It’s early Spring and among other chores on the ranch, it’s time for health maintenance day. There’s always a buzz around the ranch whenever there is any change in routine. “Why are three alpacas being placed inside the barn”? “Why are Sandy & Lee coaxing us into the barn with mid-day treats”? “That doesn’t normally happen.” Last Friday was health maintenance day. We moved three alpacas into a catch pen and closed all the dogs in the barn to make it easier for the vets to do their thing. This time of year means lots of shots. And, all our four legged creatures recognize “The Truck”! “The vets are coming — run, run”. Anxiety among the dogs usually means tails start wagging at increased rates and they get that look, “Why are we locked in the barn”? The alpaca herd, yes the entire herd, starts humming. Really humming. “Why are some of us in the barn and the others not”? No amount of soothing words or petting lowers the anxiety.
Our veterinary group, Western Trails, offers a great service to us multi-animal owners in the East Mountains. They do health maintenance ranch visits twice a year. Every spring and fall they offer visits at reduced fee. The veterinarian and a technician arrive in a truck equipped with lots of cool equipment and supplies and lots of shots. Maybe that’s why everyone is anxious?
Our spring ranch herd health day brought Dr. Thornton and her tech to Whispering Spirit Alpacas.. Dogs always need their annual rattlesnake shots. We do have lots of rattlesnakes out here. This shot slows down the dogs reaction to the snake’s venom and gives us more time to get the animal the antidote. Also, the treatment is much less costly and much more effective. Besides the rattlesnake shot, some years the dogs get rabbies as well as other shots. This year, everyone was up to date on the multi-year shot, so only the “snake” shot for them. Except for Gandalf, our five month old pyrenees, who needed his first rabbis shot. Poor baby!
Additionally, last year’s only cria, DeeDee, needed to be micro chipped and receive her CDT shot. She is in the catch pen with her mother and her grandmother for company but, that’s what caused all the herd humming.
All the animals were very good and the vets are in and out, all shots given, in under 15 minutes. As the truck pulls away, every one is released. Humming stops. Dogs all return to their favorite spots. Life at WSA returns to normal.
Thanks Western Trails for your great service!
Until next time…… Sandy & Lee