We try to think of hazards in the pastures and barn and make changes to remove them, we really do. No nails sticking out, no gaps that heads or legs can get stuck in, no splintered boards, no baler twine left hanging, buckets tied in place, nightlight on to avoid spooking, feeders permanently secured to the walls..... we've done everything we can think of short of bubblewrapping the posts. The routine 11 PM bedcheck on Monday showed everyone quiet and happy, munching hay in the feeders. When Andy did the AM check before 6:00 on Tuesday he found Peanut down on her side with both front legs caught under a latched door. Between the sill and door, her legs were being pinned as if in the jaws of giant scissors. We *think* another bigger sheep had tried to push in where she was at the hay manger and when she turned to move out her weight (plus the other sheep's) pushed the bottom of the door out just enough for her feet to slip down, over the sill and into the crack. Caught in a vise with two unyielding edges and unrelenting pressure from the hinges and latch trying to pull the door back where it belonged.
I don't know how long she was trapped there (which makes me sick thinking about) and we won't know the full extent of the damage for several more days. We started her on penicillin and banamine (essentially liquid aspirin) right away and she acted surprisingly sound Tuesday and Wednesday. There was a cut above her fetlock which hadn't really bled much and we could see bruising under the skin but she was walking and had a good attitude. We hoped she had only been caught for a short while and wasn't hurt too seriously beyond surface bruising and scuffs.
This AM she was very lame with some swelling and obvious pain in the left front leg which bore the brunt of the most pressure from the door. Geez. Time to call the vet to see what was going on or what had changed.
Long story made a little shorter, our treatment thus far had been appropriate, there didn't seem to be a break in the bone and increased pain at this point after a crush injury was to be expected. The one alarming thing is a spot about the size of a quarter just above her fetlock that may become necrotic from circulation having been cut off. If it stays shallow and she loses a few layers of skin we can manage. If the damage goes deeper and exposes bone or joint..... we won't think too hard about that right now.
We tipped her up into our sheep chair (so useful - if you have small ruminants you should try to acquire one)....
....and our excellent vet from Eastview Veterinary Clinic first cleaned and dressed the injuries and then put a bandage and splint on her leg. We'll continue with meds and keep the splint on for two weeks. The extra support does seem to give her a measure of relief but she's going to have to learn how to get up and down with the leg held out straight since the splint keeps her knee from bending.
If you happen to have any stray healing thoughts lying around I think Peanut would really appreciate a donation.