Sunday 30 October 2011

Alpacas Field Shelter mark 3

I am afraid my blog posts have become a bit infrequent of that the birthing season is over and the alpaca shows are all content is lacking. I could tell you that I poo picked for over 4 hours on Wednesday (3 times I had to empty it...Paul was nearly impressed!) and sorted fleece on Thursday and Friday for 5 hours and 6 hours respectively...I also went to Tesco's... but you really wouldn't want to know.

Actually I went to Tescos to get a passport seems that the photo on your driving licence is only valid for 10 was obviously a mistake having the licence run out on the year of a big birthday...I was depressed all know how it is in those booths...all photos are exactly the same...soulless. Well there I had in front of me the 2 aged 40 and one aged 50...exactly the same...same lack of expression...same hair style...but just more saggy...maybe I should have adjusted the seat a bit higher.

I won't share with you the scary sight...even if it is seasonal...but instead a pretty face belonging to Parisien. Parisien is actually sold but is staying with us until early next year.

Beck Brow Parisien

Paul has been busy doing something useful...putting the roof on the field shelter that has been half finished for a couple of months. This is the mark 3 version of our shelters. The first one Paul constructed had a solid coated metal roof...but the alpacas found it rather dark. The next one had a plastic see through roof...but the alpacas found it rather warm when the sun shone (I know it's sounding like Goldilocks)...the mark 3 version is half and half...providing shade and light...the alpacas like it!

Paul finishing off the field shelter roof

I have been looking back through the photo archives today...checking out how the cria looked last year at certain ages (I was really wanting to compare Explorers fleece with Rumours at the same age)...and I was surprised to see how dark Poppet was when she was born...I did register her as brown...she won the Champion Fawn Female at the YAG show...amazing how they change?

Poppet (Beck Brow Paige Turner)

Poppet at a few days old

Paul has just come in to tell me is ready to help with the drenching...Fasinex for prevention of liver fluke so must go. So as I said not a lot to report but all good...sold quite a number of our throws and scarves...and it hasn't rained all weekend! I will finish with a couple of photos.

EP Cambridge Lady Gaga

Easter-Wood Adelle (again!)...Dave did ask how I got the alpacas to pose...answer Velvet!

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Is it just me?

I am begining to see a pattern emerging...a pattern to my blog posting that is...I decide that I really must do some poo picking...I then decide that I might just do a 'quick blog' first.

Now there is no such thing as a quick blog around here...our broadband service is powered by a little man who generates energy by peddling his bike at the local exchange...sometimes he is more energetic than at other times...and sometimes (I expect this is when he takes a toilet break) it stops altogether. Up loading photos seems to give him the most trouble...hence with a bit of luck a 'quick blog' can take a good half hour!

So I apologise for a blog with photos and little content but the poo picker was calling! I thought that I would share with you some photos of Adelle...she really is adorable...and very interested in the camera.

Easter-Wood Adelle (sire Cambridge The Chairman)

She really has that that backs up her amazing pedigree

Beck Brow Magellan (sire Neptune of Houghton) is obsessed with Easter-Wood Metisha (sire Cambridge Neptune) and is constantly by her you think that it's a bit fishy?

The new girls have yet to take on our 'Persil white' look...this look is due to the amount of Cumbrian rain and wind...its a constant wash and blow dry around here!.
Hopefully Adelle will be making the Beck Brow show team this year. Other likely contenders are Magellan (above), Rumour, Boots, and Synergy with Crystal, Finesse and Quintos also in the running.

Beck Brow Rumour Has It...half sister to Explorer (sire EPC Top Account of Fowberry)

Beck Brow Snooty Boots (sire Waradene St. Patrick of EPC)

Beck Brow Synergy (also Top Account).

We are watching Synergy with interest...he is very fine and extremely dense (it was blowing a gale today and his fleece did not move) but he hasn't yet the definition of Rumour...however Roma his half sister from last year was exactly the same at the same age.. and had lots of definition by 6 months...I am expecting...hoping...that he will be the same.

