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June 29, 2010

Surprise and Disappointment

Sunday night we realized that one of our two female alpacas was pregnant. We came to this conclusion only because she was in labor. Surprise! We looked up "the facts" online and learned that the length of gestation is 11-12 months, and we bought them in February I think, so she was bred before we bought her. She came with a nursing male baby whose age was unknown; now we know he is at least a year old.

Labor seemed to be normal according to the website, so we hoped to find a new baby Monday morning. It stormed all night long, and I worried. In the morning we found that labor had not progressed at all, so I called the vet. We loaded her into the horse trailer and off we went. We waited while he dealt with the four cows ahead of us, then a dog in pain, then it was our turn.

It turns out that our vet has done a lot of work on alpacas; there is an alpaca ranch in the next county. We are thankful for his experience.

Long story short, Juliette had a c-section to remove the dead cria. I'll be administering penecillin shots for the next five days. Since I am allergic to penecillin, my husband will be in charge of preparing the syringes and disposing of them afterwards; I will just do the actual injections and hope that I don't stick myself.

Juliette seems to be doing well this morning, although she is very sore of course. I was hoping to have photos of a cute new cria, but that wasn't to be. Now we wonder if the white female is pregnant too? We'll be watching her carefully.

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