Saturday, October 1, 2011

Skin starts itching

A few months ago, I had the vet come out and give the horses and alpacas their shots. Annie got her teeth floated and I had the vet look at Thelma's coat. It looks like she's got a fungus of some sort. Does anyone have any ideas as to what kind of skin condition it is? These photos are from a few months ago. I don't think it's gotten any worse, just not any better.

The vet told me to treat it with athlete's foot medication. That is all very well, except that I can't catch her. So...I bought the medicine and waited until I could put it on her. I hand feed pellets to the alpacas every morning and I can pet their chins but they shy away whenever I reach for them. Finally, last week, I was able to reach under and grab Thelma's catch lead, a six inch lead that stays attached to her halter. I really don't like leaving the halters on them but I am still trying to tame them. Of course, I didn't have the medicine on me, but I was able to loosen her halter. It was really hard to do! The nylon was stiff and the halter was snug on her face. I was afraid I'd lose Thelma with all the juggling I was doing and my fingers aren't very strong, but I managed to loosen her halter one notch. The funny thing about the alpacas is that they are very, very timid about getting caught, but once they are, they are easily handled. Not like a horse at all. They don't fight after the initial, "Uh oh, you can't catch me." So I loosened her halter and then I let her go. I was able to recatch her almost immediately too. Food sure helps!

Next morning, I tried again, this time with the medicine in my pocket. Success! I caught her and rubbed the medicating cream into her bald spots. She has a long way to go before I can just catch her but I am optimistic that I'm getting there. I sure hope the cream medication does the job now because I hate seeing her beautiful coat so contaminated.

Today, my son and daughter helped catch Louise for me. And she spat at us! Yuck!! Fortunately, she didn't dredge everything up from her stomach first. It wasn't as nasty as I'd expected. Anyway, we loosened her halter a notch. I reached over to feel her stomach and she kicked at me. I think she is feeling extremely touchy from being so pregnant. Hopefully, after she births, and in a few months, her personality will improve.

We caught Thelma and I was again able to treat her bald spots with the fungus cream. I found out that she likes animal crackers. I joked to her that she was eating her cousin when I fed her a camel cookie. I'm happy to report that she's getting easier and easier to handle. We actually let her go and recaught her. I know she's feeling more comfortable getting caught because now she'll eat while she's caught.

We also discussed plans for building a loafing shed for the alpacas. I'm thinking we'll build it 8 x 16 with a slanted roof, facing east. This is going to be a new experience for us, building something. Anyone have any ideas for us?

Skin Starts Itching - song: Lust for Life, artist: Iggy Pop


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Too bad about the skin problems. Perhaps you could try Vetercyn Spray? I've heard lots of good things about it healing dog and horse wounds and skin issues. Another benefit is that it's a spray so it will be easier to apply. And Hitchin' Post sells it, so you don't have to buy it online and pay shipping.
The loafing shed sounds great. Nice and roomy. You might want to add a separate, enclosed area to store their hay and supplies so everything will be close at hand when you need it.

Good luck!

aurora said...

I know little about Alpacas. It definitely looks like something "not good" is preventing hair growth, in a unique pattern I might add. Funny on the animal crackers...but hey, whatever works. Can't wait to hear about their babies!

Mikey said...

Eating your cousin *snort* you crack me up!
As for building something, you KNOW we're all going recommend Carson from the 7MSN, cause she's been so handy lately with her chicken palaces :)
I bet your other neighbor, that really close one you can wave at right now, would give you a hand too :)

Mary said...

I was going to say Carson too! Ha ha. Is it possible that the skin condition could be "rain rot"? I don't know much about it, but I know it's not just from rain...well, I'm no help.
I'm not sure if I'd be OK about getting spit on either, yuck, I really need to learn more about these Alpacas...

Breathe said...

I have done some framing in my day, under supervision. Here isbwhat I learned.

Measure twice, or there ties, cut once (sometimes twice)

Buy detailed plans. They have them online these days and in those books at the home depot.

Get a real hammer and hold it so it does the work.

Breathe said...

And I hope Thelma does better soon!

Tammy said...

I would google treatment for rain rot and find a spray or shampoo. It's easier to use & can cover a bigger area. We fought ring worm several years ago and also had to use the athletes foot cream on it. Imagine having to buy a dozen tubes at WalMart - they look at you funny. There is also something else I used... the name escapes me - three letters MSG... MTG... Smells terrible but works wonders on skin irritations. Good luck!

Deanna said...

Looks like you have a good plan going and some good advice in the comments. I myself know nada about alpacas - but I'm enjoying learning!
I'm just so in love with my Skyy's photo on the right side of your blog - - wait . . . (blush), did I say "my?", oops. I, of course, meant YOUR Skyy. ;-)

Sydney said...

My friend had lamas that would get skin fungus. She used the horse (dog/cat/pig/human/whatever animal) product called MTG (mane tail groom) and it was gone within a couple weeks compared to months treating it with the vets recommendation. That MTG works on everything.

achieve1dream said...

Yep, I was going to say MTG too. It works for any fungus and I think bacteria too. :) I'm glad she's getting more comfortable with being caught and handled.

You know when I first got Chrome he was like that. I couldn't do anything at liberty with him, but once he was caught I could do whatever I wanted. I kept a short catch rope on Chrome too and I caught him and tied him up while he ate (twice a day - no catch no food lol). It didn't take long before he stopped playing hard to catch, but I still couldn't do things at liberty (grooming, fly spray, etc.) Clicker training has turned him into a horse that loves to work with me and I can do whatever I want at liberty now. :)

I'm glad she's doing so well.