Paul is trying to be helpful at the moment...he has conceded that I have a lot to do (thanks Jeff and Sheila!). On Sunday afternoon he disappeared for ages...Robyn and Craig were here...we rang his reception...eventually he returned;

"where have you been?"

"doing something that will make your life easier"

"I didn't hear the poo picker"

"very it's something that you really need...a clue... it's in the barn"

"You've hightened the spit off pen sides so Chaska doesn't jump out again?"


"You've put some wider guttering up in the barn so that it doesn't over flow into the troughs during a down pour?"


" You've put up some more fixings up so that it easier to fill the hay bags?"


"Okay I give in"

"I've put up some brighter lights so you can see what you are doing"

Is it just me!!

Sunday 23 October 2011

Metisha and Adelle arrive from Easter-Wood

The weekend started off with mixed emotions...we were just getting excited about the impending arrival of our two new girls Easter-Wood Metisha and Easter-Wood Adelle...when we received that sad news that Amanda's Stanstead had lost her St. Patrick pregnancy at four months gestation...what was even more disappointing was to find out that trespassers had been seen on their land lamping during the previous night...stress?...we won't really know.

On a happier note our new girls arrived nice and early. Jeff and Sheila had been up at the crack of dawn and on the road by 5 am, meaning that the girls arrived at Beck Brow at approximately 12.30pm...plenty of time to settle in before dark. We had deliberated about a quarantine group for the new girls... and in the end  decided to make the females and cria into one isolation group...a large group...but we feel reassured by all the bio-security measures and herd health interventions taken by Jeff and Sheila...and felt this was the best option for Adelle (cria). Poo samples tested on arrival confirmed the girls are free of any internal parasite, as expected.

They have both settled in really well and are confident amongst the rest of the herd. Metisha has had to endure all our cria checking her out, but has done so with great tolerance.

Metisha...Magellan having a sniff!

She is such an elegant female with a beautiful fine fleece. She has a impressive pedigree and appears to know so...I don't think that she has quite perfected the looking down her nose as would put her in the league of Lady Gaga, but she is not far behind!

EP Cambridge Lady Gaga...snooty competition?

Metisha with I look like my Mum or what?...look at that head...bets are on that she will be one of the stars of the show team...a little stunner with a super fine fleece (see Explorer checking them out...across the isolation paddock...yes they will be your girls one day!)

Jeff and Sheila stayed over night before heading off back just before lunch. Poor Jeff had man flu (we did have sympathy actually...he was feeling pretty rough...I am sure curling up in front of a fire would have been the preferred choice!). Now I know when Jayne (Zanzibah Alpacas) receives visitors she sends them home with home-made goodies...Jeff went home with a couple of loo rolls... for the journey...we had ran out of Kleenex tissues by then!

We had a lovely weekend...with lots of talk about our plans for our alpaca businesses...our plans for next year's matings...our hopes for next year's year's show team...etc know what it is like when you put alpaca obsessive people together!

We waved Jeff and Sheila off in their very smart alpaca-mobile...making sure that Velvet was not hidden in Sheila's overnight bag! Of course once they had left Robyn and Craig came around and we had another fleece rummage...we are very impressed...thanks guys...they are a fantastic addition to our herd...and perfectly match our goals.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

An ill thought out plan!

How do you take a photo that makes a box look interesting?...get a professional in?...mellow lighting?...add a few props?...try again tomorrow!

I have been trying to take some photos of our packaging (the boxes are not too fancy...presentation is important...but not more so than the product! a simple approach was taken). but I have to say my attempts looked pretty boring... and as I didn't have a professional to hand...I went for the prop option.

I really hadn't thought it through...just thought if I put a couple of boxes in the paddock someone would come and investigate...a cria ideally...and hey bingo...a photo for the website...No...not that easy!

Okay I got everyone's attention...but not quite as expected..."it is just a prop Magellan it is empty!"

Like son like mother...Chaska checks them out

Inca Van Dieman Chaska...thinks that I am can see it in the eyes!

