Monday, 3 June 2013


Pronkercise video has to go on hold for a bit, Barbara, as a definite traumatic day today.  Luckily I was up and out particularly early today and as I arrived at the field gate I knew something was going on as all the girls from both paddocks were gathered in a mass at the bottom.  As  I walked down the track I could see a white bundle on the ground but, at first, I did not think it could be a cria.  My birthing is not really due to start for a minimum of two weeks - that will be when the first two come up to 11 months.  Odder still, the white bundle was not in their paddock.

As I got nearer I could see it was a just arrived cria but not moving - I ran.  It was a very premature cria and at first I could not tell who the Mum was as they were all milling around and no one at all showed any sign of any blood or anything.  First thing was to spray the navel and see if I could get him up.  He could not stand and his breathing was very bad, almost growling and gurgling, also his gums were completely white.  It is not so easy to swing a cria as it is a lamb but I managed although I had visions of pulling his legs off.  Nothing came out and there was a lot of slime still attached to his nose and in his mouth.  After fiddling for a bit I resorted to artificial respiration, more for something to do than anything else, which is completely disgusting on a slimy cria (Carl said I should have used a tube but where do you suddenly find one of them in the middle of a field?)and nothing improving I rang for advice (during which I saw Crispie pass the afterbirth so I knew it was hers) but still made very little progress.  In the end I phoned the vet who said there was nothing he could do that I wasn't doing and just to let nature take it's course a he was too premature (a couple of days before 10 months).  I have never had one this premature.
Mind you he is quite big.  I have just sat him up like this - he soon falls over again.

I wasn't going to just leave him but I couldn't get him drinking from Crispie - she liked him but he had no suck reflex what so ever.  Stomach tube time and that is not something I enjoy.  I know I should be used to it by now and I know my breeder readers just take it in their stride but I hate it!  So, all set up I got him on my knee and was about to begin when I felt a very damp leg and lifting my hand I found it covered in blood.  First time I have had it - a umbilical hemorrhage.  I wasn't organised not expecting much to happen yet so had to stick  him under my arm, grasp the cord to stem the flow and run to the caravan to find the umbilical clamps - and pretty hopeless they were (probably my fault  really)  the first dropped off within 5 minutes.  Did it in the end and iodined him up then back to the stomach tube.  I have to say it was the simplest I have ever done as he helped it down by swallowing every now and again.

The breathing was still really bad and I couldn't get anything else out of him so in desperation (and you may not be supposed to do this)  I got a syringe - without needle obviously - stuffed it, carefully, up each nostril in turn and pulled the plunger back.  Remarkably, and it might be a fluke and not because of what I did, he started breathing almost normally and the rasping stopped.  He is still with us and is tucked up in a field shelter with Crispie and Cassie as honorary auntie but he still cannot stand and he may not make it.

I fear the blog may not be terrifically grammatical but I am very stressed - and on top of all that  . . . but, no, the rest can wait for another blog!


  1. Good luck with him, I've got everything crossed here.

    I'm with you on stomach tubing, despite having done it quite a few times now I hate it, and having given mouth to mouth to a lamb a few weeks back the taste is gross!!

  2. Keeping fingers and toes crossed for you Rosemary, if he's still with you he must be a little fighter, so hopefully you'll win this one x

  3. Good Luck's hoping he is going to make it and is getting stronger, what a traumatic arrival, Bless him .... fingers crossed for you all ... Jayne x

  4. Well done Rosemary. It is stressful I am used to Intensive Care nursing but still feel that panic when everything seems to be going wrong at once

  5. Sorry hadn't finished saying good luck when it decided to publish! Remember our Lullaby last year so weak and now as big and strong as the rest of them!

  6. Oh Rosemary! I am just catching up on my blog reading...this poor cria reminds me of the one that we lost (our first born). Thank you for carefully explaining what you have done, as I hope to be able to do the same should we have another premmie. :) Lisa