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Sedgeberrow, Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Breeding and Selling Quaility Huacaya & Suri Alpacas.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

What a Day!! and What a night!!

Its been quite a roller-coaster 24 hours!! Little Whitney (and I really mean little!! born at just under 6.5kg and so tiny) has really had an up and down time.

Arriving in the world at 336 days we were assuming she would be ok, but it turns out she is definitively premature. The birth was quite a classic delivery with no obvious problems, she was quite lively, sat within ten minutes and walking at just over and hour old, she had started feeding fine and seemed to be ok.

But my gut feeling was she was heading for problems. I did make the decision to give her a bottle on Monday evening before I went to bed just to ensure she at least had something in her tummy over night.

Dreading getting up yesterday morning, I was up early to find she was up on her feet and seemed to be feeding well. But by late morning it was becoming obvious she was very tired and got up very little and seemed to be snoozing a lot more that I would like to see, I know the cria are usually quite sleepy for the first 12/24 hours, but she seem extra sleepy and when she did get up she didn't attempt to feed much.

By early afternoon she didn't appear to be getting any better, and I hadn't seen her feed for several hours, so again I gave her a bottle, checking mum, we found she had plenty of milk so it wasn't that there was no milk available, it appeared she just didn't have the strength to feed, especially as she is so small and mum is big, she had to reach up a lot further to reach the milk bar (she is so tiny she can literally walk straight under mum without even touch her belly!!) And it always makes me wonder if sometimes after the strain of being born and they way they have to bend their head and necks to feed if it is sometime uncomfortable or painful for them to feed??

Well late afternoon after a quick chat for advice with a good alpaca friend, I phoned the Vet to get his opinion, from what I told him he said it sound like I was doing all I could, I am convinced (well as convinced as you can be!!) that she got her first important feeds from mum) but he did say sometimes when they are so tiny they don't absorb as much as they should, and the other option was to give her plazma to back her up, BUT I had committed the ultimate sin, I had no plazma available, it had been planned to be done but things kept getting in the way and we had left it too late!!

He told me to carry on feeding until she was strong enough to feed from mum, and he would come over first thing in the morning to check her and if need be he would give her a transfusion direct from Mum, although not the favored treatment it was an option if she was not picking up.

So I went out to give her a bottle, but was not happy, she kept flopping down as if she was dead!! (and as we all know this is a classic response for a cria when they are stressed) I was getting more and more uneasy about it, she also sound like her breathing was laboured. So straight on the phone to the vet and he came out within the hour.

He confirmed she was premature, but he could find no problem with her heart and lungs, and her temperature was fine, she was actually a lot livelier that he had expected she would be (had I over reacted??), he said it was likely that she was having problems feeding because she was so tiny and didn't have the strength to stretch up to feed.

So I was to carry on feeding her over night, we took blood from the big boys to get some plazma spun up (luckily we have some-one that could do it only 30 minutes away and he kindly agreed to do it that evening)

So it was a quick dash over to get that done, then back to try and get two feeds into her before bedtime. It has not been easy getting the milk into her as she refuses to suck, and keeps playing dead!! but I did manage to get 150ml into her before bedtime.

I have got to say I went to bed, dreading the long night and with the fear to what I would get up to. After a very fretful night with very little sleep, I got up just before 5am made up a bottle and headed for the barn, dreading what I may find.

But to my great relief, both mum and baby were sat side by side and looked quite happy. I managed to get 50ml into her and she did actually start sucking, but not for long. So I decided to let them out into the pen near the barn, she actually seem quite lively and had a little run around. And then took the last 50ml of milk.

So the vet will come today and give her the plazma as a precaution as he said if she pulls through the next few days, there is a risk she could relapse in 10 days or so.

So its fingers crossed with lots of prayers that she will continue to get stronger and soon be back out in the herd very soon.



Zanzibah Alpacas said...

Oh my what a 24hrs...I know that feeling of wondering what you are getting up to ! Hope things go well today....just wondered if u had any Kick-Start it works great...to help boost new borns (used for lambs) I used it on Zadie~Blanca as she appeard to be very lifeless after delivery !!...Just a thought !, keeping my fingers crossed for the next few days !.......Jayne

Cotswold Vale Alpacas said...

Hi Jayne, yes we did have kick-start, seemed to work for a bit, then she went flat again. But have to say she seems a lot brighter this morning and I have seen her trying feed three or fours times, so have go fingers crossed. Vet has been and given her plasma straight into tummy and antibiotics to keep away any infection.

So its more bottle feeding to keep her topped up and a lot of praying and fingers cross x


Mark said...

Good luck Ginnie, what a couple of days, I am sure all your efforts will pay off and then you will have one very special little cria!

Apple Vale Alpacas said...

Fingers crossed for you and the little one.

Rosemary said...

Oh! Ginnie! I haven't been able to read a blog for days due to problems here with Bert's baby - I hope everything is now going well, they are such a worry at times.
Every best wish

Judi said...

We have our fingers crossed too!

Cotswold Vale Alpacas said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words, she is a beautiful little cria and we have everything crossed she will survive, she is showing good signs at the moment, we have done everything we can so only time will tell.


Lignum Alpacas said...

Good luck, I am right there with you as our Martini, 6kg cria is now after several days of fighting for her life 5kg! She was born on day 342 (last Saturday) but definately dismature. Again like you the birth was normal and she suckled well from her mother afterwards. She has had plasma and everything else possible that may help her pull through. She is now perking up and last night her drip was removed, by herself I might add, which I guess is a good sign.

Thinking of you

Lignum Alpacas

Cotswold Vale Alpacas said...

Thx Angie, and am sorry to hear you are in the same position with a little one. That does seem like a good sign with her pulling the drip out. Will be think of you too and keeping my fingers crossed for your little Martini