Medicine dosages for acute problems in sheep and lambs

Written by Cathryn

This has been written as an aide mémoire. It describes what we do on our farm and is not comprehensive but it covers the more common things that we come across and it works for us.

NB Check all dosages - these given are for the medicines that we use currently!

Ewes pre-lambing

Apathy in late pregnancy - give Calcium. Dosage 100ml sub-cutaneous, ideally under skin in groin area. Check that it is not the double strength version. Twin lamb drench 20mls (or whatever is recommended)

Prolapse (in order to sew up) Metacam (painkiller) 1cc to 1.5cc if a big ewe given intramuscular (thigh or bottom) Long acting Penicillin 2.5cc prophylactic but this varies depending on concentration – check the bottle also given intramuscular. NB If prolapsed before lambing, they cannot have any more lambs.

Ewes at lambing

Long acting Penicillin 2.5cc prophylactic if your hand has been inside the ewe (past the cervix) to assist in any way.

If milking ewe for colostrum, wash hands thoroughly beforehand in order to reduce the risk of mastitis.


Any lamb brought indoors, spray navel with iodine as soon as possible.

Normal sized lamb needs 150cc of colostrum within six hours of birth this includes powdered colostrum. Maximum given at any one time is around 60cc, unless lamb is much smaller. Colostrum is given using a tube.

If lamb has not had ewe colostrum (from the farm) within six hours, give prophylactic penicillin 0.2cc sub cutaneous on the ribs.

Hypothermic lambs more than six hours old must warm up before tubing! Then once they are shivering ie warming up a small amount of very warm milk can be given and rubbing to improve circulation.

Watery mouth (e-coli infection) usually in colostrum deficient lambs. Course of quick acting penicillin – check dosage. They also must have an enema, 10cc of warm soapy water to encourage the gut to work. Tube feed little and often and disinfect tube thoroughly between uses.

Joint ill appears in lambs at about 4 weeks. Treat with course of penicillin with steroids.

Eye infections – terramycin 0.5cc intra muscular. Again check dosage on bottle. Bathe eye twice a day with saline and smear with mild salve for comfort.