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It doesn't matter to us at all if you own llamas, want to own llamas, or just think following our lives and the antics and thoughts of our llamas (as told by ME of course), we welcome you to little snips of our lives.

More of the flavor of the world is scattered in bits and pieces throughout my rare blog postings, and I welcome thoughts.

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Llamas, Llemons, and Llemonade

The old saying "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade", is a wonderful fantasy sometimes when it comes to Llife with Llamas, and sometimes a lemon is just a lemon and you need to try to figure out how to survive.
We lost one of our newborn cria on the second day of life and there is nothing lemonade about it.
She was born absolutely beautiful, and textbook. 28 pounds rocking and rolling with the best of them, full of excitement and energy.
We had some small events with the meconium passing and it took her a bit longer than usual to hook up with mom, but all was looking great when we went to bed that night.

The next morning was much worse. She was lethargic, difficulty moving, stumbling, no fever. Quick trip to the vet with mom in tow, xrays revealed what appeared to be gas build up. Another veterniarian administered high enema with nothing passing.

Temperatures were excessively hot here over 90 that day. At 4pm the decision was made to transport mom and the baby to Oregon State University. Normal drive time from Olympia to Corvallis Oregon in truck and trailer is around 3 1/2 to 4 hours. I made it in just under 2 1/2 hours. The baby bless her sweet soul still was struggling to hold on to life.

And the staff at Oregon State University fought valiantly with her to try and get vitals stabilized, get fluids into her, and save her. NOTHING in the blood work which was massively extensive showed anything that should be wrong, but there were signs of neurological damage from sources unknown.

For almost three hours the vet team fought, the baby went into cardiac failure twice and they brought her back, and all this while Tessa [the dam] stood patiently alongside me humming while we watched and helped as best we could. After the second cardiac failure, a long conversation with the team left us no real options and the baby was euthanized. At best the team of vets and techs think she may have had some form of head trauma during the night.

That was the first live birth cria we have lost, and it has ripped our family asunder. Tessa even now after three weeks still wanders around occassionally looking for her baby. My wife and I are expecting our third birth very soon from our beloved Cayan and we are filled with more than the normal anxieties.

And as some kind of symbol of all this, our most favorite maple tree on the property finally gave its last gasp and died. We had to have it removed because of the danger it represented to the llamas, their shelters, and our home.

So as far as I am concerned at least for the moment is sometimes a lemon is just a lemon, and thinking you are always going to be able to 'make lemonade' is just a way of choosing to play ostrich and stick your head in the sand.

I'm sure time will heal the sorrows Tessa is having, and will probably make it less frequent when I think of this magnificent baby who died before she could even really have a name, but each time I look out at the stone marker where she lies, I can't help cringe for now and think that lemons are what they are, and pretending otherwise is foolhardy.

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