Get to know your alpacas...
Things are certainly a lot quieter around here since Turbjørn died, he used to make his displeasure known if he felt any of the others were invading his personal space by squealing very loudly. Mr.P and him used to make one heck of a noise, there have been times I have gone running up to see what was happening expecting there to be a big fight, only to see them stood next to the feeder looking at each other. I had to cut a pathway through the snow to the top of the land so we could bury him. I am still waiting for the histology results to come back to see it there was any cancerous tissue around his heart and lungs.
On the weekend Turbjørn went rapidly downhill we also had issues with Mari. While giving them some hay on Saturday afternoon I noticed she seemed very unstable on her feet and at one point she even stumbled. I was very concerned as this is not a good sign at all in an alpaca. I contacted our neighbour to see if she could come and take a look and went home to get the Vitamin D, B-complex and Vitamin B1 injections. Her temperature was 42oC, and her stomach motility was a bit slow. I gave her the injections and also a paracetamol tablet to get her temp down and some drops for her stomach. We had to come back in the evening to check again and it was 40oC so she got another tablet. In the morning it was around 39oC so she got another tablet but by the afternoon it was back to normal. She has been fine since.
I finally got the chance to clear out some of the bedding in two of the alpaca houses as I was nearly hitting my head on the roof beams, plus it was starting to get pretty bad in there. I had to clear away the snow on the other side of the paddock fence to dump it, normally I would put it in the trailer and dump it at the top of the land but there is just too much snow at the moment. I managed to clear out about 2/3rds and get some fresh bedding down, I think they were all very relieved it’s a lot more pleasant inside now. This winter the alpacas have hardly been outside at all, I do leave the doors open for them but they just don’t want to go out. They may venture out if the sun is shining but there hasn’t been much of that this year.
We managed to do the latest round of Vitamin D injections and toenail trimming without any real fuss, they all more or less behaved themselves. I wonder if it’s the result of the online training and behaviour course I did. Don’t know what we will be doing for Vitamin D injections next year as a lot of companies have stopped making it due to changes in EU regulations for the amount of Vitamin E allowed in meat. A lot of the injections are a mix of A, D and E it is very rare stuff indeed now, I nearly kissed the vet when she said she did have a bottle, but it will be the last.
I mentioned I have been doing an online course in Alpaca health management, it has been very worthwhile even if it does mean a late (post-midnight) finish on a Wednesday. Last night was about skin problems, probably the most common issue for all alpaca owners, but we have also covered Nutrition, Parasites, biosecurity and next weeks is about what to do when things go wrong.
Although I am trying to learn as much as possible about caring for alpacas (especially the veterinary side of things), so you know what to look out for and what to do in various situations, I am just so grateful for our neighbour who I can call on if I am unsure, she did used to be a vet.
About a week ago I noticed Josefs was sitting down a lot and didn’t seem interested in things, which was strange for him. A few days later he was back to himself so thought no more about it. Yesterday he seemed to have something in his mouth so I got hold of him and got it out, it looked like black plastic, very odd!!! Gave him some food but as he ate it, I could see there was still something in his mouth. Went and got my head torch to have a better look but he wouldn’t keep his head still. So, I asked if our neighbour was free to help hold him while I had a better look. Turned out he had a very large, deep cut to the bottom of the top dental pad in his mouth. First thought was it was his teeth had cut it but his teeth are all in the correct positions. So, I presume he has cut it on a tough woody stem while pulling hay from the feeder. It is well on its way to being healed and luckily it wasn’t infected. But it just shows it is worth while getting to know the behaviour of each alpaca and watching them more carefully and checking them over when that behaviour changes.
Fence, what fence? I think these tracks are actually from a Lynx, they are definitely cat like but much bigger than a typical cat. There have also been recent Lynx sightings nearby.
Did I mention it has been snowing.
Looks like I forgot to take down the Christmas light decorations.
This is the pathway I had to dig to get to the top end of the land so we could bury Turbjørn.
Jakobs is beginning to look very fluffy.
Josefs checking out the pile of old bedding I dumped on the other side of the fence.
Mother and daughter sat side by side, Amanda and Karla.
A view of the snow drift behind Vanessas girls house, it is at least 1m deep. That fence wire is 1.2 meters in height.
Amanda and Karla lit in the light from my head torch.
This is a picture taken with my phone down the microscope while I was checking poo samples for parasites. This is a mite that has been ingested as the alpaca has been scratching itself with its mouth. Some alpacas can cope with them but others are very sensitive to them and they can cause loss of fleece and thickening of the skin.
Rocket Ron and Ginger Tom are either found in the little greenhouse with the chickens or on top of the caravan in the big greenhouse. Why? because both places are warm.
Josefs is just so cuddly and best thing is he will let you.
Mari watching something out of the doorway.
I always wanted to be a surgeon. The patient was in an accident and lost the arm at the shoulder many years ago, the arm and spring was kept and after some in-depth studying (YouTube Video) I decided to try reattach it. This is just post op and the patient is in intensive care.
Day 3 post op, patient doing push ups.......operation was a big success.
Think I need to get out more.............