Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Unpacking

James's locum stint continues to keep him well away from his comfort zone. He got a call this morning to visit an alpaca having birthing difficulties. A quick google of 'dystocia alpacas' confirmed that a baby alpaca is called a 'cria', birthing difficulties are rare, and a quick article on how to GA and perform a caesarean if required was skim read and digested.

Then off we went. I rather like alpacas, although they are technically 'large' animals they are very manageable should you be a vertically challenged vet who is slightly scared of big beasties. They are calm and woolly with comedy coiffures and exquisite eyelashes.

Apart from a bit of spitting and grunting, the mother-to-be was very docile, and with a bit of manipulation in utero the cria's bent neck was unravelled, forelegs located, and we delivered an ungainly and rather badly folded offspring. Small hands a definite advantage for this procedure.

On the way home we discussed the fact that we did not know the term for a birthing alpaca (lambing, calving, cria-ing?) so we popped into the practice on the way home for enlightenment, to be informed the term was 'unpacking'. Call me cynical , but I was sure this was a wind-up.

However, google is my friend, and the terms for birthing an alpaca are : 'unpacking' or 'criation'.

So, what a festive visit, we assisted in an unpacking and witnessed the criation.

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