Quintos then tries to untie the knot...just stay there Quintos whilst I change the lens...we need to be able to see the label...

Oh no...just a nose and a blurred label

He did try to be a good was the photographer who failed...

How about we do without the props...some artistic shots of labels will have to do!

Where does the day poo picking done today despite fine weather. Tomorrow will be a day of really must...I have to tidy up...I have some important arrivals coming at the weekend. Yes Easter-Wood Metisha and Easter-Wood Adelle are heading North on Satrurday...I really must have the paddocks clean for them (I will also try to tidy the house for Jeff and Sheila but we will see how the time goes!)

On the subject of visitors... I got a nice surprise last Friday...I really had to do a double take...a car came down the drive...and out stepped...Les and Rob from Wellground Alpacas!...Just passing on their way back from don't get many folks dropping in round these parts...being in the wilds and really was great to see them both.

Sunday 16 October 2011

Yorkshire Alpaca Group Show 2011

It was an early night on Friday in anticipation of the early rise required on Saturday morning...3am to be precise...and on the road to The YAG Show by 4.30am...possibly a little earlier than necessary as we were unsure how the alpacas would load in the dark, in the middle of the night...but we needn't have worried...Explorer skipped into the van...that boy definitely loves an outing! Hence we were first to arrive at Thirsk...arriving at 6.40 am (we did say we would be there before 7 am for stewaring duties) despite towing the BAS trailer behind the van.

With over a hundred entries (only 4 suris) the show was very well supported by breeders and by the general public. Although a stand alone show, it attracted a lot of visitors...I hadn't restocked our box since Westmorland show and we actually ran out of flyers. A great addition to the show was the 'prettiest girl' and 'handsome boy' classes (for alpacas not handlers). These classes were judged by the spectators and proved a great attraction.

Two pretty girls from Astonishing Alpacas

We took three alpacas, all intermediates; Poppet (real name Paige Turner), Roma (real name Fine Romance) and Explorer (also known as Gorgeous). Poppet, who we were very excited about when she was born, lost some of the character in her first fleece, but her second fleece has come back looking great. Tim Hey, the judge for the day, was certainly impressed. Poppet took first placed Intermediate Fawn Female and Champion Fawn Female...not bad for such a dark fawn!

Roma was next up. We always feel Roma does not do as well as she might as she always gets sweaty and ends up looking like a rag. Thankfully with such a large airy (freezing cold) building we had no problems, and she took second placed Intermediate White Female (behind Fowberry Paloma who was the first placed white female at The British Alpaca Futurity) and Reserve Champion White Female. Roma was praised for her confirmation as well as her fleece...I have to admit she does have great presence.

Roma (Beck Brow Fine Romance) takes Reserve Champion White Female

Last but not least was Explorer...who behaved pretty well I thought...he got first placed Intermediate White Male with out a pouffe...unfortunately that did not last into the championship...but he managed to win Champion White Male with just a couple of direct hits (I think that he is getting a reputation, which makes it harder to score, I saw that the ring steward did a good swerve). He was again complimented by the judge on his fleece, especially consistency and density, as well as his confirmation. Roma and Explorer ... now they should make a lovely couple!

Beck Brow Explorer

So a fantastic outing for us with 3 alpacas, 2 first places, 1 second place, 2 colour championships, and a reserve colour championship. We had to go home without the cup however...there were no surprises when the Supreme Championship went to Fowberry Nobility...a stunning fawn male who we already have in mind for Snooty Boots (look how far ahead we plan!)...summed up by Tim as 'just about as good as it gets' (or something very similar!)

It was rather a long day after such an early start, but Paul and Poppet had no excuse for looking so bored in the fawn class which was just after lunch...

Beck Brow Paige Turner (Poppet) and Paul in the ring.

because we had Poppet and Explorer in the championship line up, and I was stewarding, Andrew from Nerduit Alpacas took Poppet into the ring for us...and Poppet did seem much more impressed with her handler...

