Monday, August 19, 2013
Mild Maiden Dystocia:
“See one, do one, teach one”…Well not so simple.
There are a few decision points and action points and you have to do a little preparation first. Be slow and deliberate and most of all prepared.
Preparation means familiarizing and committing to memory the shape of the female alpaca pelvis, forwards, sideways and upside down. It also means that you are thinking about what your hands are doing as they’re doing it .
This is a 344 days maiden whose labor was progress very well. The head is out completely. We don’t rupture the membranes. Instead a finger is swept around the circumference of the bag alongside the cria neck to confirm that the front legs are locked in extension above the “pelvic brim”.
Pelvic brim: The “birth canal” is a tube about the length of your hand. Beyond that it opens on the belly of mom into a large space, When you’re in this space, your wrist is at the vaginal opening, so you can’t be too timid.
But you have to be careful to advance slowly and gently, palm against cria till you identify the front feet. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the “feel “ of how the front and back feel on a live cria, against you fingers and hands. You don’t want to pull down the wrong thing.
Decision point: Mom’s head is out completely. The toes aren’t showing after a couple of minutes. Insert finger and sweep around cria neck. You’ve got to correct a dytsocia by bring the feet down. Otherwise you’re putting a square peg through a round hole.
Action: In this case, not rupturing the bag is deliberate and a huge advantage. The cria is still getting oxygen pumped by an intact cord. The head may be out but the navel hasn’t moved.
I slid my hand across intact membranes and felt for the toes. Easy...yeah…there is a ton of fluid, membranes are somewhat durable and you can probably grab both legs with the same hand.
Got them…grab…bag breaks. Pull the toes (not the upper arm), under mom’s neck.
1. Now take care of the airway. Milk out the mucous and let cria dangle as long as she’s (!) still dripping from her nose and mouth. Wipe nose and get membrane off with towel. There is no big hurry now. The cria still has her chest compressed. She may be gasping, but won’t take her first real breath till she’s out. She is still attached to mom.
We had one tired new mom and a cria that probably was “ready” too so we gave her a hand. Note not to pull on small of feet where there are small bones and ligaments that can be torn. We like to grasp the upper leg. Also note that traction is downward and should follow the path of least resistance.
The remark to naming this cria Tehani, is in reference to our dear friend Tehani Hogan, Akasha Alpacas, who celebrates her “29th” birthday today…
Sorry Tehani, we still love you but Tehani is definitely not a Renaissance name…it’s going to be Prima Donna, after her dad ; )
Happy ending... RR Primadona