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View Full Version : My sheep have sebaceous cysts, help? (Gross)


ShinyGreenApple
04-24-2010, 11:32 PM
I know a few people on here have experience with sheep, so here's hoping someone knows what I'm talking about. For years now, we've noticed that all four of our sheep have lumps on their skin that seemed to get bigger each time we sheared them. But they didn't seem to be tender, and the skin wasn't discolored, so we didn't worry about them. Some of them are really huge though.

Today, we were shearing Boo, and Dad didn't know she had developed a new cyst on her shoulder and grazed it with the clippers. He said there was pus coming out of it so I told him to just squeeze it out, and he got kind of squicked and couldn't. I got a paper towel and finished it for him and OMG, it was like a train wreck. It looked like I'd literally grabbed a tube of toothpaste and squeezed for all it was worth. Oddly enough, it didn't smell and there was very little blood; we put some chlorhexidine on it afterward.

All four sheep have quite a few of these things, mostly on the tops of their heads, between the shoulderblades, and shoulders. Like I said, some of them are pretty large. Should we just leave them alone, or consider draining/having them all drained? I've heard that cysts can become infected if the stuff isn't removed from them.

Andara Bledin
04-24-2010, 11:56 PM
I don't know about sheep, but my ex had one of those on his tailbone.

As long as he kept it clean and drained it regularly, it wasn't much of an issue.

^-.-^

HYHYBT
04-25-2010, 12:09 AM
Somewhere nagging at the back of my head is the idea that that may be a form of tuberculosis. Which makes no sense, far as I can see.

ShinyGreenApple
04-25-2010, 12:10 AM
Hmm, ok then. I'll keep an eye on this one and see how it heals up. For some reason I've got this awful urge to try and get rid of a few of them. It's gross when you're petting them and there's a big ol' bump there. And of course, potential clipper accidents, like we had this morning, lol.

AccountingDrone
04-25-2010, 01:07 AM
Do they look like this (http://en.engormix.com/MA-sheep/news/caseous-lymphadenitis-problem-your_14617.htm)?

Warning, gross medical pictures in the article.

My ram Rambeau had pseudotuburculosis. It is a gram-positive bacteria that is contagious to humans. He had what did appear to be seb cysts.

ShinyGreenApple
04-25-2010, 01:14 AM
No, they don't look like that at all. Wool still grows on the bumps and there's no redness of the skin in the area, either. It's nice and white/pink like the normal parts of their skin, which is probably how Dad managed to nick one so easily; you don't know they're there unless you feel them. Kathie Lee Gifford mentioned a video on the Today Show last month and curiosity drove me to watch it. Go to YouTube and search 'popping the world's largest zit', if you have the stomach for it.

The thing on our ewe this morning looked pretty much like that, only the stuff that came out was like putty or toothpaste, and not all 'cheesy' like in that vid. I used a paper towel folded several times, so I don't think I got any on my hands. Normally I just leave the bumps alone, but as this one was open and gushing like old faithful, I figured it was better to empty it than leave that gunk oozing out all over the place.

trailerparkmedic
04-25-2010, 01:40 AM
My sister has an animal science degree and knows her way around farm animals fairly well.

She said if it doesn't smell funny or seem to be causing them pain, it's probably nothing harmful. She also says it's a good sign that not a lot of blood came out and agrees it's probably just stuff from the sebaceous glands (like zits in humans, but our oil isn't lanolin).

AccountingDrone
04-26-2010, 04:10 PM
No, they don't look like that at all. Wool still grows on the bumps and there's no redness of the skin in the area, either. It's nice and white/pink like the normal parts of their skin, which is probably how Dad managed to nick one so easily; you don't know they're there unless you feel them. Kathie Lee Gifford mentioned a video on the Today Show last month and curiosity drove me to watch it. Go to YouTube and search 'popping the world's largest zit', if you have the stomach for it.

The thing on our ewe this morning looked pretty much like that, only the stuff that came out was like putty or toothpaste, and not all 'cheesy' like in that vid. I used a paper towel folded several times, so I don't think I got any on my hands. Normally I just leave the bumps alone, but as this one was open and gushing like old faithful, I figured it was better to empty it than leave that gunk oozing out all over the place.

Good, cas lymph is nasty and spreads. You cant eat the meat off the animals, all you can do is use them for wool, and you cant show them because it will spread.