Goat with Colic, Rampant Llamas & bloated lamb…

Not only am I coping with tennis elbow visiting the Étiopathe regularly to be clicked back into place we’ve had an all night vigil with Tin Tin the Pygmy Goat with colic (death threatening situation) rampant Llamas and now today Clarie Chops the lamb rushed to the vet with bloat… just put her in the stable it’s touch and go … poor lamb.

We lost a goat to colic in the summer – it was horrendous, we cried like children feeling so helpless and useless – at least this time with the benefit of hind sight,  I recognized the symptoms  straight away and we were able to take action, everything was with us this time – the chemist open on the Sunday rota was our chum’s shop and she was manning the counter so no language barrier, I also knew what to get – liquid paraffin and gavison, got back home and started administering big doses to him every hour. I did panic at one stage as nothing had happened, apart from the goat looking a very strange shape and obviously uncomfortable!… I rang my cousins’ husband, Kenny, who is a vet in Northern Ireland… and got through! A Sunday afternoon as well… he reassured me big time, we continued with now 80 ml doses of liquid paraffin,  eventually retiring to bed at 11 p.m.  – but neither of us could sleep – we both pretended but eventually gave in at 4 a.m. – horrible walk up the garden to the paddock, heart in your mouth : almost spooky will he won’t he be alive, then shining the torch into the hut… he was alive!! The relief was unbelievable – up again at 7 a.m. – willing it to get light ( 8 a.m. dawn now), and lo and behold, out he popped almost normal, a few hours later he was completely normal.

Back to our other problem what to do about the bad advice we’d had acquiring a new Llama to keep Fernando company, we’d only managed to get the most unsuitable companion ever! That nightmare scenario when you realise you have been fed a total line… why were we so gullible & stupid?!!  Our French friends from the Chateau Hara (Stud Farm) even got involved for us and rang the man that sold us Esmeralda… I got a very French ‘pwah he izz not a good man – he only wants zee monaie’… our friends are horrified with this breeders cavalier attitude towards the animals, she’s (Esme), not going back there that is for sure! We put Esme on the internet for sale to see what would happen, sell her and start again… but we’ve grown rather attached, plus she has settled in and has got close to Clarie the Lamb,  it hurt too when people started to make enquiries… so we drove around today following every lead we had about other folk with Llamas in the area to talk to as many people as we could – then today we got  a lead to an animal park and managed to find the owners even though the park is closed for the winter, the most delightful couple situated just outside Valognes http://www.zoomontaigu.fr  – they have 10 Llamas at the moment for sale. His advice would have been to have bought a pregnant 2 or 3 year old Llama to go in with Fernando. So now the only solution to keep Esme is to castrate Fernando – once he has calmed down in a month or so she can go in with him… so next problem vet – they recommended the one in Valognes – but by this time it is lunch time so they were closed, we headed home after all it’s time to feed Clarie Chops the lamb.

Got into the courtyard no Clarie Chops to meet us – strange especially as it was past her bottle time. Got her bottle ready and went out to look for her thinking maybe she’d gone up to the paddock to be with the big animals, she appeared – shock horror it was as if someone had taken a bicycle pump to her and blew her up in the middle- rang the folk who gave us her – not there – searched the internet for advice found half teaspoon of ground ginger to 2 tablespoons of water – gave her that  – trawled the internet for English folk breeding sheep in Normandy (the French have a different non sentimental approach to us), found one chap who basically said don’t worry sheep spend their whole life looking to die! Wasn’t convinced with his thoughts, so carried on trawling, we then decided liquid paraffin wouldn’t hurt so we did that – then managed to get hold of a Yorkshire man based in central France & while I was talking to him on the phone she went down in front of me … get her to vets he said – bale of hay, sheet of plastic me & the lamb in the back of the Land Rover, Mike drove us down to Carentan. I knew the vets treated the big animals out the back so I ran into the reception at the front and said I’d got an ‘agneau malade derriere’ – Mike went round the corner & parked up beside another Land Rover that was just also parking up  – we saw what was obviously a vet getting out – we were so lucky!… it was only the senior partner – the specialist on farm animals – she’s had the needle inserted to release gas, that didn’t work, he stomach tubed to see what was in stomach – gave an antibiotic injection, anti spasm injection, stuff to start her  stomach working again…

Turns out this 4th week period is the really difficult time for bottle reared lambs… I have read so much on the internet – give the milk cold, give the milk tepid, give the milk body temperature… really no one actually knows, bottle fed lambs at 4 weeks it’s touch & go! I really really want her to make it – not just because I have grown so very fond of her – she’s a character in a lamb way & I want her to make it…

No photos today as we’ve been bit busy with syringes full of liquid paraffin and other remedies!

Fingers crossed all calms down again… we had planned to go on holiday next week to Spain before the season starts again… I have a feeling we are staying put… perhaps we’ll get a week in our holiday house on Utah Beach … we’re only 5 minutes away if needed…

One thing though we did have a chuckle – we really did look the part in our Land Rover Defender 90 (Bottle Green) hay bale, lamb & me wearing my old worn traditional Barbour & very muddy wellies in the back!! Plus we found a vet to come and castrate Fernando on Monday… 3.30 p.m. here at home on 1st March – think of him!!


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4 responses to “Goat with Colic, Rampant Llamas & bloated lamb…

  1. I hope the little lamb survives. I am not sure that castrating the lama is the right idea, how about loaning him to someone until the girl is older?

  2. Oh, Tansy, what a “perfect storm” of maladies. I am so sorry for all of you! So much for the peace of country life. Here are my thoughts and prayers for your baby lamb. Hope she (and you) get through this. Sylvia

  3. Robin

    I have a poor llama which is bloated and he is miserable. We are walking him but he is spitting up as well. What would be recommended to help him out?

    • Oh wow…where are you ? I think you need to get a vet out ASAP…I really do not like the sound of this has the Llama eaten something? But if you have to wait for the vet the remedy I was given for colic is liquid gavison & liquid parrafin mix together 50/50 and get it down them – done it on a goat which shifted it before too late, but if spitting as well maybe too late – let us know what happens – but speed is the essence!

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