Monday, August 4, 2008
Cocoa the premature cria
We feed beetpulp in the morning and grain at night to all our alpacas in the barn so that we can look at each one of them everyday at least 2 times in a smaller space in case anyone looks "odd". We also like to make sure they come in for their grain, because they love it and if one does not come in, we know something is off. In order to do this and not be run over, we close the barn doors, fill the troughs and then open the doors and they come a running. On Monday morning, when my barn manager's daughter opened the door to the big girls field, she called screaming for us. . .
One of my girls (Savannah) was due on August 19th, and to my surprise, she was laying in front of the door next to a beautiful little dark brown baby girl. She was 2 weeks early and obviously not done cooking in her mom's belly. This was about 8:30am.
I took the cria's temperature and it was only 94.3F. Normal temps are 99.5 - 102.5F. I picked up the little girl "Cocoa", and carried her in the barn. We have a separate "new mommy pen". We immediately put a jacket on her and began warming her. After 30 minutes she was still only 94.7F, so I decided to get a heat lamp on her to warm her further. If a cria's temp is not around 100F or so, her first drink of colostrum will do no good. At 10am, her temp was up to 97.5F, but Cocoa was still lethargi and not able to get up, although she was sucking the air. I gave her 3ccs of light caro syrup to boost blood sugar and kept her under the lamp.
At 11am, her temp had reached 98.4F. The lamp was working. I gave 1.5ccs more of caro and continued to watch her.
At noon, she was trying hard to stand and her temp had reached 99.8F, so I decided to milk out mom and get some into the baby. Mom was an absolute doll and just stood there while my huband petted her neck and I milked her out. 18ccs were gathered and I gave it to the baby with a 3cc syringe. She greddily suckled he syringe and did not miss a drop.
At 1pm - Cocoa was trying to stand but could not find the udder, so we milked out mom again (another 18ccs) and gave it to Cocoa.
At about 2pm, the baby was able to stand and nurse from mom. Mom stood there lke a statue while the baby latched on. It did not last long, so we nursed mom out again, only 6 ccs this time, so Cocoa must have got some milk out of mom. We gave this to the baby and coninued to watch.
Cocoa started nursing at 3pm about every 15 minutes. Still shaky but able to find the udder without much issue, we were past the hard part.