Top Hats and Tiaras (Mr T) is a young cria who had a difficult start in life as he got stuck whilst being born! Farm vet Andrea was called to help deliver him.
Colostrum (the first milk) is needed not just to provide energy to a new born alpaca, but to help provide an immune system to fend off disease. Mr T was not keen to drink so that night another of our farm vets, James, milked his dam and tubed it into his stomach.
This process was repeated the next morning. Despite the best efforts of the Langford team Mr. T had not received enough colostrum so James gave him a plasma transfusion to try and support his under developed immune system.
Glucose was also given in the vein to provide some energy. Unfortunately, the treatments were not enough, and Mr. T was at risk of developing sepsis (a blood infection).
It was decided to refer Mr. T and his mum to the Equine Referral Hospital for 24/7 care. Whilst hospitalised he was kept on a glucose drip and had his blood glucose monitored every four hours.
Mr. T was also given some antibiotics as it was likely he had a blood infection. After 36 hours of treatment he was able to suck from a bottle and a day later he was able suckle from his Mum. It was felt that Mr. T was able to go home as he was now able to support himself.
Once home Mr. T settled into his new life and has continued to thrive. He was given another plasma transfusion to ensure his immune system was able to cope with any new infections and is being closely supervised.
This case illustrates how the Langford Vets Farm Team can not only provide emergency care when out in the field but has the ability to refer our critical patients for high level care to ensure that an optimum service is provided to all of our clients.