Exciting Weekend

AuroraWe have been playing catch-up following an exciting weekend. Aliza, a first time mommy delivered her first cria (a female) on Saturday, November 24. So in a week’s time, we had a little girl from Margarita (named Tequila Sunrise “Sunny”), a little boy with a broken toe and a new baby girl (named Aurora, in keeping with a “lights in the sky” theme this year for our girls). Little Aurora had to deal with freezing temps, snow and then rain. She finally lived up to her name and we have a bright sunny day today.

Two beautiful little girls and one little boy who insist on chasing the little girls around with a cast on his leg. What fun!


A Big Day on the Ranch

sunnyWell, no action on the 18th, but yesterday was a big day. Yep, we got another one. Margarita is our first alpaca (now 7 years old) and a big girl who has big, healthy crias. She was about three days late, but the birth went just fine, and fast. I had just checked her at 10:30 am and no action. Thirty minutes later I looked out the window and saw every alpaca and llama looking into the mommy’s paddock. By the time I got out of the house (30 seconds) the birth was in progress. I immediately went to our small service barn (40 ft away) to get the cria birth kit, and returned to find a 14 lb 3 oz little girl out and trying to get up. We have one more to go.

Margi is batting 1000 with four females in a row. We did have a bit of a medical issue. The umbilicus broke off flush with the belly and was open, but not bleeding. We decided to take her to OSU for a check up. The OSU doctors said surgery would not be needed, but that a wrap and tending too would be a good Idea. We have our little girl on a three week recovery program (same time frame as King) with a pressure bandage around her abdomen. As I mentioned to you in the last e-mail, our two week old little boy broke a toe a few days ago and needed medical care. His orange cast looks very sporty.

Having OSU so close is indeed a blessing. Our little girls work up, full examination, precautionary tetanus shot, bandaging and care supplies ended up costing less than $60. Kings full treatment, including a premium for after hours care, a doctor, intern and two students, plus full x-ray series ended up costing about $180. This included a full exam for King and his mother, Ananda. All of these charges include follow up visit cost. Sue and I are now having the wrist bracelets made that say “If found unconscious, take to OSU Vet Hospital.” We will just claim we are very ugly alpacas.

Gosh, when one looks at our crias, all bandaged up, it begins to look like the promotional poster for “Les Miserable’s!”

Temps are finally dropping (in the high 70’s today) to the 30’s and 40’s tomorrow. I will be working in the shelters today to make sure all is ready.


King of Hearts

kingIt is funny (funny, weird) how unexpected things can happen quickly. I when out to the paddocks to check things out and do the evening chores. I notice our little boy, King (short for Kindred Spirits King of Hearts), was limping. A quick call to the OSU medical center resulted in a fast trailer hook up (already positioned by the loading gate) and drive to the OSU vet hospital.

Two doctors, three students, and a series of x-rays later, we were headed home with a little boy in a soft cast from left front foot to the top of the leg. He broke a toe! His mommy (Ananda) went with him and did a fantastic job of taking care of her cria throughout the entire event. She even stayed with him (at the request of the doctor) in the x-ray room, complete with protective apron! The cast is in the OSU colors, bright orange, and the doctor drew a “smiley face” on it. King adapted immediately and is doing very well. We are being very careful to make sure the cast does not restrict blood flow to the leg, but the prognosis is for a full recovery within three weeks.

What surprised me was the level of technology available at OSU. I broke my leg (both lower bones) almost four years ago and remember dealing with fuzzy x-ray prints viewed on the old back-light system. OSU uses advance digital technology which allowed the brake to be viewed on a high definition screen in seconds, complete with the ability to zoom in and rotate to any view. They were able to re-set and accurately tape the brake in place before adding the cast. King was placed on pain controlling meds as soon as the problem was initially diagnosed and he never so much as flared a nostril. We are blessed to have such a good medical facility so close. I am thinking of wearing a wrist bracelet that says “If found unconscious, take to the OSU vet hospital.”

Margi (our most experience mommy) is still holding out, but today may be the day. The temps will be in the high seventies for the next few days, which would be perfect.