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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Bella's Bad Day

Today was a bad day for Bella the alpaca.  She's had a runny eye for a few days and Rob had bought some drops from the pharmacy to try and treat it.  Then yesterday evening he noticed something sticking out of her eyeball - it looked like a large thorn.  She must have been in agony.  Anyway, the vet was called and came this morning at about 11:30.

Rob and Tammy phoned about 9 a.m. to ask if I'd go down and help them herd the girls into a catchment pen and then into the barn.  They went into the pen quite readily once they were bribed with some carrots, but really didn't want to go into the barn.  The vet arrived whilst we were trying to get them to go inside, so we cornered Bella and Rob grabbed her so he could have a look at her eye.  It turns out it wasn't a thorn at all.  She has a problem with her eye called (in the UK) New Forest disease, which causes a runny eye, a lot of pain, and sometimes ulcers.  The thing protruding from her eyeball seems to have been some sort of growth caused by the bacteria.  Apparently it can be carried by flies which then infect the animal.

The treatment was really not very nice and consisted of the vet making a loop in a piece of strong thread, placing it around the growth and tightening it.  He'd put anaesthetic drops in her eye, but I do wonder how effective they were.  The growth is now gone, and she's having to have drops in her eye regularly for the next 10 days to clear the infection.  On the plus side, she seems to be a lot happier now and her eye doesn't seem to be bothering her.  On the minus, we don't know how much sight she will have in that eye once it's healed.

Bella the day she arrived
Get well soon Bella!

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