good idea to get the sheep on hard ground every now and again to give the hooves a chance ro dry a bit if you can

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Thanks so much for replying Redwing. I am going to ask my vet for some of the magic blue spray and in the meantime have been to our country store and bought the Nettex Foot Spray and given her hoof a good dousing with that. Our farrier is coming on Saturday to see if he can trim the flappy bit off and he said he will clean it up and give her another spraying. I have a small barn with a concrete floor I could put them in. Should I shut them in overnight occasionally to dry out? I must admit I hadnt even thought about that :doh: I am sure they will moan about it!!! I did shut them in at night when it snowed last year and they were not happy about that at all :roll: What did you think about the cubes of Jelly idea?? It seemed a bit weird to me to feed a vegetarian animal a meat product with loads of sugar in it!!! Thanks again for your advice I really appreciate it :D

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I know nothing about sheep but I expect that feeding jelly cubes to sheep is just as much a load of old bunkum as eating jelly cubes to make your own nails strong! Plus I agree with you about the gelatine in the jelly, I think DEFRA would have something to say about that :roll:

As I say, I know nothing about sheep, but I have had ongoing problems with my dog's claws. The vet suggested I try omega 3 oils and biotin to help strengthen them. She wasn't 100% sure if it would help but she said that was what was usually recommended for horses' hooves, so maybe it would be helpful to sheep too?

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Biotin is one of the only supplements that actually has a measureable effect - I have read it works on horses, cows and pigs so why not sheep? :D

 

We use farriers formula or formula for feet in horses so there must be a sheep alternative - its also available in licks for horses.

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Normally I would agree 100% if it were another animal but sheep are so very vulnerable to changes in vitamins and minerals and problems are reasonably common especially if they ingest something they cant have like copper

 

I swear that sheep constantly plot ways to freak us out, I had one that was hunched up and couldnt walk, an injection of selenium and he ran off across the field like there had never been a problem :roll:

 

None of my other animals are as problematic and that includes a pony with sweet itch!

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