I know you’ve had a Dam like this- 364 days– where’s that cria?! I have a wonderful white Dam I just love, and of course was waiting on one of the most expensive breedings of the previous year- sound familiar? Well I had my eye on this gal for weeks, and finally at 362 days she starts acting like labor-YAHOO!! Some moaning and standing and siting. This goes on for and hour and then I check under the tail- ah geee, not much dilation going on for a Dam in labor! Soon my girl quits moaning and goes into her normal routine, and I think ‘I suppose there is always tomorrow’, as I trudge up the house. Next day she acts completely normal- not a sign of impending delivery!
Here we are morning of day 364. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing! RATS! Usually I feel confident of checking the pasture for laboring Dams until 2pm, then I wait till evening. Today I go out at 3pm and guess what, yes, that’s right my gal is moaning again! It’s about time! Under the tail check reveals very little dilation so I run to the medical supplies and use an essential oil on the cervix that is supposed to help dilate, and massage it in every twenty minutes for an hour. Very little change and I can only get three fingers in, and now my Dam has been really trying to push for an hour! Its time to rush off to the vet at 4:30pm. My awesome vet sums up the situation (Failure to fully Dilate) and suggests the Cesarean procedure.
OK, so I am nervous that all will come out right, I have talked with the God silently several times this day!
I was also excited to get a look at a procedure I hadn’t yet encountered, and thought it would teach me valuable animal husbandry lessons, so I dove into being involved in the procedure as possible!
First, we shave the fiber off of my Dam and wash the shaved area so clean it’s pig pink! Then the surgery room gets ready. Next my Dam goes into the surgery room, gets put into sleep, and kushed onto the surgery table. It was very nice, the vet even had a pillow for her head and neck! Then we rewash the area so its sterile, and make a sterile field. Then a beautifully straight incision, and in 60 seconds the cria was out! I was in charge of the photos of this awesome event, and the cria when it arrived.
OH, OH, OH, My heart breaks as I gently whisk away a beautiful white female that had already passed. What now?! As I try to clear away the questions and concentrate on my Dam, I feel blessed that the procedure finishes so very well and the three layers of stitches look great. It takes her about 90 minutes to wake up enough to gentle her back into the van on blankets and head home. She seems dazed, not really registering her cria next to her.
Next morning she is staying next to her cria that I decided to bring into the pasture so she can get some closure, and have a chance to realize what happened. There are flies all over her stitches so I coat them over with a wonderful animal ointment made for healing and the files disappear. Later that afternoon I cover the cria almost completely with a towel and notice my Dam is grazing and drinking further away. In the morning we take out the cria and have a proper funeral. My Dam knows what happened and never once has cried and paced the gate (like a previous Dam who lost a cria and I didn’t let her see it- dumb idea!).
A Week had passed, my Dam is recovering extremely well and I have already planned her next breeding at 42 days as the vet suggested. I hope you are as fascinated by the pictures as I am. Do call me if you want even more of the nitty gritty! If not- well look away and read a different blog of mine!
Gosh I love my animals and I am grateful for what I learned this time, of course I wish it was different, but that is also how I learn, grow, plan, and have funny stories to share at the next Alpaca Event!