Things have generally been going well , apart from the weather of course ! So I committed the unforgivable sin of thinking to myself ' things are going well considering the weather ' - what has happened , well of course it is not going well now !
For several weeks I have been bringing Veronica and her cria Ewart , in for the night along with Esti , my bottle baby. Veronica is my oldest alpaca , at 13 she should still have a long life ahead of her , but this weather has proved that she really is getting old . She started to loose condition well before Christmas , hence the barn overnight , with extra supplies of alpha pellets and sugar beet . On Christmas eve she was struggling to stand - just the xmas present I needed- and I really thought that the time had come . With trepidation I went out on Christmas morn to find her knooshing happily. Since then she seems to have turned a corner and has steadily gained condition and is happily out for most of the day , unless it is raining with the rest of the herd. Last Wednesday night , her cria looked unhappy , nothing specific, just unhappy. Thursday morning he struggled to stand and was not eating . Vet visit - we seem to be boosting their coffers very nicely this week- and a general view that whilst there was nothing obvious , he was not well. He had no temp , nothing specific, but off to the vet he went for blood tests and a drip . Sadly , later that day he died . As usual , he was a cracker , always a little on the small side , but never a concern. The pm result showed nothing! No worms of any kind , no fluke , no gut problems , nothing , just a failure to thrive. Veronica is upset , but has got used to Esti , and now the pair are inseparable , she bears all the hallmarks of an old lady- very alert , but slower than the others , still warding them away from anything she chooses to eat , but happy to sit by the hay racks and gently nibble . I think we have to accept that we might be lucky to get through to the spring , but she seems pretty happy and is not in any pain , just old. Scarily Veronica has started tipping over occasionally when she is in a cush, this has given us all heart failure since we looked out to see her seemingly dead in the field and also in the barn , but a gentle push back to cushing and she is up and away.
The rest of the herd are all doing well - there, I've done it again- and although thoroughly sick of the weather seem quite content with the continuing rounds of sugarbeet and hard feed.