Wetherby’s oops

My big buddy, Wetherby, has been struggling with a leg injury for quite a few weeks. Certainly not the suspect reasons such as an inflamed toe gland or foot scald. We are quite vigilant about hoof care of our flock and regularly trim and inspect the sheep’s hooves for any issues. But rather his top dog, rambunctious style put him a bit too feisty and the result is some sort of a strain/possible fracture in the fetlock area of the leg. Here he was first night in sickbay.

We had the vet here last Friday for annual vaccinations and had Wetherby checked to be sure we weren’t missing something. A physical exam showed no outward explanation but surely he needed “bed rest”. Oh boy….a sheep in lock down, what fun. Instantly Jack and I are thinking, he has to be confined for 4 to 6 weeks, let’s see, who’s the best ewe for the job of keeping Wetherby company?

Ashley! 14 years old, has a deep and abiding love for grain, alfalfa cubes and a daily massage if possible. Ashley has had a good life since she came to us in 2006 but still deserves some wine and roses. So after the vet appointment we held her and Wetherby back to adjust to their odd couple relationship. Both are equally mellow. We needed to choose a companion for Wetherby that would not be excitable but just good company during his confinement.

It’s been a week and they are loving it! The first 24 hours were pretty whiny…Ashley hated being with Wetherby. But Wetherby was happy. He was able to lay around much of the time, no competition to go here or there, and despite her bellowing she survived. Now they are ensconced in their routine together. They each get a grain treat twice a day, some alfalfa cubes, their own pasture lot, hay at night and Wetherby has improved remarkably. A week ago today he could put no weight on his right leg at all. Within 4 days (and a bit of anti-inflammatory meds) he was walking with a limp. Today he is walking well, still babying it when possible, but we are well on the way to a hopeful recovery.

It’s imperative that he remain confined for another month, boring as Ashley may find it, until he really can rejoin the flock for the summer. A flock of sheep can be a handful if given a scare or a mere frisky romp in the field together and I don’t want to set him back for the sake of our convenience.

Our big shmoozy Wetherby….all get well wishes will be passed on!

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