Beck Brow Paige Turner (Poppet)...."I do like a good handler"

Tim did remark to Andrew about using a good male over Poppet as she really is lovely...will that be St Patrick (fawn) or Black Sabbath?...she does have a black sire so maybe the latter?

Fowberry Nobility in the foreground...Andy still looking very professional as ring steward...despite the long day!

We arrived home to a lovely tattie pot, made by my mum, which was most welcome. I am now going to go and eat the left overs for breakfast!

Thursday 13 October 2011

Do alpacas like bananas?

I have to say never pays to be a smart a a#5* (not sure if that is spelt alec or alex). There was I suggesting to Mark that leaving a gate open was at best rather silly (if very amusing in his case)...something that I had done once but wasn't going to repeat. To be fair I didn't do the going in one gate and out of another... I thought that I had closed it... It was when I saw Hollywood (who had been seperated yet again for fighting with Almost Illegal...he does not start the is just that he is so big he finishes them!) in with Legacy and Snowstorm... Legacy is at least fourteen years old (I say at least because he was imported from Peru, with a January the first birthday...usually meaning that they really don't know the date of birth). He is getting on...he is much smaller than Hollywood...he is the fighting!!

Hollywood (photo not taken it seem like it has rained for ever, our alpacas have never looked such a mess).

After last year's debate over vitamin paste versus vitamin injections, we now have both on farm. However today, as they like the taste of the paste and therefore it is easy to administer, Amanda and myself thought that we would give the first dose as paste...well that is what we thought...has anybody else tried the new eggs-port is bright is too tastes of bananas (they tell me)...and the alpacas hate it (some were actually retching)...we quickly moved on to injections...and I will try to get a refund on the unopened tube...why do they change things...

With all the photos of barns, house building and studios on the blogs...I thought that I would share my little effort...the portacabin (I should have done a before and will have to believe me when I say it is much improved...and about 30 years old). It still needs some steps but is no longer an eye sore. It is to be our teaching and meeting venue. Lots still to do inside so it will be next spring before it will be up and running (it is now full of fleece!)

A work in progress...The Education Centre!

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Reckless behaviour.

Yesterday was one of those days when there was so many things to do on 'the to do list' that I ended up doing very little. Self regulation requires was definitely lacking was also cold, wet and Monday. As a consequence today has had me work doubly hard.

On the immediate list:

Fasinex (against liver fluke) to be given...whole herd
Vitamins paste/injection to be given...whole herd
Vecoxan to be given as prophylactic measure...late born cria
Toe nails to be trimmed...those in need
Paddock cleaning (always on the list)

Content to be written for new website
Photos to be taken for new website (product range)
Fleece to be sorted so that there is a product range
Lots of emails to be sent

Paul decided at the weekend that the task of paddock cleaning was not only to be allocated to yours truly...but that it would be best done on a daily basis...Paul does not know how to ride a bike...but if he did... he would most certainly be on his! But as a nod to my duties, I did do a couple of paddocks. I also wrote the content for the website and took some more photos, so not a bad days work. Feeling on top of things I even agreed to take on some nursing-legal work...this has instructions and a deadline so is good for my time is also incredibly interesting...and I get paid!

Feeling a bit reckless I decided to throw one of our 100% alpaca throws into the washing machine (inside a duvet cover)...wool cycle...non-bio Persil (best thing I had available) and a drop of fabric conditioner. Thrown over the banister to has come out a treat...actually softer that before it was washed...the scarf came out equally well. So that's a scarf and a throw that I have acquired in the name of product testing!

Explorer has had his toe nails trimmed...boy was he mad...he didn't behave too was all in the eyes...he was blazing. Explorer is now going to the YAG show on Saturday hence the pedicure. He was entered but we had decided to give it a miss as we though that Roma was pregnant (not the case). In the mean time I had agreed to help out as Chief Steward (BAS training to level 2 is required so a limited number of people were available). Then I was asked if I could take the BAS trailer (this is stored in Cumbria) and on a whim I decided if we are going to tow a trailer lets just take some alpacas...Explorer is far too fat...he is filthy...probably not a good decision...but he does enjoy himself! More reckless behaviour?

