Sunday 31 July 2016

Plasma Bolt Launched (and puppies offroading)

We are hoping Trebuchet will start to do better soon. He did exceed his birth weight at one point, but keeps having off days on which he loses weight. He does drink from Olivia but she doesn't seem to be producing anywhere near enough for him. The vets have given him some antibiotics, but unfortunately they were not much help at advising on what he really needed, which was a plasma transfusion to give him antibodies he needed to survive, and did not have much idea about how to do it or where to get the plasma. Fortunately, Elizabeth from whom I acquired the alpacas, suggested to me a gentleman who has much experience in alpacas, and who had plasma, and kindly came around and helped us to give it to the cria.

Happy 3rd birthday to Hobsey yesterday (and her brother Angus)

Hobsey's puppies today all went for a brief car ride offroad. Fatty and Dick (whose new families have decided that their names will be Ragnar and Bentley respectively) coped best, and were alert and slightly whingy on the journey. Harry was quiet and calm. Tom was also quiet and calm and salivated slightly on his leg, and the two girls were both very slobbery. Hopefully with some more practice they will improve.

Disclaimer: Please do not make videos of puppies (or anything else) while driving in any public place.

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Paca update

Olivia's little brown cria Trebuchet has been having to have supplemental feeds as Olivia doesn't seem to be doing a very good job herself. Yesterday he wasn't looking as lively as I thought he ought, and as this sort of thing is often the first sign of a young animal going downhill very fast, I got the vet out immediately. and the vet stuck him with penicillin and took a blood sample, for which they had to shave the beautiful soft cria. :-(

The penicillin seemed to help a lot and Trebuchet today has gained a decent amount of weight and is looking more alert. The blood test results suggest his immunity might be a bit on the low side, but the vets are hoping that it can be managed with close observation and antibiotics until he gets strong enough for his immune system to develop properly.

Meanwhile, Siegfried the emu pecked the vet on the bum, and Poppy's cria Trident is massive already, and being quite annoying both for Trebuchet and the other adult alpacas!

Sunday 24 July 2016

Solitary confinement

Being 5 weeks old, the pups need to be wormed again. Now they are all eating food regularly, it's time to start getting them used to eating alone from a bowl, which is helpful both for getting them accustomed to life with new owners after 8 weeks old to ease the transition, and also to ensure each pup gets the proper amount of food for steady growth. The food has the correct dose of wormer added to it.

It's interesting at this point to note the variations in the puppies when they are separated for the first time:

Tom, Dotty, and Harry immediately ate the food steadily.

Fatty and Sweetie immediately ate the food enthusiastically, but Fatty paused before he had quite finished, looked around, whinged, and then ate the rest.

Dick whinged before noticing there was food, ate, but kept pausing to whinge.

Saturday 23 July 2016

Brown poodle puppies 5 weeks old

Hobsey's pups are 5 weeks old today and have met loads of people, including numerous children. The puppies have been discovering lots of interactive toys outside and eating different foods. Hobsey's feeding has been reduced to one feed per day as the pups were enormous and having loose poos, and she was losing condition. Next week, more socialisation experiences.

Poppy and her cria are also doing great and Trident is growing well. Poppy really loves him and takes very good care of him.

I wish the same could be said of Olivia. She does love Trebuchet, but is not as careful as Poppy, and she doesn't seem to be feeding him very well. Yesterday I weighed him in the middle of the day and his weight had come down somewhat from his birth weight the day before. This isn't necessarily a cause for concern in a young animal on its first day of life, but when I weighed him again in the evening he'd lost over a pound. He is getting milk from Olivia because it is there in his mouth after he has been suckling, but either there isn't much of it or it's not coming out very well. I hope Olivia will get better as time goes on, but for now I am supplementing her cria with artificial milk. Which means several times a day I keep having to go out into this horrible field in this vile weather, to catch this obnoxiously fuzzy little thing and plug a bottle into him and watch him guzzle away and make little noises. Which makes me really long for the days when I lived in a city and had a proper job, and I do so miss that wonderful boss who somehow managed to bring out the best in everyone he managed...

Friday 22 July 2016

Trebuchet the Paca

The alpacas are up and about on a sunny morning, and Olivia and her cria Trebuchet have rejoined her friends. I think Bess is disappointed that everyone but her has a cria.

Thursday 21 July 2016

Olivia's cria

Olivia didn't give much indication that she was going to have her cria:

The cria was being born normally, but the anmion had not broken, meaning its head and front feet were trapped in a bubble of amniotic fluid and it couldn't breathe. Olivia did not seem to care and wanted to lie down. So we put her in the corral and tore the membrane so the cria could start to breathe, and she seemed to realise what she was supposed to do once she could hear the noises he was making and could not find him:

Cria is brown with a white mismark on his face and weighs 14.2 pounds.

Olivia had a cria once before she came to us, but the cria did not survive because she either did not produce colostrum, or the cria did not manage to get any. So we managed to get her to keep still long enough to squeeze some milk out of her into a mug and put it in the cria's mouth to make sure some went in.

It had started to rain steadily since Olivia's labour started, and rubbing the cria with a towel was not doing anything. So after he had a chance to suckle, I took him into the house and blowdried him and put him in a jacket.

The cria and Olivia have been barricaded in the field shelter to keep the cria dry overnight, and hopefully all will be well on the morrow. Hopefully also Trident the other cria will not get too soggy.

Trident the Paca

Being sired by someone called Neptune, and born on the day Parliament voted to renew the nuclear deterrent, the name Trident for this little chap seemed obvious.

He is now rather quicker and more wriggly than when he first arrived, but last night I managed to catch and weigh him (which Poppy did not like) and he has gained weight and now weighs 19 pounds. He has been running around like a nutcase and trying to get Poppy to chase him.

Meanwhile Olivia is not showing any signs of impending labour yet, despite being enormous and obviously pregnant.

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Puppy profiles

The puppies have been spending a lot of time outside in the recent good weather. Last night they also tried chicken wings, which was a good opportunity to exercise their jaws, although not much was actually eaten. They have also had their feet and bottoms clipped for the first time, which should make it a bit easier to keep them clean. Tom doesn't seem to recognise his feet now and is determined to kill them.

The characters of the puppies are now starting to become more apparent:

Tom (currently reserved)

Tom is toy-motivated and already showing a strong instinct to bring objects to people. He is a deep conker brown with a square, balanced appearance.

Dick (available)

Dick is lively and interested in people and plays frequently with the other puppies. Like his brothers Tom and Harry, he is deep brown.

Harry (available)

Harry is a cuddly and affectionate boy, not as outgoing as his brothers, but loves to get to know you given the chance. He is deep brown with a delightful expression. Probably the easiest puppy I've ever groomed.

Fatty (reserved)

Fatty is one of this litter's big characters! He is outgoing and calm, taking everything in his stride. He paws at hands and rolls onto his back for chest rubs when playing with a person. He is a lighter brown than his brothers and may ultimately turn café like his father.

Dotty (reserved)

Dotty is another big character! She is outgoing and calm and loves toys and interacting with people. She and her sister are lighter browns who may ultimately turn café like their father.

Sweetie (currently reserved)

Sweetie and her sister Dotty are quite similar, although Sweetie is a little less outgoing. She loves toys and cuddles. She and her sister are lighter browns who may ultimately turn café like their father.