We lost a ram lamb today. He was looking off for over a week. We had separated him into a small pen. He wouldn’t eat or drink but would eat fresh snow and we gave him nutridrench, propylene glycol and warm malt liquid. I could not figure out what was wrong, he didn’t really appear sick as in a disease but with not eating and no manure something was clearly wrong.

He died early this morning so the first task of the day after chores was to do a postmortem on him. I think every shepherd needs to know what normal sheep guts look like and what abnormal is. When I opened him up a huge amount of yellow colored urine like fluid came out of the abdominal cavity. His bladder had burst. I could not find any problems in the intestinal tract other than a hard mass of hay blocking one section. I felt the urethra for any stones but didn’t find anything. There was no indication of a clostridial infection, liver and heart were normal but the kidneys were filled with fluid. I did talk to a vet via phone and the result is we think it was a one off and not a flock problem or indication of a bigger issue.

I did take pictures, in case we need them later but they are pretty gross.