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

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Cria Update

Well its been a long couple of days, but fingers crossed things maybe looking up.

Further to my last blog I thought I would write an update on our poorly suri cria "Cotswold Vale Zeus".  After his visit to the vets on Saturday, he didn't seem much better on Sunday.  His temperature was ok (ish)  but he was still sitting around all the time, moving only when the herd moved.

I had the feeling he was getting weaker so thought it might be due to lack of feeding, I had not seen him grazing at all or even attempt to feed from mum during the day (not sure what happened at night)  so I offered him a bottle of goats milk, but he didn't want to take it!  So I got some pro-biotic goats yogurt and syringed it into him.   This seemed to spur him into seeking out mum's milk bar, he fed for a little while but mum got inpatient and walked away, he gave up and sat down again!!  So I carried on giving him the yogurt through the syringe, hoping this would give him some strength and settle him tummy.

I didn't sleep much sunday night and was up very early on monday morning, I was dreading going out into the barn to see how he was, I was sure he wouldn't still be with us.  But there he was sat next to his mum, but when I approached he didn't even get up!  I gave him some more yogurt and check his temperature, it was 39.3, getting higher!  I had also not seen him go to toilet, so gave him a little warm soapy water up his bottom (I really needed to get a poo sample)  this seemed to work and he did pass a small poo which I promptly collect to take to the vet.  He then followed his mum and the rest of the herd out into the field but then promptly sat down, I felt like he was giving up and felt so helpless!!

I phoned the vet at 8.30am (no point in ringing the out of hours vets) they told me to bring him up at 9.15am.  The herd had followed their usual routine and had gone up to the top paddocks.  I hadn't given them breakfast as I knew this would be the easiest way to get them all back down to the barn.  I went out and called, they came charging down the field and into the barn, Zeus mum was there, but no Zeus and no sign of him!  My heart sank, had we lost him?  I ran up the field and as I neared the top paddock I could see a little bump in the grass!  I called and to my great relief his head popped up and he promptly jumped up, realising everyone had left him he started back down the field to the barn.

My heart thumping from the stress and the run down the field (not getting any younger or fitter!!) I caught hold of him and popped him into the back of the 4 x 4 and off we went on the 25 minute drive to the vets (I decided to take him rather than wait for the vet as they couldn't get to me before early afternoon, and I wasn't sure he would last that long)

It was a different vet to the one I saw on Saturday, she had check his notes and we re-capped what was now happening.  She checked his stomach which was still working too fast, his heart was now working a lot harder and under strain, and he was now dehydrated!!

We discussed the options, he could be admitted to the nearest teaching veterinary hospital, where they could re-hyrate him via drip etc or I could nurse him at home.  I chose to nurse him at home, I felt it would be more stressful for him to be somewhere strange without his mum and the rest of the herd, and felt I probably wouldn't see him again.

The vet said she was certain it was a stomach problem, one of my concerns was coccidia! but she assured me it was highly unlikely as he would have severe diarrhea, and there was no signs of this at all.  But it was good I had managed to get a poo sample.  She did say it be possible it was the wormer we had given him the previous weekend and sometimes if they do have a worm burden it can upset the digestion system, but it was difficult to confirm this.

He was given more anti-biotic and armed with some Lectade to re-hydrate him, Lactosym to help balance his gut back out, Finadyne painkiller to help kill the stomach pains and a written list of how to nurse him, we drove back home.

I decided to put him, his mum and a couple of friends in the garden next to the mobile home, from here I could watch him more closely and it was easier to catch hold of him for his hourly treatment.

Here is is in the middle of his mum and Ispys.

I continued giving him fluid and milk/yogurt hourly alternating each time, little and often was the policy, he had his last feed at 9pm and I turned out the lights praying he would manage to get through the night.

Well this morning I went out into the barn, and there he was sat next to mum, but this time he saw me coming, jumped up and tried to get back out into the field, he was obviously feeling a bit better and had got fed up of me forcing him to drink!  I gave him his milk/yogurt and water, and checked his temperature - its was 38.5, that was great.  He then promptly went out to the poo pile with mum and did his business, a good sign things are still moving how they should, on checking it was a funny pale green colour, but that is only to be expected.

He followed the herd to the top paddocks where I was feeding hay to the horses and to my relief he started grazing along side mum, this was brilliant.

Here is Zeus grazing with his between his mum and his sister.

So fingers crossed he is on the right road back to health, I have watched him this morning from the window, he has his little yellow coat on so I can see him from a distance,  and he is grazing and feeding from mum quite regular, although still sitting more than the others, but that is only to be expected. 

It is still early days, but I will continue topping him up with milk and fluid to help him regain his strength.  And will hope and pray he will make a full recovery.  Sadly he is loosing some of his fleece, which is a sure indicator of illness, but who cares as long as he carries on improving.

Fingers crossed everyone.


Judi B said...

So glad yor little cria seems a bit better. The greenish poo is the effect of milk/yogart, as our little one passed poo like that when she was on several bottles and yogart. She still hates taking her bottle...even after 4 months, it takes one to hold her and one to get the bottle in, so keep working at it to keep him hydrated if you're not sure he's suckling/getting plenty from his mum. You're doing what you can, it's down to him now!

Cotswold Vale Alpacas said...

Thanks Judi, he wouldn't suck on a bottle so I am using a syringe he pretty good and if I keep my finger on his tongue it seems to encourage him to swallow. He is feeding from mum every 15 minutes this afternoon, I think mums getting a bit fed up with it! But its good to see and I will keep on topping him up and like you say its down to him. But I can see such a difference from yesterday its very encouraging.

Inthesky said...

I am really keeping my fingers crossed for you. I have been wondering how the little fella was getting on. You are very dedicated and it sounds like a lot of worry and hard work. I really hope it pays of and he goes from strength to strength with your tlc. xxx Don't forget to look after yourself too!

Zanzibah Alpacas said...

Hope things continue to improve for you and Zeus....just as a matter of interest...I had a poorly alpaca...I suspected coccidia, the vet insisted it would be highly unlikely, I got a test and it came back as a high result of coccidia....so go with your instinct, and its always worth treating to be on the safe side....when you have an off colour alpaca....I have also found that Ceto Phyton is very good for helping with feeding to add weight and help feed...you can always add it to the bottle.....good luck...Jayne

Cotswold Vale Alpacas said...

Thank you Lucy :) xx Thank you Jayne, I agree we need to go with our instinct as we know our own animals, his poo is being tested and should know results tomorrow, I have not heard of Ceto Phyton but will definitely get some thanks again x

Apple Vale Alpacas said...

Fingers crossed that the progress continues. Dave.