Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The story of Foxy Sox...

 I have been meaning to write a blog for a day or two. A blog about Beck Brow Foxy Sox and her son Beck Brow Dingo. It was to be a heart warming tale. How I wish I had got around to telling it sooner.

I will start as it should have been....

Those of you who have followed this blog for a number of years will know Foxy Sox well. The photo below is of her as a cria. You can see where she has had her neck shaved for a plasma transfusion

Beck Brow Foxy Sox as a cria

 The reason for this was, despite Sox being the most beautiful little cria, her dam rejected her at birth. She knew that she was hers...she just didnt want her. Thus Foxy Sox was bottle fed and is very special to us.

Although Sox is in no way pushy, she doesn't always understand alpaca etiquette. Not having been taught  the dos and donts of alpaca manners by her mother, she can get into trouble with her peers.. Because of this we did wonder what kind of a mother she would be. Well, I can tell you...she is the best mother any cria could wish for...the most loving and attentive...as if she is saying "no cria of mine will not be loved as I was".

Dingo was born a week early on the bank holiday Monday. He weighed in at 6.1kgs. A little down on his pasterns, we gave him some cows colostrum to get him going, then Sox took over the feeding. He slowly but steadily gained weight and was 7.5kgs at two weeks. Dingo the star of the cria paddock...popular with everyone...Sox could not be more proud.

Beck Brow Dingo

Yesterday Sox was obviously worried about Dingo. She was telling me that something was wrong. I took his temp (lower end of normal range) I put on a couple of coats. I checked his eyes for redness, no signs of infection (I must confess to still giving him an antibiotic). Resp rate a little high (pain?) No signs of dehydration. I listened to his bowel sounds, fairly quiet. Yet he did appear a bit colicky. I gave him a soapy enema (normal faeces) I gave him Buscapan and Finadyne and he appeared to improve and was playing. I am not going to drag this out any longer...I got up at 4am this morning to check on him...and found him dead.

I have cried for hours. Why did it have to happen to Sox? It is so cruel. She loved him soooo much. We have had a postmortem and Dingo died from peritonitis. It is a good thing that he went quickly as this is a painful condition and his chances of being saved would have been so slim. The thing that I am beating myself up about is not giving him plasma when he was born. I always say if cria are premature or very light they do not have the ability to create antibodies even when they get colostrum. The problem was he was borderline on both weight and prematurity. A sad, sad, lesson learnt.

I left Dingo with Sox for 10 hours (she never left his side), eventually leaving the towel with his scent on in his place. She has been back and forward but appears to accept that he is gone. She is back treating me as her mum, the only mum she knows who loves her.

In amongst all this, and with hailstones and thunder storms being the order of the day, Ep Cambridge Solstice decided to give birth. We had to bring her in, which I prefer not to do with maidens as they often get a bit stressy. However, she appeared calm and gave birth to a handsome fawn male who weighed in a 9.2kgs (quite a size for the diminutive Solstice). All looked well until the weather improved and I decided to let them both out...with the cria born and room to eat...Solstice headed off to feast on the grass...leaving the cria to fend for its self. 

We have eventually got some kind of bond established, although Solstice leaves him out in the rain. How ironic that Sox loses her beloved son and Solstice really isnt keen. He has had a plasma transfusion today, as we really were not certain that he received enough colostrum in time. No more taking chances. I have been feeling too upset to thing of a name...but I know I need to pull my self together...and with that spirit he shall be called Beck Brow Game On...keep fighting!


Ep Cambridge Solstice and Beck Brow Game On


  1. So sorry Barbara, I understand what you must be feeling. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to change an outcome. Chin up, eyes front, focus of the future.

  2. Poor Foxy Sox and poor you...big hugs to you both from across the Channel. Hope Sox soon moves forward and is soon ready to make another little Dingo for 2016.

  3. What a sad story, so sorry Barbara. We're waiting for ours to start here, just hit the 11 month date for the first ones. The anticipation is wonderful, and so are the crias, but the occasional sadness comes with the territory and is always hard.

  4. That really is a sad story Barbara. Sorry for your loss and sorry to poor Sox too, hope you both move on to happier times soon. Shirley & Robbie

  5. I am so sorry - very best wishes