We have slightly concerned faces down here in Patouland. One of or number is not well. One of our number is decidedly not well at all. And when one of us is not well, none of us are well. It's a team thing. It's tribal.
It is one of this years cria, it is Tsar Tsar Superstar, the pick of the bunch. It bloody well would be him, wouldn't it?
Just over two weeks ago I rounded up the entire herd in it's various groups and treated everyone against Liver Fluke using Fasinex, a drench. With my relatively new all singing multi-drencher it was a doddle and was carried out without so much as a splutter. Actually there was one, Sirrocco. She made a bit of a spluttering fuss about it but I am sure that it was more to do with her demeanour than my drenching technique. Anyway whilst I drenched away I also carried out my routine checks which we like to do every fortnight. Jaws, teeth, eyes, feet and of course condition. I was pleased, all was well. I was particularly pleased that Tsar Tsar Superstar was in good condition. You may remember that he was a slow starter and had been bottle fed for a while until he got the hang of suckling so to feel him in good nick was satisfying.
So, when I next got hands on him twelve days later (last Thursday) I was absolutely stunned to find him as thin as a rake and I mean thin, very thin. Worryingly thin. Parasites were immediately suspected and he was wormed (Panomec) and treated against Coccidiosis (Baycox). He was also moved into the weaning paddock with his mother Millie and observations and action began. He was grazing like mad but Millie didn't seem to have much milk. We started bottle feeding him but he fought against it. On Sunday we moved them into the warm dry shed with the ultimate companion, or oldest girl, Dee (she has done it so often she is a real professional at it). I surrounded them with fresh hay and hard feed and we carried on with the bottle feeding.
Tsar Tsar Superstar and his mother Millie
When we checked them at lunch time something was obviously not right. Tsar was on his side and was obviously suffering from severe abdominal pain. It was a no brainer, we needed a vet straight away. We tend to only need vets on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Forty-five minutes later and little Tsar was being poked and prodded in every direction. He politely dropped a large solid turd for the vet to take away and provided three tubes of blood for further investigations. He was given Buscopan (anti-spasmodic) and given a thorough examination. He had heart arrhythmia (missing the odd beat), which I have since found out from the Lord of the Inca tribe can be due to being very thin. We hope so rather than some congenital defect.
My theory is that it was either worms or coccidia. Which hopefully have now been dealt with. I think that when he moved to the weaning paddock, which is still full of lush green grass (not much in it I know) he gorged himself a bit and gave himself a touch of colic. If I am right, and I hope I am, it is just a case of feeding him up.
Today he seems a bit livelier, he is no longer in pain and is eating hay and hard feed as well as suckling and taking milk from us. All very positive signs. We await the results of the blood tests.