Bet­ter flock up your daugh­ters ... I’m baaack

Re­vi­talised ram look­ing for love af­ter pi­o­neer­ing arthri­tis op

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - NEWS - By Janet Boyle JBOYLE@SUNDAYPOST.COM

Life as a farm’s top ram can be a busy but jolly af­fair.

But keep­ing up with a whirl­wind of ro­man­tic li­aisons with ewes can be a young ram’s game.

When arthritic hips barely al­low you to cross the field to try out your best chat-up lines, the fu­ture can look bleak.

That was the grim prospect for Scot­tish Bor­ders sheep Lang­side Stiffler, af­ter he hit mid­dle-age.

His el­bows, spine and back legs were aching from painful arthri­tis and he strug­gled to per­form his farm­yard du­ties.

But thanks to pi­o­neer­ing treat­ment the Texel ram is back in har­ness for the breed­ing sea­son which be­gins next week.

The eight-year-old ram has be­come the first sheep in the coun­try to un­dergo the pro­ce­dure, which breathed new life into his creak­ing joints.

Owner John Green, 37, of Craggs Farm, near St Boswells, said: “The trans­for­ma­tion has been amaz­ing.

“He has gone from barely be­ing able to walk across the field to rar­ing to go for the im­pend­ing breed­ing sea­son.

“He was crip­pled with arthri­tis and it was sad see­ing him strug­gle to move. He is a great Texel ram and has pro­duced some su­perb lambs.

“We were re­ally re­luc­tant to part with him. “One of the lambs fetched £4000. “But we knew that we would have to put him down rather than al­low him to suf­fer.” Thank­fully, re­source­ful an­i­mal ex­perts came up with a plan to save Stiffler.

John ex­plained: “Our vet An­drew Ar­mitage sug­gested he take part in a trial to fix his creak­ing, painful joints. He was walk­ing pain-free within a day.”

Now feel­ing as good as new, the ram will be in­tro­duced to his 25 pedi­gree ewes when the breed­ing sea­son starts next week.

The £500 re­ju­ve­na­tion treat­ment was sup­plied free to John as part of a trial.

It was car­ried out at An­drew Ar­mitage’s Green­side Vet Prac­tice in St Boswells.

The ram had platelet-rich plasma in­jected into his arthritic joints.

It’s a pro­ce­dure nor­mally used to treat dogs.

An­drew said: “We are the first ded­i­cated re­gen­er­a­tive medicine clinic in the UK and this is the first sheep to un­dergo it.

“He was too sore to mate with his ewes so we drained the arthritic joint fluid and re­placed it with platelet-rich plasma.

“It re­duced the in­flam­ma­tion and pain and he is mo­bile again.

“We were very pleased with his re­cov­ery. It was was quick and he will be able to mate this year.

The stem cells work by turn­ing off the in­flam­ma­tion, al­low­ing the joints to heal.

The cells are taken from the an­i­mal, grown in a lab and in­jected back into its joints.

Treat­ment lasts for 18 months. Owner John bought the plucky ram from a farmer in North­ern Ire­land for £1000.

He had pre­vi­ously fetched £9000 as a young tup, at Kelso auc­tions.

John added: “From now on it’s busi­ness as usual for our top ram.

“To be hon­est, I don’t think he knows how lucky he is.”

Ewe hoo! Stiffler the ram has a rest on the farm yes­ter­day but is primed for the breed­ing sea­son fol­low­ing land­mark surgery to cure his arthri­tis

John and son Gil­bert are chuffed the ram, right, has got his mojo back

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.