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 3. Birthing & Neonatal Care
 Dam lying on side
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tfox799947

71 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2009 :  12:59:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a dam that is 248 days pregnant and this morning she is spending a lot of time lying on her side (very unusual for her). She does make half hearted attempts at rolling, but not continuously. She is not cushing at all. She is not humming or moaning. The only abnormal behavior is the lying on her side.
I know it seems a little early for a torsion...she has never had one in the 4 years I have owned her. Her temp was a little low at 98 degrees, she is eating, drinking, peeing and pooping normally. I did do a digital exam (but didn't know how deep to go) and don't feel any twisting.
Any ideas or advise.
Thanks,

Christine Fox
Fox's Funny Farm
(Where alpacas rule!)
Glidden, WI
foxsfunnyfarm@hotmail.com

Mary Jane

1150 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2009 :  1:52:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mary Jane's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'd make a phone call to the vet. It's better to call and not need to, than not call and kick yourself later for it.

Mary Jane

Land of Legends Alpacas
2653 Swans Road
Newark, OH 43055
(740)345-2199
www.alpacanation.com/landoflegends.asp
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nyala

3318 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2009 :  2:01:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit nyala's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi,

I'm not a fan of side lying in a pregnant dam or really in any animal unless they are sunning themselves on a nice day. I agree call the vet. We had a torsion and she did quite quite a bit of side lying but also was in very obvious discomfort and got up and down a lot. She had never had a torsion before. Is your girl's respiration rate up, and/or are her nostrils flaring? I think alpacas are pretty good at not acting sick or in pain when they really are. I tend to be over-reactive but I view any change of behavior like this as cause for concern.

Please keep us posted.

Ann




D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
and
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
www.alpacanation.com/nyalafarm.asp
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alpacatreasures

230 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2009 :  2:02:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit alpacatreasures's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Christiane,

I would suspect possible torsion, especially if she hasn't exhibited this behavior before in previous pregnancies. But it could also be discomfort from the fetus repositioning or pushing on a nerve. Mine start to show pregnancy discomfort around this time (varying degrees). Since she's eating/drinking/and doing all her business, I wouldn't think it's digestive-based.

Personally, I would watch her closely today and call the vet if this pattern continues, if her condition gets worse, or if she stops eating/drinking, etc...

Sara McElroy
Alpaca Treasures
Maple Valley, WA
info@alpacatreasures.biz
www.alpacanation.com/alpacatreasures.asp
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highpeaksalpacas

1291 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2009 :  2:10:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit highpeaksalpacas's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi -
I'd call the vet too - just in case.
We did have two girls at the farm last year at about the same point in their pregnancy as your girl..who acted very similar... only lasted a day and we chalked it up to that time period where the cria is readjusting position - both went on to have happy healthy cria when they were supposed to...but it did concern us and I did consult the vet. Better safe than sorry!
(These girls were laying on their sides..but not suffering any apparent discomfort)
keep us posted please -
Debbie

Debbie
High Peaks Alpacas
Wilmington, NY

You only live once...live with alpacas!
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tfox799947

71 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2009 :  9:22:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, just got back from the vet. No uterine torsion was detected with internal exam. The vet was able to palpate a pulse in the uterine artery and felt fetal movement with the rectal exam.
No fever, no parasites, just a pretty low body score.
So we will continue to watch this little lady and see how tomorrow goes. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
Thanks for the advise.

Christine Fox
Fox's Funny Farm
(Where alpacas rule!)
Glidden, WI
foxsfunnyfarm@hotmail.com
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alpacatreasures

230 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2009 :  9:54:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit alpacatreasures's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Good to hear, Christine! Hopefully, it's just a beautiful girl rolling around in there and bugging mom.

Best regards,

Sara McElroy
Alpaca Treasures
Maple Valley, WA
info@alpacatreasures.biz
www.alpacanation.com/alpacatreasures.asp
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allamericanalpacas

4245 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2009 :  10:54:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Christine,
Sorry to be so late to chime in.
Good thing you called the vet, but the one thing I don't like is low temperature and low body score.
I'd be keeping my guard up, and if possible, add alfalfa or other available high protein forage to her diet

Rick
--
Rick & Pati Horn
All American Alpacas
35215 Avenida Maņana
Murrieta, Ca. 92563
951-217-0306
alpacanation.com/aaalpacas.asp
http://aaalpacas.com/updates.html
Life is Good!
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tfox799947

71 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2009 :  08:16:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Rick, I beat you to the point. The coat and alfalfa are on order.
I also think we will leave her penned at night with continuous access to her kibble. She is an import girl and does not eat to excess like her "american" cousins. That is just one of her problems, because all of her pasture mates are "american" and over weight or just right. So it makes it hard to keep alfalfa or even kibble around all the time because everyone else scarfs is up.
When I let her out of her pen this am, she was cushed (not lying on her side). So I will continue the constant vigil to make sure she continues to thrive and not appear to be in pain.
Thanks again everyone!

Christine Fox
Fox's Funny Farm
(Where alpacas rule!)
Glidden, WI
foxsfunnyfarm@hotmail.com
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nyala

3318 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2009 :  09:28:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit nyala's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi,

We have five older import girls (aged 15 to 17) and they are hard to keep weight on especially when nursing an older cria. All the alpacas get free choice hay (around 12 to 14% protein) but that plus competing with younger girls for grain wasn't keeping weight on the old import. All the older girls tend to be slow nonaggressive eaters. We started putting them in an adjacent pen at night so they could get some extra calories with extra pellets and that really worked. Its hard to do that if you just have one but maybe when the cria is born. When we just had one older thin girl I started keeping calf manna and regular pellets in my pocket and would give her that by hand when I'm out there working. I did just attend a talk that Dr Robert Van Saun gave about alpaca nutrition and he talked about watching copper levels and fat in feed. He thought calf manna was a bit high in copper. Now I use alfalfa pellets with just a tiny bit of calf manna. I'm very popular with the older girls and it ended up helping with management too. They all now like getting their chins scratched and are better about shots and such. All but one will even lead. Dr Van Saun recommended beet pulp too. Some of mine like that but some turn their noses way up at it. I don't keep that in my pocket as we feed it wet. I found some alfalfa hay but it didn't last very long and very few farms around here hay alfalfa. My preference would always be to give a higher quality forage rather than increase grain but its pretty hard to find here. I did find some nice hay this fall with a good bit of alfalfa but the farm that cut it let it get rained on before I could get more and when I went to get more it was moldy (Yuck!) What a crime!

I think a coat is a good idea if it does not stress her out. If you make any changes in her diet do it gradually. Good luck with her!

Ann

D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
and
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
www.alpacanation.com/nyalafarm.asp
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