It is hardly surprising that he is fat with the amount of grass that we just never stops raining! Here is Finesse ankle deep in lush grass. I have been having lots of deliberations over females...I had decided that we had no more females for sale this year...however we continue to get enquires...but I really do want to hang on to her.

Beck Brow Finesse

Poor Magellan (looking rather soggy) got such a fright when he wondered up to me with some greenery hanging out of his mouth...for a moment I though that it was ragwort...but thankfully not.

Magellan...with his salad

Quintos and Boots remain firm favourites. I have somehow started calling Quintos 'Cute Pants' . Not sure how that happened...I wonder if it is because he is always with 'Snooty Boots'!

Quintos (aka Cute Pants) and Snooty Boots


The mums and cria are now in a paddock that is completely new to them (this years hay field and prior to that grass let). We are preparing for the arrival of Easter-Wood Metisha and Easter-Wood Adelle and have been moving the herd around 

A new view for the mums

In the opposite direction the young girls are next to the house. As you can see we really are in the valley. With alpacas in the foreground, cows in the centre and sheep at the really is a layer cake of a country view!

Sunday 9 October 2011

Feedback from Karin Mueller (Consultant in Camelid Medicine) talk...and lots of feeding.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early and on our way to Wetherby Town Hall by 7.45 am...I had forgotten a couple of things so we had to come back and set off again so it was actually 8 am but hey ho...we still managed to get there in good time. The town hall was the venue for a lecture presented by Karin Mueller (Consultant in Camelid Medicine at Dick White Referrals) and had been organised by the Yorkshire Alpaca Group.

Karin gave us a morning packed with information gathered from her visit to The International Camelid Conference 2011 held in Oregon. She really is the most interesting speaker and well worth travelling to listen to, but here are just a few bits and bobs from the morning session that might be of general interest:
  • Not all skin conditions in alpacas is mange (although many are). If mange treatment is not improving the skin consider other possibilities... If considering insect bite allergy note that symptoms will always be symetrical.
  • Sarcoptic mange (treated with Ivomectins) is itchy and can cause hair loss on face. Chorioptic mange is not itchy and does not cause hair loss on the face (treated with pour ons/ Frontline). It was suggested sulphor mixed with vaseline may be an effective treatment.
  • Nuflor (often used to treat jaw abscesses) has a higher peak and is less variable when given intramuscular rather than subcutaneous. We have found this ourselves.
  • Spring matings result in a gestation period approximately 10 days longer than those after the 21st of June (taken from American study)
  • Recal scanning should be avoided due to the fragile nature of the alpaca bowel. Abdominal ultrasound is advised at 45-50 days. 10% abortion rate prior to 45 days, 5% after (American study)
  • Karin advised that when using Lambivac she would give it at 6 monthly intervals (post initial doses) as there is not enough evidence to be sure that yearly doses are sufficient.

I mentioned on my last blog that we were going to stay at a spa hotel for the night and we had the case packed including our swim wear (well that might have been what I had forgotten actually). However, I did remember when we got to the hotel that I had had a change of plan and decided to go for the food option rather than the spa (now there is a surprise). I has chosen a hotel featured in the Good Food Guide instead. Now our guide is the 2008 version (this coincides with the purchase of our first alpacas...obviously we don't manage to eat out as often as we used to!) but thankfully the food lived up to the promises made.

Paul and I like to think of ourselves as would be food critics when we eat out (don't worry it is only when we are paying...we don't do this at home...or even worse at friends). So we are always tasting each others food and making comments...I find that this always gets you extremely good service...look like hotel inspectors! We agreed to disagree on the lime scented mash (I just don't think you should have citrus with potatoes but Paul liked it and it was his order) however we could certainly recommend Crathorne-Hall...great building (the stuff of period dramas)...great food and excellent wine recommendations...and good value too.

