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Inverted Eyelids?
Try An Alligator Clip

By Susie Wilson

Sudan Farm

32285 S Kropf Rd.

Canby, OR 97013

(503) 651-LAMB


My husband, Dan, and I continue to really enjoy sheep! and its timely, useful information. Shepherds may appreciate this tip:

Occasionally, we get a lamb with a rolled-in lower eyelid (entropion) after his mother has vigorously licked off his face. In the past, I’ve injected the lower eyelid with mineral oil or penicillin, and I’ve used wound clips. But, the injecting was risky on a squirming lamb and not easy to do, and the wound clips often wouldn’t stay put.

However, about 10 years ago, a fellow shepherd friend of ours (Teresa Southworth) stumbled onto another way to fix the problem that is much easier to do. You simply use a 1/2″ alligator clip to pinch a bit of skin just under the rim of skin on the lower eyelid. We’ve been doing it this way ever since, and with no detrimental effects: It is easy, simple, and really works!

Alligator clips are available in packages of eight at Radio Shack, and they cost under $3/package. Here’s what it says on the label of the package; that should make it easier for you to find them:

“Mini 1-1/4-inch Alligator Clips, #270-380.”

A package of 12 was $2.59.

Alligator Clip below sheep's lower lid.
Alligator Clip below sheep’s lower lid.

The clips stay in place, don’t damage the skin or bang on the eye, and are easily removed in a day or two.

I keep them in a small, plastic, covered soap dish and bury them in flour or cornstarch to keep them from rusting (especially in Oregon!).

When I take them off a lamb, I clean them with a toothbrush and a bit of soap and water, dry them well and store them again in the flour or cornstarch.

I’ve included a picture of one of our lambs modeling the eye clip.

I’ve been thanking Teresa ever since she passed it on to me!!

Susie & Dan Wilson keep a really fine flock of Border Leicesters and also Coopworth sheep. They have had good success for many years, in part due to their excellent genetic background. If you need mild-tasting sheep with easy keep and high twinning, better give ’em a call. This past year they did laparoscopic artificial insemination on both breeds, using top New Zealand semen. We hear they’ve ended up with some great lambs.-Ed.

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