Tuesday, October 20, 2009
What a month! This is going to be one that goes down into the category of “not so good”. Not that it’s all bad; we participated in the Tucson Wool Festival and had a great time. The down side to that event was we broke a record for high temperatures that day and I was sitting in the full sun doing carding demonstrations. At least I had my big floppy hat on to protect my face and neck.
On the down side of the month, Momo, our girl bred to Donny, went down late last week. One of the most difficult things to deal with when you have a sick animal, is that you can’t just ask them what’s wrong, where does it hurt. You have to start slowly eliminating causes to the problem (well, we know what it isn’t…) and as you slowly check thing off your list. You begin to realize just how many things it could still be.
Momo, presented with neurological symptoms, but it only affected her legs. No head tilt, no neck tremors. One of the options tossed out was that the cria she was carrying (she was due in six weeks) was pressing on a nerve, farfetched, but plausible. We immediately started her on vitamin B in case we were dealing with polio. But again, her appetite had been good and that usually affects animals that aren’t eating and their rumen is being compromised.
Four days in she stopped eating with her usual gusto. We could still coax her into eating a little, but not nearly enough, so we started force feeding a product called FibRevive. We mixed it up into a watery gruel and gave it to her in a turkey baster. She took it readily enough. At this point she was walking like a drunk, when she would get u at all. Several days I went to bed thinking I would find her body in the morning. We started considering if it wouldn’t be best to have her humanly put down.
Then Sunday night she perked up and started eating a little more on her own. Hope is restored!
Then Monday came. She seemed more restless in the morning, but she was still eating. I got a call at work a couple of hours later. Momo was in labor. I immediately left for home, called another breeder who lives nearby to go over and check the situation and then called our vet. Normally I wouldn’t have Linda come out just for a birth, but my gut told me we would need her. Sure enough, Pat called me a few minutes later to tell me that “the part that comes last is coming first”.
A detached placenta. Hopes of saving the cria are dashed.
Long story short, the cria had been dead for some time and her head was turned back so that Linda had to go in and get the cria out. It was a light colored little girl. She seemed fairly under developed for the gestation length, so maybe something had been going wrong for a long time and we just had signs of it at the very end.
This morning, Momo got up with the rest of the herd and came up to the barn. She even stood and let Jack nurse for a few minutes. Jack will be a year old in two weeks and really has no business nursing at all, but I just watched and let him stay as long as Momo was willing. Then she went back out to the field, found a comfortable spot and kushed. I brought hay out to her and she was eating readily enough when I left. Maybe we’ve turned the corner with her. We’ve decided we won’t breed her again, she’s had at least six pregnancies and has only two surviving cria, one of which being Jack, who is here only through heroic effort. We won’t put her through that again; she can spend her days being auntie Momo to the other crias. She’s earned it.
A quite moment, Brian and the dogs.
Adama's new trick