Thursday, 14 August 2008

A grey day at Patou

I always try to make this blog as amusing as possible, I am a pretty silly bloke and I can usually find something to laugh at in most situations.

Today, however, in this short blog there will be no laughs, we have lost another cria and we are pretty bloody miserable.

Orchard Ruby, a lovely brown girl who belongs to friends of ours Charlie and Louise Maidment was 11 months and 5 days pregnant yesterday. She is a first timer and things were going along well.

She started behaving as if something was going to happen in the morning then rejoined the rest around midday and was grazing as normal. Another false alarm we suspected.

However, later on she looked to be in some discomfort and after observing for a short while our vet was called. He was very quick and got on with finding out what was wrong. Sadly there were two problems.

Firstly Ruby was suffering from ringwomb. Ringwomb is something I had never heard of but apparently it is a characterized by failure of the cervix to relax so that there is no evidence of impending parturition. Not good.

Because the cervix doesn't dilate second stage labour can not begin. As a result the mum doesn't start pushing. There are no outward signs that she is contracting.

Secondly the cria was malpresented. The head and neck were twisted round and back along its side. One of the front legs was back. In short he was wedged.

The vet delivered a good looking solid brown boy but he had been dead for some time.

He assured us that there was nothing we could have done, that there was no way of knowing what was going on. He even said that if we had rung him earlier he would have told us to wait for a couple of hours to see how things developed. It was nice of him.

We still have that awful feeling that we are responsible, that we should have noticed something, that we should have done something different, that in some way we could have saved the cria.

It makes us feel pretty crap.

Still life goes on and we must now look forward to our own Bannock and Deedee giving birth soon.

Once again apologies for the lack of laughs, I'll be back to normal tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear your sad news.
Lorna & Alan xxx

Gerry said...

No need to apologise for the lack of laughs Mark. Who would feel like laughing after what happened? I totally sympathise as we had something very similar happen to us this year - that feeling that maybe you could have done something more is really sickening but it passes. All the best from Lucy and I. Gerry, Coire Alpacas

Louise said...

Hi Mark & Sue, don't feel in anyway that you are responsible - poor old Ruby didn't really have much chance as the baby was so twisted round. As we've been hearing a lot of lately "it is just one of those things" and unfortunately par for the course sometimes with this breeding lark. Apparently these things happen in three's - the third thing has happened today - the bloody ram has flystrike! So good luck all round from now on! All the best, Louise & Charlie

Debbie said...

Having lost two cria also this year I know exactly where you are coming from. Chin up


Sally said...

So sorry to read your outcome. We just had 3 cria born and one of them was to a first time mum with a ring womb. It seems we called the vet just in time (we are alpaca birth novices). The vet manipulated mum internally and managed to pull the cria out alive. He lost quite a lot of weight in the first 2 days so we have been supplementing with goats milk for the next 3 days and he is now gaining weight, drinking from bottle and mum. Did your vet advise against remating the mum? I am going to ask our vet on Monday but he says he is not an alpaca expert.