Despite a plentiful breakfast we still managed to fit in an excellent lunch...again taking a recommendation from The Good Food Guide...we tried out The Sand Piper Inn at Leyburn...we both agreed that we really should have had two nights away...however we still managed to fit in some alpaca business before heading home in time for just enough day light to get in an hour's poo picking...he wouldn't want to spoil me too much now would he!

Friday 7 October 2011

Milking it just a little?

Velvet got the all clear at her vet check up yesterday morning. The consensus of opinion is that she is one lucky little dog (well not so lucky eating fungi but lucky to still be with us). She isn't quite herself and is still pretty tired, all the same I think that she may be beginning to milk it just a little:

The sick bed!

Yes, Velvet has been allowed to sleep in our bed since she was taken ill (we have had to buy a new quilt as the old one seemed to be missing a few togs...Velvet must be one of the most costly dogs ever!). Paul does not normally give his permission, but even he got soft on this occasion. The paw out means that she is a tad warm...too many togs?

I really should be poo picking...I have been out with the is far too cold...the poo is all wet (too much rain) and keeps sticking in the pipe...I watched the cria for some time (this is important as problems can be picked up!)...took some photos...and decided I would do it this afternoon (might have dried up by then!)

Boots is causing me a little concern as she just does not put on much weight (she never goes backwards... she just goes forwards very slowly). She is still only 15.4kgs at nearly two months of age. Lady Gaga has milk (although not as abundant as some), Boots drinks at suitable intervals (she is not constantly going for more as though she is hungry), her tummy feels full. She will not entertain being bottle fed. She eats Camelibra, hay and grass. She has gets regular Boost and Go (similar to Jump Start) and has had a selenium, colbolt, Vit B12 drench. She is bright eyed and bushy tailed, always play fighting and in the thick of it. Obviously just not a chunky monkey!

Boots with Quintos (the youngest cria) who over took her long he IS a chunky monkey!

Still we all look the same size when we stand in a hole...Boots, Quintos, Alfie (left to right)

Not the case when out of the hole...Quintos who is our youngest with Magellan our oldest cria

The hole causes much amusement...although Rumour does not look best impressed with the antics of Synergy and Magellan...Boys!!

Lastly...Sophie who always keeps out of trouble.

We are off to Wetherby to the Yorkshire Alpaca Group talk by Karin Mueller tomorrow. As it was Paul's birthday yesterday, we are treating ourselves to a night in a spa hotel that is recommended in the Good Food Guide, before heading back on Sunday. Craig is on alpaca and dog duties...I don't suppose he will be poo picking though...I wonder...No!

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Welcome Home

I got the long awaited call from the vet at 8 am this morning; Velvet had been drifting back and forth from being totally lucid to being completely knocked off, since yesterday afternoon. However, in the early hours of this morning she had awoken and chewed through her intravenous fluid line (they had tried to piece together all the bits to see if she had swallowed any of it...they thought probably she the most accident prone dog ever!) and she had not looked back since...she could come home.

I saw two magpies on the the way to collect her...two for joy that seemed quite apt. What wasn't so fortunate was that a mention on the radio (Ken Bruce's Pop Master was to blame) of Peters and Lee's 1970's number one hit; Welcome Home...well this got me singing it to Velvet for the next 30 the original was bad...but I am tone deaf 9yes even more tham Peters and Lee)...still we were happy!

She is not 100% her old self...hardly surprising after how ill she has been...but the biggest relief is that she can see. She is obviously very tired, but she isn't quite processing things as she would normally, however I am sure it will all resolve with time.

A big thank you to everyone who showed their concern via comments, emails and did help. I received an interesting link from Karen (Amiryck) about seasonal canine illness. I have been convinced from the start that Velvet's illness was some how connected to her jaunts into the wood. We have 5 acre of woodland which Velvet considers to be her playground. I am sure that she has some kind of stash in there, as whenever the opportunity araises she is off to the wood. She always comes back after about 15 minutes as through she has just been to check on something. And she did this on the morning the illness began. This means unfortunately for Velvet she will have to be kept on a lead for more woodland outings for a theory is that it is connected with fungi in some way?

