For the last few days we have noticed that Dolores, now shortened to Doris, (easier to say) has had weepy eyes. We thought initially that it was as a result of the ashes which the women remove from the oven after it has cooled down after bread-baking, and which makes a very fine, grey ash. This blows around a lot and makes the animals eyes very watery as they try to keep their eyes clear of the ash. The oven is in the middle of the area in which the animals are housed so there is usually a mound of ash lying around.
But, having looked it up it turns out to be ‘Pinkeye’, a common eye infection in sheep and goats, especially the young ones. Apparently it is a bacterial infection caused by dry dusty conditions, flies, and hot sun!!! Surprise surprise but we are living in Egypt! All the grass in the garden is long and with seed heads which is another contributing factor because we put her to feed in the long clover so she can actually eat something without the boys eating it all.
Pinkeye makes the eye become cloudy, which shows as a blue haze, but thankfully it doesn’t ulcerate and burst which would mean permanent blindness. Looking up how to treat this infection people suggest that mild cases usually clear up on their own but that certain precautions can be taken to prevent another infection.
Giving your sheep adequate protection from the sun, keeping the area clear of dust and pollen and flies!!! Are you kidding me? Have you seen the flies here?? I am on the constant warpath with flies.. They are small but extremely irritating and they bite!! I cannot open the windows in my flat during the day because as soon as I do I will have dozens of them in here. When I go down to the garden during the evening my ankles are eaten alive. Omar has put bandages around the donkey’s legs to stop them biting her. They drive her crazy!!!
We will have to come up with some solution and in the meantime Doris is being well fed in our flat and having her eyes cleaned!!!
Omar is beginning to think that this sheep is not really a sheep but is a human being. She follows him around and eats from his hand and his mouth!!! If all the sheep were treated this well they might all act like this, or maybe we are just lucky!