Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Blood Collection for Plasma...Lesson One!

Today I made my annual trip to Manchester (2 hours away) with my cool bag containing the blood bags, donated by our Beck Brow boys, ready to be spun into plasma. We have done this for a number of years. Not only do we feel reassured to have plasma readily available, but we know that the plasma will have antibodies that have been acquired on our farm, which is recommended best practice.

Now I often get asked advice about the process required, and I always stress how important it is to have full bags...if only I heeded my own advice! Paul our vet collected four bags of blood, as if our norm (we only get enough for our own needs) and off I went. Unfortunately after a two hour wait for the blood to be spun, I returned to the practice to be told that two of my bags were not full enough to be used...dam and dash!!

We used 350 ml blood bags and these must contain at least 80% of that volume. The rationale is that the bags contain anti-coagulant and the ratio will be distorted if the bags are not full enough...this could then cause a clotting problem for the recipient cria...we were both sure that we had had bags with similar volumes spun before...but maybe's an expensive lesson, one that I though I would share. We will just have to get some more spun if we need to use the two bags (hopefullt not). At least I had a nice lunch in the sunshine whilst I waited...£70 in fuel...difficult to justify!!

A blood bag that was rejected as under filled.

Earlier in the week Amanda visited to help with the latest group of weanlings' halter training session. Quintos had obviously been reading the manual and required no training at all. We took out Synergy as the trainer, but Quintos just pushed past him and up the lane he went...a little star!

Although, he did rebel at being asked to pose with the daffodils on the way back!

Boots and Adelle were more as you might expect on a first outing...both did well, but we are not heading up the lane just yet!

Whilst the sun was shining and we had plenty of helpers, I decided that it would be a good day to get some shots of Explorer for our stud page, on the website. He set off with 5 red rosettes, 5 sashes, and a scenic backdrop...but I am afraid we do not have that fact we do not have one decent photo...this is Explorer with 3 rosettes and one sash remaining in situ...with a pile of hay as a backdrop...we will try again when we are all feeling rather more patient.

P.S enjoyed my first day back at work...that's one week completed...good decision!


  1. Very interesting Barbara about the blood collection and plasma, thank you for that. I thought it might be just Graham and I that have high levels of marital strife trying to get alpacas to stand still for photos, with ribbons on!

  2. Not like you to make a mistake with the blood collection Barbara! Halter training is so rewarding, particularly when they oblige!!

  3. How sad to have that blood go to waste. We all seem to be enjoying this lovely weather! Glad first day back at work went well!

  4. really interesting so how many boys contributed , and is it mixed in together ? Could they not use 2 bags not quite full ?

  5. Four boys contributed Julia, hence the four bags.

    Blood must not be mixed, as it needs to be traceable to an individual animal (incase of a disease outbreak). This is why plasma really should not be shared/sold.

  6. Sash wearing always causes mayham with photo's here, if it's not the animal having a paddy it's Paul or I. Well done Explorer for having one still there.

    Shame about the blood waste, couldn't they just do a smaller amount, isn't something better than nothing?

  7. Lovely photos - and many congratulations on the Futurity, excellent (and I know I am a bit late but I have had various issues here!)