I reported in my last blog that little Tsar was improving, he was. Unfortunately it was short lived and the little chap has gone down hill.
To recap; 2 months ago he was stripped of condition by a bad case of worm infestation, Nematodirus. After fecal samples were examined the worm was knocked on the head. We had weaned him as his mother's milk was disappearing and she wasn't showing any interest in him. He was put in a warm dry shed with another weanling and he quickly got stuck into the hard feed and the hay. He put on weight.
About a month ago he started scouring and still is. More samples were examined and Giardia was detected. This has been treated with a five day course of Panacur. He also had a three day course of Baytril, a strong antibiotic. We have been treating him with Kaogel and Pro-rumen three times a day ever since and occasionally his poop firms up a bit. This morning it is like very thick gravy.
He is eating well and drinking water but it all seems to go straight through him and he is slowly losing weight. he is now down to 16.30kg, about half what he should be.
The vets seem to have just given up and I am no longer speaking to them.
Two days ago we did some transfaunation. Bobby, one of our hair trigger spit monsters was caught, a plastic bag was put over her muzzle and I 'tickled her' until we had enough of the green stuff. This was then drenched into Tsar.
The theory is that his gut lining was damaged so much by the initial worm infestation that he simply cannot absorb enough to keep him alive.
Luckily I work in a beautifully rural area and am in contact with a lot of farmers. I sent out an appeal for some cows colostrum. An article in the October SWAG newsletter documented several cases in New Zealand where cow colostrum had been used to repair damaged gut linings in weanlings and adult alpacas following weight loss from severe parasite infestations.
I spoke to the vet, who asked what the scientific background was to it. When I could offer nothing scientific to back it up it was dismissed summarily, that is why we are no longer talking. How closed minded some people can be! I wanted to argue the point but it would have been brick wall time and then I would have stopped being polite, not worth it. New vet required!
One very special dairy farmer, with four dairy cows on a private estate owned by a rock legend, came to my assistance and yesterday I collected a litre of the finest organic disease free cow colostrum.
The regime suggested by the breeders in NZ is to administer 1ml per kilo of body weight twice a day for two weeks. Tsar had his first dose last night and his second one this morning. He seems to like it, it is like orange double cream, might have a dribble myself!
This morning he was still bright, alert and tucking into the food.
So at the moment our hopes are resting on the healing powers of the colostrum made by a beautiful Swiss dairy cow called Gelda.
I am always open to any other suggestions though!