Today, after my Dr. appt, I drove over to New Bolton to see Hope and Bellafina. Hope was very tired and could barely keep her eyes open while I was there. She had just come from radiology and had a busy morning. They also were finishing up bottle feeding her when I walked in. Poor little girl. She was shivering when I walked in. I asked them to put a blanket on her. They said it was probably from being on the metal plates in x-ray and it is chilly in that building. Anyway, she actually drank from a bottle today. They said as she gets nutrition from the milk they will back off the IV nutrition. Thankfully, Bellafina is co-operating and they are milking her out so Hope is getting mom's milk. Bellafina hates her abdomen touched, but she is letting them milk her out. When I tried to take the plugs out she screamed and spit and started to cush. Of course, they have been milking her out since Friday so I guess she is getting used to it by now. As they milk her, she just stares at her cria. Poor mom.
Today was the first day that Hope accepted the bottle. She drank the entire contents of the bottle. She isn't stable enough on her feet yet to stand under mom and I will talk about this soon. They said when she is taking 10% of her body weight in milk then the IV nutrition will be stopped. As she increases her milk consumption, they will back off on the IV nutrition so she gets less and less from the IV and more from the bottle. Thankfully, she is getting mom's milk.
Her lungs are sounding the same as yesterday, but better than Saturday. They will retake the lung x-ray in a few days to see how they are doing. Hopefully, it will show less disease. They have backed off the oxygen some and she is doing well with this. I noticed she was raspy sounding when she breathed, but not as bad as she was on Thursday. Her breathing was what prompted me to take her to New Bolton to begin with. They said her lungs sound less watery when they listen to her. She won't be able to come home until her lungs heal so I hope she continues on the right path and they get better each day. Although, I know it will take time.
The new development is that she took a few steps today! However, they noticed she won't weight bear on the one back leg. This is odd since she was weight bearing on them when she was born. They tested her reflexes and nothing showed nerve damage. They took her to get x-rays of the leg and that didn't show any structural abnormalities. The next thing they wanted to do was take a fluid sample from the joint and see if there was an infection in the hock. Apparently, this is common in horses when they are septic, but not so much with alpacas. I should have the results tomorrow- if they could get enough fluid. I understand why the need to do this, but the leg was fine before. I am wondering if she could have just tweaked the hock when she was only using her rear legs to get up and stand. She took several tumbles. However, I don't want to not do the test and then she ends up with a bone infection too. We shall see. I am just happy that she is standing for 10 min at a time and finally took a few steps. She still cannot get up on her own, but they think once she weight bears on that back leg she will have an easier time balancing and getting up.
It seems one thing gets better, but something else comes up. I asked about when she might be able to come home and there is no answer on that. She needs to be able to be off the oxygen and getting up on her own. I am hoping the end of next week. I was hoping the end of this week, but that isn't going to happen.
I am happy to see that her chance of survival is much higher right now. If her lungs would just clear up I think she will be a normal cria and pronking in the field in no time. Praying for the best! I will be visiting her again on Wed and I hope to see more improvement. Until then, I await the morning updates. As long as I don't get a call in the evening or overnight she is doing well.