Thursday, 1 May 2008

Vet's visit

We have had concerns about one of our white alpacas, Audrey. She had a beautiful white male cria in September last year but she became very thin and to give her a chance to regain her weight we weened her cria off a little early. We also noticed that her teeth had grown over long and we wondered whether this might effect her digestion so when Colin our shearer came along to scan the pregnant females in March, he cut her teeth down so that they met her top pad thus unabling her to bite off the grass more easily.

She seems to eat just like the others and gets a supplement of vitamins and minerals but she is still very thin. Jenny, the vet, came this afternoon and checked Audrey over. Her stomach seems to be working very fast and she is passing unformed faeces, but she is not scouring, and there is no obvious reason. Jenny took a sample away for analysis and in the meantime we are to drench (give by mouth) her every day for five days with a gut flora stimulant. This should improve her gut flora and hopefully return her to normal health.

We also asked Jenny to look at one of our black alpacas who has had some skin problems which seemed to be getting better. Last week we were pleased to see that the bald patch on her nose was growing over very well and hair was returning to her ears. This week we were shocked to see that she had rubbed off most of the fleece on both sides of her nose and looked worse than ever. Jenny took some skin scrapes and is going to look under the microscope to let us know if she can detect any wild life in the skin that needs attention - or any other reason for this distressing condition.

Alpacas are prone to skin problems and we have followed all the known advice to avoid them so it will be very interesting to find out if there is anything else we can do. The good news is that that Charmain, the alpaca in question, seems very fit and well in every other respects, even if she looks a little moth eaten.

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