March is here and that means vaccination and worming time. We use Lambivac and Eprinex pour-on wormer, on the advice of our vet.
However, as you will know these medicines are not for alpacas they are for sheep and cattle respectively. No problem as there are no alpaca medicines we have to improvise and they seem to be effective. We get our Lambivac by mail order and there are no questions asked. Eprinex we buy from a local country store again no questions asked........or so I thought.
The last time I bought Eprinex was in November for the final worming of the year, it was a new member of staff serving and I was there in body but my mind was away thinking fluffy thoughts. I had been doing alpaca stuff all morning and was wearing my 'Patou Alpacas' jacket. I ordered the Eprinex and reached for my wallet.................that is when things started to go wrong.
The new keen eyed member of staff had spotted my alpaca logo and was now looking at me with great suspicion, she fixed me with a steely stare and after a pause where she seemed to gird her loins (what does that mean?) she asked "Is this for alpacas?"
Now at this point I must stress I was still away with the fairies thinking about the perfect alpaca, my answer, with hindsight should have been "Don't be ridiculous this is a wormer for cattle, I have some cattle and I would like to worm them, I am a cattle farmer, I have cows, I am a beef eater"
Sadly the old brain being in go slow mode I dopily said yes.
The store fell silent and there was a collective sharp intake of breath from customers and staff alike, I swear I heard someone at the back issue a short sharp tut.
I immediately felt like I was guilty of some serious wrongdoing, I was told that she couldn't sell the Eprinex to me as it was for cattle and not for alpacas. I explained that as there were no medicines licensed for alpacas we had to use medicines recommended by our vets which were designed for other breeds of animal. A conversation ensued and the futility of my argument was cemented when the reason for not letting me have the Eprinex was given, "If something happens to your alpacas because of this medicine you will sue us"
Ahh........... the litigation and compensation culture that is sweeping across the ocean from the land of plenty has reached a countryside store in rural Wiltshire, there was no point arguing any further.
The most ridiculous thing about the whole episode was that she told me that if I hadn't been wearing a jacket with an alpaca on it she wouldn't have questioned me and would have sold the Eprinex to me. She also told me that I could go to another branch of the store and try again without my jacket on...............is it just me or is this all sounding mad?
Anyway as the vets surgery was just around the corner I was able to nip round and get a prescription, Eprinex purchased with no problems from a very smiley girl who acted as if she was meeting me for the first time................all very weird.