Thursday, May 8, 2014

Llama Biography #17: Autumn Hill's Snowflake Obsidian

I'll warn you...this is a sad llama biography.

Llama #17 in our herd was Autumn Hill's Snowflake Obsidian.

Sid had a lot of symptoms of being dysmature (looked premature but wasn't born early): floppy ears, weird fiber, and soft pasterns.

In the spring of 2004, we finally managed to get our junior herdsire, AAL Navarro, to successfully settle a female.  He was bred with Casa Loma's Little Sheba, and in May 2005 she gave birth to a little male cria.

I came home from school one afternoon to find Sheba looking very uncomfortable.  I waited around to see if anything would happen, but she hadn't made any progress by the time my mom got home.  We finally decided that we needed some help, so we loaded Sheba up in the trailer and headed for the vet.

By the time we got there Sheba had managed to deliver the front legs, and the vet quickly pulled the rest of the cria.  The vet thought that Sheba's contractions weren't strong enough for her to deliver the cria, possibly due to a selenium deficiency.  We then spent an hour or so waiting for the cria to stand and nurse, and finally we headed home- Sheba in the trailer and the cria on my lap in the truck.

The night was very stormy, and after hearing a song on the radio I really wanted to name the baby "Rainmaker", but I'd been waiting for awhile to name a black and white cria "Snowflake Obsidian", so I went with that instead.

Sheba and Sid spent several chilly days and nights locked in a pen in the barn, but finally they got to have some time outside in the back yard.

Sheba and Sid.

When Sid was 2 days old, we had our other vet out to the house to draw blood for an IgG test (which evaluates the cria's immune system and how much colostrum they got).  Two more days later, we found out that his IgG was low, and the vet was back out to give him a plasma transfer.  Sid seemed to have turned a corner by the time the vet gave him the plasma, but shortly after he finished the transfer Sid started straining and acting very uncomfortable.  I'm still not sure what happened, but the next day Sid was septic and going downhill fast.  Unfortunately he didn't make it through the night.  I'll never forget my sister's voice on the phone (I was at dance that night) when she was telling me that Sid had just died.  I cried all the way home, and on and off for the next day or 2.

Sid had the coolest fiber...he may have been our first suri!

Sid was the first cria (actually the first llama of any age) that we had ever lost, and it hit all of us very hard.  Sheba cried for days, it was pretty heartbreaking.  We gave Sheba several months to recover, and then bred her for another cria.  She sold before the cria was born, but luckily she easily delivered a healthy cria the next time around!

RIP Sid.

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