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A Thorny Issue

The fields here are surrounded by blackberry bushes and the alpacas love to nibble on the fruit and use the branches as scratching posts.  Unfortunately, not all are careful about where they put their feet and the thorns are sharp.  An alpaca’s foot is a soft pad with toes and toenails and usually they’re really robust.  Also, because they’re a prey animal, alpacas don’t show anything is wrong with them until the last moment when they can’t hide the pain anymore.



I’ve never had a problem with the herd treading on something, until this autumn that is.   Firstly Helene & Monroe became lame with black thorns in their pads and now it is Fabyanne’s turn.  The vet visited and thinks that this time the puncture wound is close to the bone which, in turn, may become infected.  Injections for everything and dressing the wound is a two person job and the lovely Jane has once again come to the rescue helping me.  Whilst I hold the screaming, spitting bundle of fluff, Jane gently cleans out the infection, sprays the wound and rebinds it with the special dressings the vet gave us.  Her behaviour is improving as she’s probably getting used to the routine and knows that the less she plays up, the quicker it’ll be over.

Fabyannes foot


I’m also pretty sure that she’s pregnant.  Alpacas change personality when expecting and even the sweetest natured becomes grumpy, untouchable and just plain horrible!  Well that sums up Fabyanne at the moment and I’m just hoping that we’ve caught the infection in time!

This post was written five days ago; unfortunately, she isn’t better and this morning, Faby went to the Vet Hospital in Cambridge.

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