With farming, and especially raising animals, we always know there will be ups and downs. We have been fortunate to have lots of 'ups', but last week we faced our share of downs...
We said good-bye to our eldest male, Camilio's X-Man - aka 'Manny'. He passed quietly on the day before his 17th birthday. He was a sweet and gentle male and will be missed here. Manny was our 'go-to' guy when weaning the young boys - always a gentleman leading by calm example. We felt comfortable putting the weanling boys in with Manny - where they would feel safe as they began the transition from the female herd in which they were born to the male herd where they would grow into adults. Manny has sired two of our favorite animals - Janey (turns 2 this summer) and Alonzo (who is now in our breeding program and is sire to Ranger). Manny has one last offspring due to be delivered by Leilani in August. It should be a stunning cria.
We also received bad news on another herdsire, Finnegan. At shearing time, a large lump was discovered on his right side. It was completely camouflaged by his fleece, so we were quite surprised to see it when he was shorn. Finnegan was behaving normally and the lump didn't seem to be bothering him at all, but of course, we did want the vet to take a look at it. Our vet did her best to remove as much of the lump as possible and sent a sample of it to a lab for testing. Sadly, test results revealed a very aggressive cancerous tumor. Poor Finnegan will not recover from this and will be euthanized in the near future. :(
While the vet was here to see Finnegan, we also had her take a look at little Clarissa. I had noticed the day before that she was not acting normally, but attributed her lethargy to the heat. But the next day she didn't seem better, so doc suggested taking a look at Clarissa, too. Thank goodness for that! Turns out, Clarissa was a bit dehydrated, but tests from the blood sample taken also indicated that many of her numbers were not what they should be. Clarissa was given IV fluids on Wednesday and again on Thursday to help with the dehydration. That helped a bit, but just not enough. So on Saturday she was given a plasma transfusion. We think that may have done the trick! Clarissa is back to nursing, and each day seems more like her old self. Keep your fingers crossed for her, but we are optimistic that she is on the road to recovery.
We hope this is it for the bad news... We have 2 more babies coming in August and are hoping for smooth deliveries and healthy babies. We'll keep you posted.
About the author:
Always an animal lover, alpacas entered my life in 2005.
I enjoy all aspects of life with alpacas - from caring for them, to training them, spinning and knitting their wonderful fiber, photographing them, and even writing about them!