Every so often, the doctors at Carolina Equine Hospital get a special opportunity to assist in the care of a non-equine patient. In this feel-good story, the veterinarians got to help a mother alpaca deliver her baby then provide top-notch care while helping the baby alpaca learn to walk with some home-made splints. Keep reading if you would like to feel warm and fuzzy inside!
What Brought Beryl and Baby to CEH
One day, the owner of Raynay Alpacas noticed that an expectant alpaca named Beryl was having some difficulty delivering because the baby was a dystocia (stuck in the birth canal). Being an experienced breeder she knew that without veterinary help things could go from bad to worse quickly. So she loaded a laboring Beryl into her custom alpaca-carrying van and headed in the direction of Carolina Equine Hospital.
Beryl’s cria (a baby alpaca is called a cria) had his head already out of the birth canal and his owner could hear small whispers coming from him so she made sure to talk to Beryl and her baby for the entire ride to keep them relaxed. When Beryl arrived, Dr. Talbot examined her, and with the help of several other doctors, he was able to successfully deliver Beryl’s cria.
Like with any baby, the doctors provided emergency first aid upon birth. After examining the cria, it was understood that he had been lacking oxygen in the womb due to being stuck in the birth canal for a longer than normal period of time. Beryl’s cria was also dealing with a high amount of stress, weakness, and the effects of having malpositioned legs while in the birth canal.
Supportive Care and Getting a Leg Up
While all newborns get extra attention the first days of their lives, Beryl’s cria got around the clock care and attention from the doctors at CEH for the two days he stayed at the hospital. He was given IVs, oxygen therapy, and special supportive care to keep him getting stronger day by day.
Beryl’s cria also wasn’t going to allow leg lock to keep him from being the best alpaca he could be! With extra special care from Dr. Jess Benson, he was fitted with homemade leg splits to aid him in getting around. Dr. Benson and Dr. Talbot spent extra time helping him stand while in the splints and helped him walk around so he could get used to his brand new legs.
Beryl and Her Baby Today
Today, Beryl is doing great and her cria, who has since been named Mach, is stronger than ever! Both alpacas got to go home two days after Beryl’s emergency dystocia, and while it was traumatic for the pair, they are both doing great back home at Raynay Alpacas. Beryl is enjoying her time as a mother and her cria is running around with his cria buddies!
Carolina Equine Hospital
Whether it be a horse or an alpaca, we are available 24/7 for emergency calls in the Piedmont Triad area. Give us a call at 336-349-4080 to get in touch! Not sure if you have an emergency? Contact us and we can let you know how to keep your pet comfortable until help arrives.