Friday, 13 March 2009

Time to swap some spit.

You may remember that at the end of January, Lily (my favourite alpaca in the whole wide world) had a toe lopped off in a trailer door. My fault, shouldn't have happened, but it did.

Anyway, we then had a whole heap of snow and thaw and rain and general muddiness. We struggled in vain to keep her dressing dry and three weeks ago she moved into a lovely dry barn at our nearby chums Ivan and Gill's. This has really done the trick as far as the wound is concerned, it has healed up very well and looks better every time we change the dressing. We are not out of the woods yet but it is looking good.

Unfortunately because of the high dosage of antibiotics involved Lily herself is not doing so well. She is very thin and is not putting on weight despite a good appetite. We think (alright, Sir Tim thought it first) that the antibiotics have killed off all the naturally occurring bacteria in her stomach(s) and this has meant that she is not able to process the food properly. In effect although she is eating she is not getting the benefit from the food.

We needed to restart her gut. First of all we have stopped the antibiotics. We will have to keep a very close eye on the wound for any signs of infection but she needs a break.

Secondly, we have treated her for coccidiosis and worms and started her on a course of multivitamins and Vetrumex which should help to replace the bacteria in her gut.

(The lovely Lily and her rosette winning cria Amelie last year shortly after her tooth abscess operation. Yes, poor old Lil has been in the wars.)

Today I did something that I have never done before to try and speed up Lily's recovery. Transfaunation folks. Basically it means collecting spit from one alpaca and putting it into another alpaca. Sounds great fun doesn't it!

Step forward the resident spit fountain, Bobby. Bobby had a cria last week and after the first few days of being nice is now back to her spitty best. Ordinarily not a good thing but if you are about to do some transfaunation, ideal.

So the girls were rounded up this morning and Bobby and her cria, Penny, were singled out into a handling pen. I caught hold of Penny to have a close look at her and I could hear Bobby getting ready to let fly. My catlike refexes took over as I let go of Penny, took hold of Bobby and whipped out a plastic bag which I then put over her muzzle. In my minds eye it was all done with remarkable speed and smoothness, in reality.......well who cares about reality? Bobby pretty much did the rest. Within a few seconds we had a nice little bag of spit. Phase one complete.

It was then a quick dash over to Ivan's and after mixing Bobby's 'medicine' with some Vetrumex it was given to Lily. She didn't look that impressed but managed to swallow it. Hopefully that will help to get her back on the right track.

Alpacas, every day something new!


Zanzibah Alpacas said...

Hi Mark...hope Lily is ok after her ordeal(s)..I hope you don't mind me mentioning something which I have recommended in the past to Debbie...Barnacre...its something which is called Ceto Phyton, a liquid feed to add condition (used for pregnant sheep to stop Ketossis)...I have used it, with great results in adding condition/weight with a poorly alpaca, it might be worth a try. You should be able to get it from your Vets, if you fancy giving it a go. I do hope the spit swapping works for you and Lily...Jayne

Zanzibah Alpacas said...

Penelope...looks like she has grown loads....what are you feeding her on !!...down there at the Mighty Patou !...Jayne

Perry Wheeler said...

I was going to suggest a product called Prolacsis Paste. It claims it has 20billion live micro-organisms. We had to use this on Caramello's little cria (Beatrice). She really picked up after a week with this. It is a horse product, American in origin.

Hope Lily picks up soon.


Lucy said...

I would agree with Perry on probiotics. Makes good sense. I read a study recently about how much more effective antibios in humans are when they are also given probios. I know the Stop-it-all people do them mail order for camelids.