When I received the promised call from Dr. Sabrina late this morning we decided that she should come on out and do a more extensive exam of Took. Rich and I were so sure that Took had a baby in there since she had not only spent a couple of days last month showing signs of pre-labor stress, but she also violently reacted to Nikko when we put her into his pen a couple of weeks ago. Spit tests are usually accurate in about 80% of cases and have, in the past, been accurate for Took in particular. We watched our Took closely since last Thursday when the vet injected her with a medication that would induce labor and cause her to expel what we suspected to be a dead cria. When she didn't we were worried that she may have a torsion of her uterus which would require expensive and delicate surgery.
Dr. Sabrina, who is a very competent young veterinarian I might add, came out this afternoon and gave Took a mild sedation. Dr. S. set up her ultra sound machine while we waited for the drugs to take effect. Took was absolutely comical, staggering slowly around the barn where I had confined her. Her eyes glazed over and she swayed slightly with each step. She looked like she had been on a bit of a bender!
I held Took, bracing her between the feed trough and myself while Dr. Sabrina shaved a small spot of fleece off of Took's underside in order to provide a clearer picture on the ultra sound. Left side first, then right. Nothing unusual. The vet did a very thorough internal ultra sound next, zeroing in on the uterus and ovaries.
After the ultra sound Dr. Sabrina rolled up one sleeve of her shirt and pulled on the longest latex glove I have ever seen. I knew that what came next would not be pleasant. And it wasn't. Because of the sedative, Took had been extremely cooperative throughout the exam. She exacted a quiet revenge at this point in the exam. Luckily alpaca poo is in the form of "beans" and not the consistency of cow poo.
Dr. S. was able to feel a normal, compact uterus. The final diagnosis is that Took is not pregnant; is perfectly healthy, if a bit overweight; and is ready to be bred again.
Before she left, Dr. Sabrina helped me catch both Dio and Mocha in order to draw a blood sample for each of them. This is required by the ARI in order to register our animals. I'll send the blood cards off tomorrow.
I kept Took confined to the barn until after dinner this evening just to be sure that the sedative had worn off completely. When we released her she joined Mango and little Dio in the pasture where all three turned their backs to us in what I could have sworn was a show of disdain. An alpaca mooning, if you will.