Sunday, October 6, 2013

Finally Ready

So time has passed and I feel I am ready to write again. A lot has happened over the past year – some good and some not-so-good… But overall, things have been moving along. Not as quickly as I would have liked, but being by myself, everything takes longer to get done.

At the beginning of the year, I lost one of my llamas – Harry. The thing that makes me angry is that if I had more information, the whole situation could have been avoided.

The one thing that is deadly to llamas if contracted, is meningeal worm. The worm is spread by white-tail deer and affects the nervous system. The only known protection is regular injections of Dectomax or Ivermectin. I knew that and was OK with that maintenance. I got the Boys from Pennsylvania – near the Allegheny Forest, which to say contains some white-tail deer is a gross understatement.

The people I bought the Boys from showed me how to give the injections and I received their medical record sheets that listed when they got their shots and anything else they had done. I went home with the Boys happily confident that I would be a good owner.

Looking at the medical charts, the Boys were getting their shots approximately every six months. Twice a year? As Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear would say: “How hard can it be?” That was the schedule they were on, so that was the schedule I was going to keep – easy peasy.


Sometime around Christmas, I noticed that Harry was having trouble with his back legs and was struggling to stand sometimes. Once he was up however, he seemed to be fine. After a couple of days, he was still having trouble, so I called the vet.

To make a long story short, it turned out that the Boys were supposed to be receiving shots every month, not every six months. Harry had meningeal worm and they were in his spine. We gave Harry a blast of meds in the hope that we could prevent any further damage and could still have a mostly-normal life, but it was not meant to be. There was a time over the following weeks that it looked like he was going to beat the odds, but in February I made the very hard decision to have him euthanized.


Dalai and Indian watching over Harry 

Fortunately, Indiana and Dalai were not affected.

My next door neighbors were absolute saints in helping me through that hard time – for which I will forever be grateful.

Every time I think about the situation, I get soooo angry. The Boys grew up with gazillions of white-tail deer around them – why were they OK there and not by me? I wish so much that I had known to give the injections more frequently and that Harry was still with me. He was so sweet and would have been a great packer.

I miss you Harry.

Miss you!


Anonymous said...

Oh Jill! Poor old Harry and poor old you. How incredibly angry you must be about something so easily preventable. I suppose you could go back to the people you bought Harry from but what good would that be for poor Harry?

At least you know now and can prevent a similar episode in future.

By the way, over here I am pretty sure Lucky is on her way out. She is not looking good at all - wings drooped, wattle a very dull red, massive weight loss and very lethargic...

Jill said...

Awww... poor Lucky :( I lost my first chicken to natural causes (I think) over the summer. If it wasn't natural causes, at least it wasn't a stupid raccoon. Maybe Lucky will perk up - I'll send a prayer out for her :)

As for Harry, I thought the same as you, but like you said - what good would it do to go back to the people I bought him from? All I can really do is learn and move on... But it's taken a long time for the hurt and anger to subside a bit ~sigh~