We were all up early this morning to go off to Alton Show. Rebecca was given the job of bottle feeding the crias, whilst I fed the rest of the herd. Upon calling the cria over only Bruno came for his milk ... Bliss was behaving very strangely and Rebecca called out to me to come quickly. The poor little thing was staggering around (Bliss that is - not Rebecca), falling over and screaming out. My immediate thought was that she had been attacked by dogs or something and had a terrible injury, but as soon as I got close enough I could tell that she was blind. She was in a terrible panic and when I picked her up she was trembling and I swear I could hear her heart pounding, I could certainly feel it. We got them into the stable and after a few minutes she seemed to calm down, but was gazing up to the ceiling, but obviously not able to see anything and had a very strange way of standing. We called the Vet and my friend Donna who was going to cria sit ... and I was grateful for the moral support! Peter and the girls got loaded up with the pacas and went on ahead to the show.
The Vet arrived within half an hour and gave her a thorough examination and we discussed the various things it might be, including Septicaemia, though she seemed well, so not likely, a kick to the head - quite possible, or a vitamin deficiency - possible. He have her an LA antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and a multivitamin shot.
I left her in the very capable care of Donna and drove like a luny in Peters car, which is very speedy compared to mine, and went off to the show to catch Peter and Rebecca and her friend Lorna up. Got there too late to get into the exhibitors car park so had to walk the whole length of the show to get to our stand. They had done a great job in setting it all up (I will arrive late again me thinks!).
I phoned a couple of very good and very knowledgeable friends - namely Nick from the Alpaca Stud and Rachel from Classical MileEnd who had both come across something similar and advised Vitamin B1 ... so (sorry I am going on a bit but I need to get it off my chest and may be useful to someone one day!) phoned Donna, who phoned theVet and then collected a bottle of the stuff and injected it at regular intervals. Anyway, to cut to the chase Bliss seems to have made a great recovery, I'm not saying she's cured yet but she can definitely see now and is now looking for her bottle... phew. So can only assume it was the Vitamin B1 deficiency causing something referred to as PEM or CCN (polioencephalomalacia)? Will need to research some more and talk to a few more Vets. A huge thank to all concerned, especially Donna who is a dear friend and has her own alpacas, pigs, turkeys and a vineyard just up the road from us at Poppy Down Farm - great sausages - you must all buy them!
Meanwhile - the show was very busy - lots of interest and serious enquiries - great weather and saw some old friends. Tomorrow night Rebecca and I are off to London to see Take That!