Sheep/Shepherding/nasal polyps


I recently sold a 2 years old ewe to a man who has bought from me previously.  This time he has had an issue with her breathing shortly after he took her home.  None of my sheep were sick nor are they yet.  He has had the vet out that suggests she has nasal polyps and has treated her with various antibiotics and steroids.  I told him I would gladly exchange her for another ewe but I'm not sure how to treat this one when it comes back.  I have had sheep for over 15 years and have never came across this problem.  What do you suggest or is there not treatment for this available. Will it go away on its own?  Thanks Cindy

That is certainly an unusual problem and very rare in sheep.  If a ewe/ram/wether were to get a polyp in the nasal space, it would occur when they are between 2-4 years of age.

Because this is such a rare event, I would not worry too much about others in your flock.  If the ewe is returned keep an eye on her for sneezing, head shaking and open mouth breathing.  At this time, it would be best to have surgical intervention with removing the tumor.  While steroids can reduce the swelling, medication will not eliminate the problem.

I wish there was something more you could do, but right now there isn't.  Without a pathology report, we cannot say if this is cancerous or just a polyp from a minor injury from  when the ewe was young.

Keep your head up. It sounds like you are making the right and proper decisions.
Let me know if there is anything else we can help with.

Peace and plenty,



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Kari Wempe


I can answer most questions about raising, breeding, feeding, showing,typical illnesses, pregnancy, birthing, bottle feeding,showing and sheering sheep. I have raised sheep for show and production for 20 years. The breeds of sheep I am most familier with are Crossbred, Suffolk, Hampshire- basically black face sheep. I deal with the classification of meat sheep over bred for wool sheep.


I have raised a flock of sheep for 20 years on our farm. Very involved in 4H, FFA aspects and their rules, jackpot shows, state, regional, county and local shows.

Experience is my best creditial however, I have a college education and have taught many classes ( in other catagories), so I am familiar in the ways of teaching others.

Awards and Honors
Many breed awards- champion and grand champion awards in Kansas for the past 20 years, showmanship awards at local and state level in Kansas.

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