Sunday, February 27, 2011

Woo hoo blood tests are finally done!

After months of waiting we got the long awaited email from Andres, our vet, to say our local authorities were in fact ready to blood test our alpacas. We had spent months cuddling them, to get them used to being handled, and even holding Alans electric razor to their ear's, as they would have small areas shaved, so they would not be afraid of that... daft or what! However I think it worked. We were as prepared as we could be, although we thought it maybe a few hours for Andres to be with us as he was aso giving the dogs their annual jabs too.... yikes!

Right the plan was the girls first, in order of the easiest, so hopefully Bermuda being third and last of the girls, would not be too nervous. They had their blood test for brucellosis first, which was very simple, Andres managed to get the vein immediately in all bar one of the alpacas, which can be extremely difficult, and then another patch shaven to do a TB test. The thickness of the skin was measured followed by an injection, which then needed the reaction to be remeasured again 72 hours later, in simple terms. (If I have not explained any of this correctly please feel free to comment, so I can correct myself) So the girls were as good as gold, we then had to bring the hurdles up to the boys, for their turn.

All the boys were stars apart from Rafa who has always been nervous when it comes to injections. He will be first to explore a new area of paddock, or first to come and say hello to the dogs, or any visitors, but an injection is a different kettle of fish altogether. After trying a couple of times, and him jumping about like a demented kangaroo, we decided to leave him until last. We made a much smaller pen for him and after a few attempts, and he did get a little stressed bless him, Andres managed to get the blood needed. Two minutes later the boys were outside, and all including the big baby Rafa were chomping on some lovely alfafa, none the worse for their ordeal!

Now for our other 4 legged friends, the dogs! I remember last time we seperated the dogs, in preperaion for their injections The three little ones in the small courtyard, and left Arthur and Blue, the big mastines out in the big courtyard, but it was like the battering of the doors in a Jurrassic Park film, and Andres was muttering "Madre Mia!" So this time we just let the dogs all run in together. Of course they were all very excited. They are to see any visitors and Andres's green vetinary wear did not put them off in the slightest. The needle was so very thin, Blue, Carlos, Geri, even very skinny little Miliko never flinched, as it went into the loose skin betwen their shoulder blades. However as Andres was preparing the injections, (in one of the photos below) Arthur suddenly had a slight panic attack. He went from having a nice cuddle with Alan, to running full charge down towads the apartment we live in, and hid in a corner :( What a big wuss! We tried everything we could to entice him out, and after a while he sloped up, feeling rather nervous towards me. Andres made a leap for it, and managed to get the needle almost in, a split second later, Alan leapt into action and managed to get it in a tiny bit, but Arthur threw himself on the floor, rather resembling a crocodile roll. The needle came out and was bent. There was no way we were going to get that injection into him, at that time. Luckily for us Andres left us with another, which Alan gave him perfectly the following morning, whilst Arthur was eating his breakfast, and guess what, he ever felt a thing. What a big baby haha!

Me and my big lovable wuss, Arthur
Andres getting the injections ready, before Arthur does a runner!

Lovely walks with the big boy!

Before breakfast Arthur the extremely handsome, and also extremely large, Spanish Mastin and I enjoy a leisurely walk together. Just the two of us and my Mp3 player that was a gift from a dear friend. It prepares me for a good breakfast and the day ahead. Arthur is such an angel to walk on his own. Actually we used to walk the five dogs together but it was just such hard work. As crazy as it seems, it is easier to do three walks. It's not so much the walking that was the prolem, it was the high pitched squealing from Miliko that worked all the others up into a frenzie, plus he runs round grabbing their leads in his little mouth that only opens a fraction, due to an accident, before he "found " himself under our fence. I shall endeavor to add a video below that will explain my case!

A few mornings ago, we had not long left the house, and strolling up the track when I felt Arthur slightly cower, and started to growl. I knew it would n't be horses and he ignores them, so I was unsure as to what on earth could have scared him. Haha there in front of us was a large white sign nailed to a tree "Se Vende" a for sale sign and a phone number, bless him! Talk about a big scaredy cat! Once he realised there was no threat, and it was n't alive, he was happy to walk past it. Then just before we usually turn around we heard a little yapping! For half a second, the thoughts that went through my mind were... "Oh no, I'm not going to be able to hold him if he goes!" "If he catches it, will he eat it?" Once again he became at first rather nervous, as four dogs were close, three were very close, but the forth another mastine hid, typical behaviour it seems. Three little dogs including one that looked like a cross between a dachshund and a wirey coated terrier, and the other two were n't much bigger, basically told us it was their territory and we were n't welcome. Arthur looked at the other dogs, and as he cocked his head from side to side, I'm sure he was saying "Can't we be friends?" I guess the answer was a firm no, so we turned around and went home.... bless him!

Me with my big boy Arthur