Saturday, September 13, 2014


I need some more good thoughts.

Cain, silly funny Alpaca boy, broke his leg Thursday night. More accurately probably, somebody broke it for him. Maybe a goat. Maybe an Icelandic. I didn't see it happen, but they can both be crazy and a little bit nasty at feeding time. I suspect Cain was an innocent bystander of their craziness.

Our alpaca vet came out yesterday morning and x-rayed it. It's a pretty clean splinter fracture (not sure about the correct terminology) above the elbow. The options are not good. He can stay on stall rest for 2 months and hope it heals, with a sling maybe, to help immobilize the leg a bit. Or he can go to the vet school and have surgically implanted pins. And then be on stall rest for 2 months.

Neither option has great odds -- about 50/50 in both cases. And obviously the surgery is expensive and very stressful and disruptive to him and the companion (Abel) I'd have to take with him. And remember the reindeer at the clinic when Bumbleebee was sick? He had had surgery on a broken leg. I don't know how it turned out in the end, but the last time I visited, he was still there with complications from the surgery. Complications are common.

Cain's fleece is not that great. People are dumping alpacas left and right around here. He has no monetary value at all. But I promised him a good, safe forever home when I took him in, so I need a crystal ball and a good decision here. Not sure what to do at all, but any positive thoughts are welcomed.


  1. I know someone who had a llama break a leg and they casted it and kept him at home and he is fine now. I can send you her email or phone number if you'd like to talk to her. Just email me.

  2. Wow, you really are having a bad year. You're really going to have to search your heart for the answer to this one. My own definition of a forever home is one that includes a good end when the time comes. Looking at that x-ray, I have a hard time envisioning that healing without surgery. If you could cast it like Sara says, I think he would have a good chance, but it sure looks like it needs to get put back together first. I also doubt it can be cast given it's location. I would ask your vet some very direct questions about his prognosis.

    Good luck. My thoughts and prayers are with you no matter what you choose.

  3. Thanks guys. Yes, Kris, I agree that that break looks like it needs intervention. And yes, the vet did say it was too high up for a cast. At first I did think that maybe I should, or would, put him down. But then the vet came out, and I watched him being examined and I decided it was too soon to think that. He still has so much life in him. He's only two and I have to give him a chance. So, I just finished arranging a trip back to the vet school Monday morning. We'll see how it goes.

  4. Sounds like your cup runneth over - in a bad way. It's a tough call at any time, but especially with a young, otherwise healthy animal. I know you will do the right thing - whatever it is. Sending as many good thoughts your way as I can muster.

  5. I'm with Dancing donkey, i was going to say the very same thing. A good home is one that makes the right choices, even if it means having to choose to end their life at the right time. I'm not saying now is that time, only you know that because you're on the spot, but you can't go feeling guilty if you have to make that choice. Any decision you make will be done out of wanting to do right by him. That is what matters. Good luck to both of you!