Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sick Alpaca


I'm so worried about Lars (Polaris) that I woke up at 4 this morning and had to go out to the barn to check on him. In three months he has lost 40 pounds and is constantly drooling and foaming from his mouth. I think that he has just about stopped eating. Two and a half weeks ago I had Vet Russ out to examine him. He drew blood, removed a little loose tooth, snipped off his fighting teeth, and got a stool specimen. The specimen indicated that he had some stomach worms so I dosed him for 3 days and have been giving him GastroGuard twice a day. He's just not getting better and he's annoyed that I'm shoving medicine into his mouth so it's getting harder for me to handle him by myself.
I'm going to call the vets' office as soon as they open. I'm thinking that I may have to hook up the trailer and haul him to Michigan State.
Sick Alpaca update: Vet Russ stopped by about noon to look at our boy again and suggested that we take him to Michigan State. Beth ran home and got her van and dear Lars jumped right in. He stood up all the way there and back home, humming the whole way, so he must be pretty tired tonight. Sparing you a long story, they x-rayed his head and found 3 teeth on the lower right abscessed with bone degeneration under them. Poor guy must have been uncomfortable. No wonder he lost so much weight. Must have really hurt to try to eat.
Treatment is rather simple - 9 cc of an antibiotic every 4 days for a month. The only trouble is I have to give the injection SQ, which is just under the skin. I think this is rather hard with all the fleece. The first time I gave an SQ, I slid it under the skin and out, like sewing. It's much easier to just pop it into a muscle.
Of course, being the tidy alpaca that he is, he didn't poop or pee the whole 4 hours that we were gone. After he relieved himself, Beth and I gave him a dose of GastroGuard for his tummy and an injection of Banimine to relax him and hopefully, ease his pain.
Life is good again!

11 comments:

Prairie Daisy Handspun said...

Maple,
Have they checked to make sure he doesn't have something stuck in his throat? We've had calves do that with hedge apples, and I've seen the sheep do the drooling and foaming thing. It might be something to check anyway.

Michele / akkasha said...

I am so sorry to hear he is sick. I hope he gets better soon.

I have to drug my cat regularly. I can tell she is feeling better the more fight she puts up when I try to drug her. With any luck, he is feeling better so he is fighting more.

Good luck at the vets.

Pamala Rose said...

Hoping Polaris is soon feeling better.

Critter Lover said...

Lars is SO lucky to have you in his life and SO AM I ! I had the pleasure of accompanying Lars and Maple to the MSU vet clinic today and am hopeful that he is on his way to recovery! Thanks to the local vet, Dr. Russ and the MSU vet docs and students, we hope we have found the ROOT of his problem....even tho they were infected, abscessed, rotted teeth roots in the jawbone. No better place to be on the mend, than Maple's and no one better to hasten the mending, than you Maple! Three cheers for ANTIBIOTICS and TLC!
Hugs Maple, Beth

woolies said...

ok I got really worried reading the first part of this post, and now I'm hopeful that he'll be fine.
One of my dogs just had major surgery for bladder stones. She's supposed to be totally better, but she's not. it's been a month, and she still cannot hold her peee...

back to the vet for more x-rays!

dd#2 said...

Hi Mom! So glad he is feeling better, or that he will be soon. Must be a major relief for you:)

I miss you! I got spoiled over the summer by being able to spend so much time with you at the farm:)

Love,
T

skiingweaver said...

Oh my goodness, poor Lars, so glad they figured out what was wrong! Toothaches are no fun whatsoever, and this one must have been terrible. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery!

Tins and Treasures said...

He has such a sweet face! I hope he is feeling better soon! I love your yarns too.

Merily said...

Glad to hear that you figured out what was wrong with him! I hope he gets better soon! *virtual pets to the cute alpaca*

Zuleika said...

Poor baby! I'm so glad he's on his way to feeling better.You must be so relieved!!

Firefly Nights said...

Poor Lars. I'm glad you were able to so quickly find out what was wrong. I hope he's doing a lot better now.

Map