It Is a Good Thing to Have at Least One
Trigger-Happy Spitter on the Farm...
The Story of how spit saved little Kalamata's life.
She was running around and happy on Sunday, but we really weren’t sure she was going to make it into the New Year come Tuesday.
My husband noticed on Monday night that she wasn’t as bouncy as usual. On Tuesday morning I really noticed it, as she didn’t budge from her favorite spot when I fed everyone. She is usually bouncing around with the other four cria her age at feeding time. Her temperature was perfect, so we figured it was not any type of infection. About 15 minutes later it became obvious she was experiencing stomach discomfort.
Some probiotics and a couple of warm water enemas and her discomfort only seemed to increase. She groaned, legs kicking out from the side, as we looked on feeling helpless. Two more warm water enemas later and after physically having to stand her up many times, she finally pushed out the biggest poop we have ever seen come out of such a small body.
We thought this was going to do it, but she continued for another hour in obvious pain and her stomach started to show a lot of distention.
It was the last day of our Holiday farm open house, so we had tons of folks out, one carload after another. All the while we are trying to help the little cria. We both felt like screaming, because all we could think about was little Kalamata, and what could we do to make her feel better. No vets would answer our calls; it was getting late in the afternoon on New Years Eve, so I guess, no surprise there.
Finally at 3:30 p.m. the last car pulled out and the open house was over. Meanwhile little Kalamata’s stomach just got bigger and she was as limp as a rag doll now, groaning if you tried to move her.
We came to the conclusion that she must need some fresh ruminant to help her stomach settle. As backed up as she was, we figured it must have messed up her stomach balance.
So off to the laundry room I went to find a homeless sock. We both knew without having to say it to each other which alpaca would have the honor of wearing that sock. We refer to Honey as our ‘bipolar’ alpaca. She is the absolute sweetest, most friendly alpaca on the farm, when she is not pregnant. Pregnant, she will go into moaning fits of displeasure if you even look her way. A few tickles in all the right spots latter and we had a sock full of the juicy, smelly, good stuff.
We mixed it with some warm water and used a ball syringe to administer as much as we could get little Kalamata to tolerate.
It seemed to have a pretty quick effect, as she now sat prone and looked at me with this look of disgust as if to say, “Why the hell did you just spit in my mouth!” We left her in her favorite spot to rest while we prepared for the house full of New Years revelers we planned to have over that evening. Every five minutes or so while I prepared the appetizers, I would glance at her on the barn cam. There was no change for the first few hours as her head lay down in front of her cushed body. Only an ear would occasionally move.
Once some of our guests started to arrive, I had them help me watch over her on the barn cam. By hour three her head was back up and she was looking around. Hour five…um…where did she go? “Is that lump behind the rail her, I asked one of our guests?” “No, I know for sure I saw that lump there when she had her head up before.” We all immediately piled on our woolies (yes, occasionally in GA we have to wear woolies)….and out to the barn we marched, flash lights in-hand, not sure what to expect.
Little Kalamata was outside standing next to mom and as we approached, she immediately began to nurse. Good as new! New Years Day she was bouncing around as happy as could be. I have a newfound respect for our spit happy alpaca, Honeysuckle, as I know she saved our little Kalamata cria’s life.