Beep is a very special little alpaca. She seemed healthy when she was born and grew well but as time went on it was apparent that there was something just not quite right with her. She didn't seem to balance as well as the other babies her age and stopped playing with them as well.
As more time went on, you could tell that she seemed a little shaky in her hindquarters and then she stopped grazing. She would go out and about with the herd but just stand there. She was still getting good milk from her mom (Roo) but it was obvious that something was wrong.
After many tests, both at Ohio State and with our local vets, we still didn't have any answers. Things got desperate once her mom started to cut back on her nursing at around 6 months and she still wasn't eating. Everything was considered but nothing was found.
Then, looking at an x-ray that was taken to look for a totally different cause, a vet noticed something wrong with her spine at the edge of the image. He took a different x-ray to get a better picture of the area in question and you could see that two of her vertebrae were malformed. Whether from defect or early injury they were not properly aligned and were pinching her spinal cord/nerves.
Not happy with the answer but at least happy to have AN answer at last, we took her home. She had been losing weight over the course of the last few months and had trouble getting around and walking. She would just lay in the barn at night exhausted. It seemed to be just a matter of time.
Then one day I noticed that she was grazing. She was stiff but she was definitely doing it. Then she started to show more interest in food. We had elevated her food to make it easier for her to reach but now she was actually wanting to eat it. She was very timid but after some coaxing we found that she would eat grain from a dish if we held it for her far away from the other animals. She seemed to find her will to live.
As it stands now, she seems happy and is eating hay and grain and some grass (it is winter so there isn't much). She is no longer the last one out of the barn or the last one in. She runs right in the middle of the pack (she has a hopping run but it gets her around) and seeks us out to hold her grain dish for her.
She has mostly good days although sometimes she struggles a bit. Her eyes are bright and happy and she is usually one of the first ones up wondering what the new day will bring. I don't know what the future will hold for little Beep but I am so glad that she is here with us now.
Beep is not for sale.