Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Normal or not

It's our first year with alpacas which means we constantly run into things that we aren't sure if they are normal.

We had some concern about Shelby upon her birth. She was doing everything in the right time frame, but she didn't seem as alert or as fast as Tehya. I've since decided Tehya is a feisty girl and Shelby is more laid back (just like their moms!). But we did have some concern in the beginning. We also wondered if Shelby might have a hernia, but the vet felt her belly and did not report one.

Then Tehya gave us a bit of a scare when she had soft yellow poop, along with straining at the poop pile. I remember back from the time my kids were infants that babies who are nursing can develop mustard colored poop from having the wrong ratio of foremilk to hindmilk. I wondered if something similar could happen in an alpaca. Who knew all that reading on breast feeding would come to some good. Turns out it is due to the mom's milk becoming richer and the cria's stomach a bit immature yet. It will sort itself out. phew

The next issue was Kateri had some discharge. At first it looked like tissue hanging out of her, but upon investigation it was discharge. We worried about infection, but turns out alpacas get lochia postpartum (similar to humans). I never noticed it in Sancha or Victoria, for whatever reason it isn't always noticeable. It seems to have gone away already.

It's definitely been a learning experience. It's hard to know what it normal and what isn't; when to do something and when to step back. Between things we've read and the forums on alpaca nation we have gotten a lot of information, but sometimes actually seeing things make them see more concerning.

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