Saturday, 21 November 2009

Below par

When Nick was helping me on Tuesday he noticed that Bono, one of Pauline's stud males had a hunched back. As he has very good conformation, including a straight back, this set alarm bells ringing and we caught him to check his condition. He was quite thin but otherwise there were no obvious signs of ill health. We took precautionary measures - gave him a vitamin injection, wormed him and gave him a does of Total Solutions which is a sort of all round tonic with vitamins, minerals and other miracle ingredients. Nick suggested feeding him some concentrate - i.e. pelleted food to try and fatten him up.

As luck would have it, when I was at the Goat Farm Tessa (our vet) mentioned that there had been an increase in incidents of ulcers associated with too much concentrate. We actually only feed ours in the winter and then only as a booster from time to time and we hardly ever give the males extra feed, although we do provide them all with Alf Alfa Chaff ad lib along with their hay. Given this information we decided not to feed Bono up after all.

Yesterday we were concerned that he seemed to spend quite a lot of time lying down on his own, although he did graze with the others at times. I wandered over to him a couple of times when he was lying down and he was not cudding - chewing his regurgitated food, but just lying there, and he was still looking tucked up which made his back look humped when he was standing.

I called the vet and Tim Lawrence came out within about half an hour, which was much appreciated given that the weekend was approaching. He checked him over and we discussed the options and decided to try an ulcer treatment initially with the possibility of blood tests if no improvement was apparent by Tuesday. There was no point in taking bloods on a Friday as they would not be tested until Monday at the earliest by which time the samples would have deteriorated.

We are now injecting him twice a day and giving him a drench three times a day. We started off by catching him and administering the medication in the catch pen but having been soaked a couple of times and given that we felt he should not get too cold we made a pen in the barn. He will not be alone as there are five females in there at nights at the moment having mite treatment. They go out in the day but we will probably keep Bono in if he does not get too distressed.

This evening when we administered his final medication of the day we felt that he was looking a lot better already. His back is now straight and he is eating for England.

We have been given loads of black fleece and so spent most of the afternoon sorting it as the weather was not condusive to going outside except when really necessary. It is really good fleece although some of it is spoiled with too much vegetation - probably imported alpacas who have travelled in straw or maybe animals that have been housed in a straw filled barn. We are only about one third of the way through it, but I am really impressed. Makes me want to sell our blacks and start again.

Mike is also below par and although it is only 7 p.m.has just gone to bed. I hope he will be feeling better tomorrow.

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