Sunday, March 29, 2009

Herd Health Day and a sick alpaca

We've come to find that herd health day is a workout for us, and usually leaves at least one of us slightly injured. Wrestling those little cria is more work than it looks. But, this is what insures their health. This herd health day involved ivermectin shots (for prevention meningeal worm that they can get from snails that carry it from deer, which we do have in the woods here). We also weighed most of them and checked them over throughly, and trimed teeth on those that needed it. We did not realize how to care for their teeth so some of our younger ones had longer teeth than they should have (we should have trimmed them a long time ago, then through their regular eating they could stay trim for the most part). This was a live and learn experience. Now that everyone is trimmed, most of them should maintain that through regular eating and we won't have to trim them again.

This time we also had to check for illness. It seems Lightning Bugs is not feeling well. He had some loose stool and was not eating like he usually does. Sommerfield had a bit of loose stool too, but her's cleared up with some immodium and it never affected her appetite. Bugs has had a harder time recovering. We put bounce back in his water and we tried to set up some grain for him that the other boys couldn't get too. He would take a couple of bites then walk away. We thought if we left some grain out for him he'd eventually eat it. This did not work as Snowstorm busted into it anyway and ate it all. Of course. This morning Bugs ate much better, so we think he's on the mend. J also bought some rolled oats to see if he will eat that. Not eating can be very detrimental to an alpaca (it is for any animal but more so for an alpaca). If they completely stop eating it will stop their digestive system which can cause death. They have a more complex digestive system (that I do not fully understand) which involves three stomachs, and they need to eat periodically or it will shut down. So we are watching him very closely.

The only other concern noted was some dematitis on Tehya's foot. That we are treating with athlete foot medication and should be fine in a couple of days.

All the alpacas are gaining weight and doing well. I think Maddie was the only one who didn't gain as much as we'd like so we are going to add some shreaded beet pulp to her daily grain. Sommerfield scored on the thin side so we will add shreaded beet pulp to her grain too.

Other than my being sore today, thankfully I did not sustain any injury. J said he's sore too. Who knew herd health day could be more of a work out than running!

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