Archive | 4:14 pm

Buster

20 Apr

Some days I want to quit.  I work so hard to keep my animals happy and healthy, and it seems like everything just works against me.  I hate feeling so helpless.

Buster

I finally got Aurora to a point where she was healthy enough to go back out, and then it was Tony.

Aurora

Now he’s healthy enough to go back out, but now it’s Buster.

Tony and Pluto

I’ve wondered for about three weeks if he was sick, but I couldn’t pinpoint anything, and I told myself I can’t really be so unlucky to have another llama with ulcers.  The symptoms are so subtle.  There’s weight loss, which is hard to tell on a llama sometimes.  All three of the llamas with the main herd lost some weight over the winter because it was a horrible winter.  I finally have all the llamas so I can feel them and check their weight whenever I walk past them, but it’s hard this time of year because they spend so much time out in pasture.

Buster

Another symptom is for them to lie down more than they should, and I did notice him lying by the fence, but I told myself he wanted to be back with Aurora because they are bonded and the other two are snooty towards him.

Aurora and Buster

One day last week, I didn’t see Buster with the other two girls on the bottom, so I walked the whole thing looking for him, and when I got back to the barnyard, he was just standing in the barn with them. I caught him and he was a little bit thinner, but I couldn’t check anything else because he decided he was having none of it and pushed through me.  I couldn’t hold him.  He was strong and fiesty and acting fine.

Odie and Buster

Then on Thursday, he came back up to the barn, but he was ribby thin.  He was weak and unsteady on his feet.  I checked his eyes, and he was completely anemic.  I wormed him, and built a pen around him in the barn, so I could make sure he had food and water, but he wasn’t eating.

Buster

He died the next day.  I can only assume it was either worms or a bleeding ulcer (which is my true suspicion in hindsight).  He went so quickly.  I feel horrible, and I am so frustrated because they are hard to tell when they don’t feel well and there’s nothing I can do really to prevent it.  It’s primarily stress, but the crazy up and down temperatures are enough to stress them enough to give them ulcers.

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