I think his mum knew his time was coming to an end, she never left his side all day. After watching him during the morning, I called them down for lunch early so I could check him out and give him a feed. I called and as usually the whole here came running and bronking down the field, except little Zeus who just stood at the top of the field. I fed everyone in the hope he would make his way down, but he didn't.
So I walked up the field to get him, he never moved until I go there, as I walked around the back of him to encourage to walk down the field and came face to face with his mum Emma, she had run all the way back up the field when she realised he had not come down. I walked behind them to encourage them to head for the barn which he didn't to seem to have any problems with.
I gave him his milk and checked him over, his ears felt very cold so I check his body that was also unusually cold, he had lost a fair bit of weight so would obviously find it difficult to keep warm,, I took his temperature it was 36.5 so not a good sign, the concern being hypothermia. So him and mum were put in a nice warm stable with a deep straw bed, I put another rug on him. He seemed quite happy and started to nibble at the nice pile of fresh hay.
Due to my concerns of hypothermia and dehydration, I got some boiled water and cooled it to body temperature and added some re-hydration powder and glucose, this would re-hydrate him and give him additional energy available to keep himself warm. He seemed quite happy and his temperature raised to 37 a bit more acceptable. I checked on him every hour through the afternoon/early evening, alternating between giving him his milk and fluids.
Around 7pm I went out and everyone looked like they had settled for the night in the barn and in the stable Zeus, Emma his mum and Chloe his sister were sat down, slowly chewing the cud. Nobody got up, having now got used to me popping in and out, I gave him some fluids and checked his temperature which had dropped a little so I popped a third rug on him.
8pm I went out and they were all still sat in the same spot, it had got colder so I pushed the straw up around Zeus to give him extra warmth and covered him with a horse rug, he was breathing a little bit heaver.
9pm I went back out and he had taken a very bad turn for the worst, he was on his side and was breathing very deep and shallow, I sat down beside him, stroking him and talking to him quietly and within ten minutes he slipped away.
Its been a hard few weeks, but I would not hesitate in doing it all again, we gave him every chance we could, but I think one of the factors against us was the weather! Its been up and down, maybe if this had happened in the summer we would have had more of a fighting chance. So sadly we say goodbye to Zeus it was nice to have know you the time you have been with us.
This morning, after a very sleepless night (which I will go into in a minute) I went out into the barn with a lump in my front and just had to check the stable where Zeus was, I don't know I just felt for a minute he may be sat there looking at me waiting for his milk, but obviously he wasn't. So with tears in my eyes I set about looking after the waiting dogs, alpacas, goats, horses and our barn cat.
After their breakfast, all the alpacas wandered out of the barn as usual, I fed the horses at the top field and came back down to tidy the barn and fill the hay racks, as I turn from the haystack with some hay I came face to face with Emma, she looked at me with her big eyes and hummed, I believe she was asking me where her baby was, I told her how sorry I was and that Zeus was no longer here, she wandered around the barn humming for a while then back out into the field. Tonight she came to me again and hummed, she stood looking at me for a second or two and then joined the rest eating the hay.