Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blood test practice

Since the end of last summer we have been trying to start the journey of our little farm being classified as Brucellosis and Tb free, which gives a status of M4 T4, I think thats correct! The fact that alpacas are so rare in Spain, and particularly in our area, OCA the Spanish version of DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) are really unable to make up their minds what to do with them! We have had numerous conversations with our vet regarding this, and are no where near starting the process. In January this year the laboratories all closed, for two weeks, as they were changing something... computors or machines, goodness knows what, but this was nationally! Although Andres our vet, who I am very pleased to say reads my blog now, decided it maybe good to do a practice run. Any alpaca breeders will confirm how very difficult it is to take blood from an alpaca. We have watched numerous youtube videos, which we have sent Andres links to the best, and he and us have all researched online.

>Alan and I have done huge amounts of alpaca "cuddling" to try and make them more relaxed and less likely to jump in the air at the point of the needle making contact, or more likely trying numerous times to find the vein. So one morning we got the boys all in and started with the most relaxed boy, who is known to us as Marcus, it's actually not his name haha. We have two gorgeous grey boys and we have called them the wrong names since they arrived to us. So now Eduardo is Marcus and Marcus is Eduardo! Bless them, they don't care at all :) Well Marcus stood calmly and still for around 10 minutes whilst Andres prodded and poked around trying to find the vein in his neck, he was an absolute angel. Andres also tried on Eduardo but he was far more jumpy, so we gave up on him for that day! When Andres comes back to do the blood tests to send to the lab he will bring clippers with him, as their fleeece is really thick at the moment. Recenly we have been cuddling them, and holding Alan's electric razor under their ear's to get them used to the noise too. Hmmmm I wonder how many other alpaca owners in the world have done that, or just us two dafties :)
We are now mid February and the last time we went to see Andres about blood tests was aproximately two weeks ago, whilst we were in him consulting rooms he had a phone call from OCA, and he translated back to us that if the animals were cows or goats they would know exactly what to do, but alpacas are so rare they have no categories for camelids! Now they are all discussing it further and there maybe someone else, maybe a vet from OCA or an "important" person to oversea the bloodtests especially the Tb skin test, or maybe just our own vet, who knows! Maybe March now! This year..... please!

Marcus, what a star!

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