Today was a frustrating day.
The herd was rounded up for a complete health check as on Wednesday Le famille Steele heads off to the south of France for our Easter break. We are not leaving the animals on their own, no sirrreee, each species has been taken into account and the appropriate care organised.
Bryn and Josh our chocolate labs are going to my parents who live nearby, they will be looked after very well, Mum and Dad have had labs for years and I can't actually think of anywhere better for them to go. It's going to be a bit of a shock for mum though, Josh is as mad as a box of frogs and hasn't been to stay before, well that's what parents are for isn't it? I can't bring myself to tell her about his destructive powers, ah well she'll find out soon enough.
Bob the cat, Betty, Cindy and Lulu the chickens and all the alpacas will of course remain at home and a highly trained team will move in to look after them. Pete and Elvie, good friends, and animal lovers are once again taking the reins and will be here to feed, stroke, collect and gaze at the motley crew left behind, thanks guys.
Anyway, checking the herd today taught me a lesson that is relevant to all alpaca owners.
Not only was I condition scoring, I was checking and cleaning this years eartags (well all of them in fact). All the eartags looked good, a few scabs cleared away but nothing to worry about. I also checked jaws for any signs of abscesses and discovered an absolute whopper on a whether called Bob. It was the size of a golf ball and shocked the doodahs off me. How could I have missed that before???
We check the herd physically every two weeks at least, and that is a real hands on grope, looking for anything unusual. Poor old Bob seems to have slipped through the net and that is annoying, frustrating and in my book unforgiveable. In fact if I could have done so I would have taken myself to one side this afternoon and hoofed myself up the arse with maximum power several times.
Anyway as ever when we have a problem the first port of call is Saint Tim of Inca. I took Bob over, he's actually Tim's anyway, and Tim set about him with the customary australian enthusiasm, puss was removed, boy there was a lot of puss, I gave him an intramuscular shot of Nuflor (a very effective treatment aginst abscesses) and he was left with Tim to sort out. No better place in my book, might even book myself in there next time I'm feeling under the weather! Joking of course, might catch something.
Anyhow, animals sorted, I shall be packing the car tomorrow and hoping for a flat calm as we are taking the night ferry from Pompey to St Malo. We haven't been to the house since October and desperately hope its still standing.
Lesson learned for the day CHECK JAWLINES for anything lumpy, abscesses are relatively common and the sooner you detect them the easier they are to sort out.
Quick blog tomorrow and then it's Au revoir.