Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Sad News
On Monday morning I checked on 108 and his Mum, but sadly he had died in the night.  He had taken his bottle the night before, so I was surprised at his sudden demise, although it was always a probability. We will never know what caused his sudden paralysis for sure.

Sandy Maiden died last night aged 18 and a half.   She was a great companion to my Mum when she was alive, and a successful agility dog and loved pet.   She won out of starters at full height twice before Mike started competing at midi height with her.  She always ruled the roost and the other dogs knew not to upset her.  

Thursday, 20 September 2012

108 108

108 is the cria who cannot walk.   We have been trying to keep his limbs moving so he does not lose muscle function and he does seem to be walking a little although he needs support all the time.  He now has swollen knees which means he cannot straighten his front legs.    A friend recommended a physiotherapist who treats humans and animals and she came today.

She has recommended that we stretch his legs rather than exercise them and we are going to try and stretch the ligaments which allow him to put his feet flat to the floor.   She was very helpful and came up with some other interesting ideas to try, including stimulating him before we try to walk him around in a sling made of old towels (which we do now).   She says that patting and plucking gently at his fleece around his back legs will help to stimulate his nervous system and make him aware of his back legs again.   He was a little sweetie whilst she treated him and was more intent on munching grass than taking any notice of being pulled and pushed.

His mother is not longer feeding him because he cannot reach her udder and she is too upset if we try to hold him up to her.   He is now being bottle fed three times a day.    He is two and a half months  old so at least we will not have to do it for too long.   Fingers crossed that eventually whatever caused the problem in the first place will go away.

The SIPS installers have finished after one or two hiccups.   They were a lovely team of builders and always cheerful and polite whatever happened.  Our teabag consumption will go down considerably until the next wave of building works - probably next week when the wooden cladding will be added to the outside.

Downstairs will be one big living space.   The interior photos are of the upstairs.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Lots of things

The build was progressing very well and we have had a really lovely team of builders working on site, but all has now come to a standstill because it seems the drawings did not allow for proper roof support.   So it is "back to the drawing board" until they come up with a viable solution.

Pauline came to stay for a few days whilst the decorators were working at her house.   We visited a nearby poultry farm and I bought another 6 hens and she bought 4.  On Saturday and Sunday we went to River Cottage with a couple of young alpacas (the last of last year's boys) and our stall to sell the alpaca products which we normally sell in the farm shop.   It was a really good event.   Tickets were sold out well in advance and as well as enjoying ourselves (Pauline and I manned the stall together)  we sold a lot of socks, pashminas, beanie hats and knitting wool, as well as the two alpacas we took with us.  They are pictured above.   It was not a misty day - I put the camera in the cold box so it was out of sight and when I took it out to photograph the boys and our stand, the lense misted over!!

As well as craft stalls, demonstrations, lovely food and incidentally good weather there was a Poultry breeder!!  Pauline fell in love with some fancy chickens and decided to buy them and donate the two black rock hens she had purchased previously, to the Laurel Farm flock.

On Monday afternoon Mike was up on the scaffolding when he noticed this little chap was lying in the grass and seemed to be struggling unsuccessfully to get up.   He phoned me and I went to see what was wrong.
He was shaking and obviously in distress.  I did not try and help him but called the vet  straight away.

He came within 20 minutes and could find no obvious reason for the problem.   By this time he had stopped shaking and we had already thought that he must have had some sort of accident.  The vet agreed and the best guess is that he was either running around and injured himself or was kicked by another alpaca.   Possibly he tried to suckle from the wrong Mum or just got in the way.

The vet gave him antibiotics, metacam to ease the pain and reduce inflammation if any.  He told us to contact him after 3 days.  There was little improvement so I phoned and JJ, one of my favourite farm vets, came this time.   He thought the same but agreed that it was worth continuing to try and get him mobile again.  He gave him a steroid injection and thought that we should give it two or three weeks before having to make any decision on his future.    I am giving him physiotherapy  three times a day.   Some days I feel we are making progress and others he seems to go backwards.   Today is a good day and we have put Mum and son outside to give them some fresh air and a change of scenery.