Cowart's Common Room
Sick alpaca

I spent most of the day at the vet today with a 7 month old alpaca. He's showing signs of severe infection and parasites, but what and where are the problem. The animals are so stoic that it's nearly impossible to tell when they don't feel well until they actually crash. He's lost a lot of weight in the last 21 days, but it hard to tell just to look at him because the fleece is so fluffy. He was eating yesterday and running around yesterday, and today he's off his feed and unsteady on his legs. We took off with him around 10:00 am this morning and got home around 3:30, leaving him at the vet until tomorrow. I'm taking in some manure samples in the morning to add to the blood samples they drew, but it's pretty touch and go right now. He may not make it and I may have to make the decision to cut my losses and put him down. His name is Dash and he's always been an energetic, get into trouble kind of guy. It's hard to see him like this and it's hard to see the money going out the window with each procedure and treatment. It's also difficult to predict how he'll turn out as an adult, being this sick, and his value as a breeding animal may be in the toilet. It kind of looks like a no win situation right now. If any of you are of a mind to pray, I'd appreciate it. Any thoughts or good "vibes" you can send this way would be helpful. You've all been so encouraging and supportive with other issues.

Thanks, everyone.

Posted at 20th Dec 2007 - 04:17AM   Posted by Woolyworks   Sick alpaca Comments: 20

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Unpeuloufoque's Avatar Friends here had alpacca so I know how beautiful and full of character they are. Poor Dash and poor you , never good to have your live stock sick and with you contemplating a journey away anyway its going to be doubly hard .

Thinking of you.

Posted by: Unpeuloufoque on 20th Dec 2007 at 08:07AM

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Ivy's Avatar Hope everything is going to be ok and that it's nothing serious or contagious.

Posted by: Ivy on 20th Dec 2007 at 08:29AM

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Cait's Avatar Sending my very best wishes for Dash's recovery and healing thoughts.

Posted by: Cait on 20th Dec 2007 at 08:35AM

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ChrisH's Avatar Poor Dash and poor you. Sending you both my best wishes - I found that description of the poor old alpacas trundling along until they keel over very poignant... bit like some mums really. Love Chris (who may have been an alpaca in a previous life)

Posted by: ChrisH on 20th Dec 2007 at 08:46AM

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Crystal Jigsaw's Avatar There are so many animals in the wars recently. I got so many good vibes for Sparky, my blog tells all, so I will send them all to you now.

Crystal xx

Posted by: Crystal Jigsaw on 20th Dec 2007 at 09:04AM

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Mootia's Avatar I fell for alpacas when I was a livestock reporter and I did an article about them (as an alternative farm enterprise). I stood in the shed with them and listened to their beautiful mewing and saw their lovely long eyelashes and felt their gentleness. I do hope that Dash pulls through, although I can see from your point of view that his later potential breeding value is probably ruined. Perhaps he will become the 'pet' alpaca? Fingers crossed. x

Posted by: Mootia on 20th Dec 2007 at 09:04AM

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Fennie's Avatar Where there's life there's hope. He may recover completely and go on to be a very fine animal. Let's hope so. I'm sending you positive thoughts. If he survives until Christmas Eve he may be able to talk to the other animals and they may tell you what's wrong. (I am a firm believer in the old Tailor of Gloucester legend - but older than that surely? - that animals talk to each other in the hour before midnight on Christmas Eve.).

Posted by: Fennie on 20th Dec 2007 at 09:37AM

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Tattie Weasle's Avatar Animals are extraordinary and I suspect Alpacas take that to an extreme - sending good vibes from Suffolk and wishing you all well....

Posted by: Tattie Weasle on 20th Dec 2007 at 10:16AM

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Faith's Avatar Oh dear poor Dash - I'm feeling poorly myself so know how he feels. Lots of purple vibes for him from me.

Posted by: Faith on 20th Dec 2007 at 11:08AM

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Poor Dash, and what a worry for you. I hope he makes a full recovery, and send lots of positive vibes your way.

Posted by: ZoŽ on 20th Dec 2007 at 11:46AM

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Frances's Avatar Here come some positive wishes from New York to you and to Dash. xo

Posted by: Frances on 20th Dec 2007 at 12:32PM

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Westerwitch's Avatar Oh poor poor Dash, And a big hug to you - as a breeder you have already done more than most would have done . . .I hope you can go that extra mile and so can Dash.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 20th Dec 2007 at 12:50PM

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Kat's Avatar Stay calm and see him through it. Sending you and Dash lots of prayers and strength for recovery.

Posted by: Kat on 20th Dec 2007 at 01:22PM

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Kat's Avatar Have you considered something else besides parasites? Perhaps something in the feed? Maybe just a change in his feed? Or an injury somewhere? I know you've thought all this through, and I'm mostly just thinking in print here.

Posted by: Kat on 20th Dec 2007 at 01:26PM

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Woolyworks's Avatar We've looked at nearly every option and done some internal x-rays--which equals money and a lot of it. There's a possibility of a hair ball in the gut, which would mean I would put him down. The surgery to remove it is over $5K and I can't do that for a male alpaca. I'll know more today, hopefully. I've learned a lot about some herd management issues and that's always a good thing. It's just too bad that you think things are going along fine and in one fell swoop you find out that there's been something brewing in the background all along. Regardless of what happens with Dash, I've got to be more vigilant with my herd management because I've got another 22 animals to consider.

Posted by: Woolyworks on 20th Dec 2007 at 02:49PM

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Pondside's Avatar What a worry....and with your trip in the offing too. I hope all works out, but understand that you have a difficult decision to make,as these aren't pets, but your bread and butter.
Thinking of you....

Posted by: Pondside on 20th Dec 2007 at 03:03PM

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Withy Brook's Avatar Shall be thinking of you as you have to make decisions. Poor Dash - but breeders have to be hard-headed or all the other animals suffer. Here's hoping and lots of purple vibes to you and dash

Posted by: Withy Brook on 20th Dec 2007 at 09:12PM

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Exmoorjane's Avatar So sorry to hear this Wooly.......sounds like a tough and heartrending learning curve.....
Sending every single purple good wish and prayer......animals are such heartbreakers. Janexx

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 20th Dec 2007 at 09:20PM

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Grouse's Avatar I'm really feeling this for you WWorks- its very hard to balance care with income. I'm sure you will make the right decision if you have to. I hope Dash pulls through,but if he doesnt then as long as you have learnt everything there is to be learned from this, it wont have been in vain. The most experienced stockmen always have something still to learn- you can only blame yourself if you allow the same thing to happen a second time.

Posted by: Grouse on 20th Dec 2007 at 10:34PM

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Camilla's Avatar Oh I am so sorry to hear that your lovely Alpaca Dash is poorly, sending you all my healing vibes Woolyworks, along with my love and hugs. I can understand how you must be feeling, like you I am so fond of animals, so sad when get ill.

Camilla.xx

Posted by: Camilla on 20th Dec 2007 at 11:33PM

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