Friday, 1 February 2013

Winning the battle

I haven't posted for several weeks, I am not quite sure why. Have I been miserable? No more than usual. Grumpy? I'm always grumpy. Suffering from some weird and painful disease which only affects the tips of my fingers thus making typing impossible? No. Lack of interest in alpacas and spreading the good word from Patouland? No, of course not, I will, and do, talk for hours about the Mighty herd and alpacas in general. In fact at work wherever I go with a colleague they are always waiting to see when and how I will turn the conversation from burglary or violence around to discussing the merits of owning alpacas. I bore everyone I meet with talk about alpacas and fecal samples and fleece results and breeding decisions and unless they change the subject to something more interesting I just carry on. It's funny watching their faces. Completely transfixed initially (mainly through politeness I think) followed by a slow dawning that the conversation has now entered a depth that is proving difficult to understand, then the eyes start to shift rapidly looking for a way out before finally bolting for the nearest door (not easy with me clamped to them like a koala bear up a gum tree!). Oh what fun we have.

So, anyway, enough wittering on about why I haven't blogged, for here I am blogging again. So much to talk about but I will restrict this posting to two subjects. Tsar, our little Qjori boy and his progress from deaths door and a cracking weekend last week.

Firstly, to last weekend. Sue and I were very fortunate to be invited to a meeting of great alpaca minds. Matt and Cathy Lloyd had included us in a gathering of such power and import in the alpaca world that we knew our heads were going to be spinning with excited delirium. Heavy snow the week before had meant a one week postponement.

 Alpacas and some snow in Patouland.

Not only had we the pleasure of the company of the Chiefs of the truly Mighty EPC but we had the presence of the Mighty Inca tribe who had left the massed black ranks in Dorset and ventured North East to Baydon. Not only that but we had the cream of the North attending too. The Mighty Fowberry and the Mighty Beck Brow ventured south (chased by the snow) to form an awesome alpaca gathering.

The hospitality was excellent and the company was terrific. On Saturday the menfolk went off armed to the teeth to frighten some pheasants. I like to think that as we are all essentially animal lovers that subconsciously many birds were spared. Sadly the reality is that we were all trying to kill as many as possible. Perhaps at this point I should speak only for my own efforts. There was definitely something wrong with my gun.
However, there was a decent amount of birds to carry home and at the end of the day, walking around in beautiful countryside with the sun beaming down with a group of good people surrounded by alpacas was a pretty good way to spend the day.

The evening was equally splendid with a magnificent curry provided by Cathy and plenty of wine (just!) to ensure that my memory of leaving is slightly blurry. Matt and Cathy, if you read this drivel, thank you very much! I have no photos of the weekend, too drunk to think about it is my excuse.

Anyway to my second subject, Tsar (pictured below right with his chum Todd).

To recap, after a lightly shaky start involving being bottle fed for a while Tsar was doing fine until he was about 5 months old when he was stripped of all condition by a parasite. I don't think he was far away from deaths door. A fecal sample showed a nasty little worm called Nematodirus which once identified was knocked on the head with Panacur and Zolvix. He started putting weight back on and we thought that was that. He had been brought into the shed and was given plenty of TLC. He had also had blood tests which revealed that everything appeared normal.

Two weeks ago he was rocked with violent diarrhoea and he dropped to just over 15 kilos (6 months old remember). Having consulted with old twinkletoes we went into overdrive and treated him with Kaogel and  Pro-rumen three times a day and a course of powerful anti-biotics (baytril). We also added Effadryl to his water and slowly but surely he started to recover. Sue stayed at home last Saturday until he had his three doses and then joined the throng at Baydon. Upon returning last Sunday Tsar weighed in at 18 kilos and yesterday he was a mighty improved 18.80kg.

A further fecal sample was submitted for more in depth testing at the VLA and I have just got off the phone with  the vet who reports the presence of a nasty little squit inducing protozoa called Giardia.

We will treat him for that which is a 5 day dose of oral Panacur. However this morning I was very excited to find two little pellets hanging from his bottom! We know that we are not out of the woods yet but we can see the sunshine on the other side of the trees and I am wielding a mighty tree felling axe!


Bev said...

Aha, here I was thinking that no news was bad news on the Tsar front, but no - he got better, then got worse, now he's getting better again, which overall is good news in my book. Congratulations, on not mentioning underpants once in this blog..

Rosemary said...

Glad Tsar is on the mend - and thanks for all the useful information.

What a sight that must have been - all those Mighty ones out shooting!

Barbara@beckbrowalpacas said...

Brilliant news can't wait to meet the mighty Tsar. He is the most yummy colour and expect a delicious fleece is waiting to be revealed!

Apple Vale Alpacas said...

Glad you are making progress, buut what a trying time.