I promise I will to try to be cheery for the rest of the year!

Monday 3 October 2011

Velvet update.

Many thanks for your comments and emails regarding Velvet. We had a really tough night with neither Velvet nor myself sleeping a wink. As you may have picked up we were not at all impressed by the treatment given by the on-call vet, but unfortunately being Sunday this was our only option. It was the longest night ever, just watching the clock and waiting for 8 am to come around, when I could then register her with another veterinary practice (the one which we use for the alpacas, they are less local, but with hindsight are well worth the extra 30 minute drive). There was a point at 5am when I was beginning to lose hope, she was having numerous small fits and was totally out of it. I was concerned about her liver but took the decision to give some Metacam which did take the edge off. I was in tears... Paul was in my dressing gown...trying to hold back the tears in case he looked like a girl!

Anyway things are looking a bit better. As we expected, and many of you suggested, it appears that she has ingested some toxin of some description. We did suggest this to the other vet on the Sunday but he was unconvinced!. This morning I asked why dogs could not be given activated charcoal (given tubed to absorb toxins...something used a lot in A&E). The answer was; it can be and will be, but unfortunately we have probably missed the window of opportunity...argh! I have just had an update and she is to stay in doggy intensive care overnight. She is on intravenous fluids and regular intravenous diazepam. Her renal and liver function tests, as well as all other blood work, have come back normal (to be retested in 2 days as damage can be delayed...but hopefully not). They also think that she may be responding to light (difficult to tell as her wiring is all crossed at the moment, but there is hope for her sight returning.) The best news of all... they said that she had just given a little wag of her tail, she could barely stand never mind wag her tail earlier. Velvet is normally the happiest little dog no tail wagging...that was bad. Fingers crossed Velvet, our little bundle of trouble and joy.

Velvet taken a couple of days ago...Magellan and her best friend Quintos looking on.

Whilst totally sleep deprived this morning, I have made a couple of rash decisions that probably would have been better slept on. I am sure that I will probably regret them. But they are not life or death, and in the grand scheme of things, that is all that really matters after the past 24 hours we have all had.

Sunday 2 October 2011

Sick Dog...any ideas?

Nothing to do with alpacas I know, but I wonder if anyone has any ideas about what might be wrong with Velvet (our young dog). After being perfectly okay this morning she was sick at lunch time but otherwise seemed well. Then she suddenly began acting strangely, with jerky movements, walking backwards and shaking her head. She then appeared to loose her sight (her pupils are very dilated). She has a slightly raised temperature. We took her to see the vet and he gave her a shot of antibiotics and a sedative and said see how she goes. The vet looked in her eyes and reported no signs of a bleed or swelling but there is something wrong neurologically. We are worried.

We had our farm vet (different from pet vet) out on Friday to microchip the cria and to scan some of the girls who we were having difficulty assessing for pregnancies with spit-offs. All pregnant thankfully. It wasn't until after the vet left that I realised that I had missed scanning Lucie. Lucie is very submissive with St. Patrick, who is rather assertive in his wooing, so is always difficult to read her. Hence I decided to pop her in with Explorer...who had a good sniff where he should not...and got a full on spit for his trouble...pregnant then!

We have moved everyone around over the weekend and Explorer is now back next to Lucie much to his delight. He is now in a paddock previously used by the young girls and is having a day of poo sniffing!

Explorer...ummm I smell girls!

Lucie looking over the gate at Explorer (Roma behind)

St Patrick has gone back over with the other stud males now that we have finished the matings for this year. The boys were reintroduced with a fence between them yesterday then let in together today. After much screeching, chasing and smelly stuff flying around, St Patrick has let it be known that he is back... and he is top dog!

Legacy arrived back from his holiday by the seaside today (he has been on lease for the summer). I am not sure being greeted by a worming injection was the welcome return that he was expecting. Now, at 14 years of age, he really is top dog. However he is on his own for now before going back in with Snowstorm (poor Snowstorm came as his companion but I don't think that Legacy actually likes him if the way he treats him is anything to go by.)