Sunday, August 3, 2008

Baby #1

As promised, way back in May, the full story of our eventful spring! Yucatan was born 5/7 on a beautiful spring day to our farm matriarch, Fiesta.  We were thrilled to discover that he was a light sliver gray and better than that, absolutely healthy and lively.  However, his birth is only 1/2 the story.  While we were all reveling in his birth, giving him his first shot and dipping his umbilical cord, trouble was afoot.  Poor Fiesta prolapsed her uterus. This is highly unusual in alpacas and thankfully we were all right there to help.  But what do we do? First was recognizing the problem.  If this had happened our first year of farming, I'm not entirely sure that we would have known what was happening. Second was, of course, CALL THE VET! This is a big emergency.  We do not have a vet who will come to the farm so we are on our own in most situations.  Fortunately, our vet is great on the phone and she kept us calm while we tried to keep Fiesta calm.  The biggest issue was that there were only three of us to help; me (Amy), Jim and Zoe.  I had the back end, Jim the front and Zoe was either holding Yucatan (who insisted on running around) or doing multiple 100 yd dashes to the medicine cabinet. We were able to get the uterus put back where it belonged but it was a lot like putting toothpaste back into the tube.  At one point, I really doubted that I could do it and Jim (wonderful guy that he is)reminded me of the story of James Herriott (All Creatures Great and Small) and the sow with the prolapsed uterus.  That was all I needed for inspiration as I realized that Dr. Herriott was working in the dark, on a cold barn floor with no medicines.  And it was a really big pig!  From that point, I felt the Dr. Herriott was sitting on my shoulder.  Uterus back in place, we gave mom and baby some time to bond and nurse and then loaded both for the 1.5 hour trip to the vet.  There they lavaged Fiesta's uterus with antibiotics and trussed her so that she wouldn't re-prolapse.  What a day!  If we had only known that we had more excitement soon to follow.  I'll save that for another day.

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