Awake, alive, for now

Well, she made it though another night. Got up and fed her twice during the night. She spent the night in the shower, on a thick layer of towels and pads, as she managed to climb/tumble out of the box about 8PM. I don’t think she hurt herself. She has been flat since.
She lost her suck reflex yesterday afternoon. Not good. She has had only had sugar water since. She has passed poo, which is good. She passed it all over herself as she has not stood in 12 hours. She is quite weak and floppy.

In an hour when the vet opens I am taking her in. I think her only chance now is a feeding tube. We will see what the vet thinks.

Latest Drama: Floppy II

In the latest installment of Alpacas at Elmwood, Victoria has given birth a couple weeks early again this year. Floppy Mark II is a wee bit more together than Floppy I was, and bonus: she’s a girl.

Floppy II, Floppette

The drama? Her umbilicus was one of the bits that wasn’t quite “done”. Three times she’s knocked it open and started gushing blood. And I mean gushing. Okay, the first one was definitely gushing, the other two weren’t quite as flood-like. The first time it happened, we got the umbilicus tied off and breathed a sigh of relief. The second time, it was bleeding from above where the umbilical cord meets the skin of the small hernia she has (not uncommon in newborns), so we couldn’t tie it off. Stephen held it pinched shut while I rang the after hours emergency vet line and drove them up to the clinic (this was a Sunday night). Julia stitched the artery closed, gave her some vitamin B and antibiotics, and we drove home, breathing a sigh of relief. Then when Stephen went out to give her a last feed for the evening, he rolled her over and saw a puddle of blood, and not a small one, either. Another panicked call to Julia, and we stuck an umbilical clamp over the whole thing, hernia and all.

The amazing thing is that each time she’s started bleeding, we’ve been there to notice and stop it. We’ve heard only just recently of a few cases where seemingly fine newborns have been discovered dead in the paddock having bled out through re-opened umbilical cords.

So, we tucked her into a box in the bathroom under the heat lamp, and got up every two hours during the night, checking to make sure she hadn’t started bleeding again, and to try and get a little glucose and/or colostrum into her.

As of this morning, she’s weak, but she has drunk a little bit of colostrum from the bottle. Later in the morning, we’re going to take her back up to the clinic to get a stomach tube put in, so we can feed her even if she’s too tired to suck. Until then, hourly feeds and keeping her warm.

Wish us luck.

Other babies

So, the animals belonging to Bruce that we have been caring for since December have started to drop their cria.

On Tuesday I got a call while down in the hospital visiting Wesley- Yvonne had come up to work with the horses and noticed a cria on the ground! We were not expecting the first for another few weeks. As the cria was healthy and doing well there was no panic or rush, and when I got home I discovered that Bruce was first-time lucky, Sugar had dropped a lovely fawn girl for him.

This afternoon we brought our girls down for matings and other maintenance (including the rodeo-action of washing Holly’s back). When I went to get the girls at 6 I looked over the fecne and one of Bruce’s other girls was acting a bit odd. By 7:30 the reasons were clear- Carmen had dropped another little fawn girl! Two times lucky!

The tale of Julie

The twists of fate can be odd.

On Friday we drove up to Feilding (and that is the correct spelling) for the Central Districts Field Days- a giant farming-related toy-fest. We left bright and early, as it is a two hour drive. In the dim pre-dawn light we saw a hitch-hiker along SH1 just north of the Plimmerton roundabout. A young woman, in her pyjamas, in her bare feet. We stopped and picked her up.

And thus we met Julie, a young rather drunk woman from Porirua. She decided at some point over the night (possibly after a fight with her partner? The story was a bit incoherent at times) to make her way to Hawera where her daughter lives. We heard her tale of her ex-partner and father of her daughter who is in jail, and her current partner who occasionally beats her, but she can’s leave because she “loves him.”
We dropped her off in Sanson, where the road splits. (As she was an adult and had largely sobered up we didn’t feel we could force her to do anything, so we dropped her off where she wanted.) We then drove to the Feilding police station (which was closest), and reported what was going on. This poor woman had nothing with her, and might as well have hung a “victim” sign around her neck. The police were very happy we had told them, and rushed off to get a car over to check and make sure she was okay.

You meet the most interesting people when you pick up hitch-hikers.


Behold, a new and terrible beast is released into the world! The mighty bug-eyed beast Tessa has finally sprogged, and her progeny shall be known as Chupacabra!

Don’t let the cute face deceive you, for she shall be out devouring in no time!Hello! Chupacabra and Bagwyn