9 June

Chronicles Of A Stricken Lamb: Better This Afternoon

by Jon Katz

A few minutes ago, we had a heartening visit to the pasture, Jake got up, walked around, looked alert, then he seemed to wear out and went by the stone wall to rest. The good signs are that he is drinking the bottle milk and responding to the shots we have given him, the troubling news is that he is not nursing – Deb is and doing well – and that he looks disoriented. All of this is consistent with a fever or having eaten something mildly poisonous – there are lots of things that can make lambs sick.

The other lambs are all fine, and Jake was born thin and frail, so the truth is we just don’t know. The vets have a saying – sick sheep suddenly die – and this is even more true of lambs. But I am more optimistic this afternoon than I was this morning. This afternoon I’ll give him another vitamin booster and later tonight, more penicillin. If it is a fever, this will fight it off. Thanks for the good wishes. I think the odds are even now, much higher than I would have given them this morning. This lamb has a message, he wants to live.

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