I am afraid my guess about Bert was correct. When Yohav, the vet, came to see her I had decided to leave her in the small paddock I had put her in with Islay and Prue for company. She had spent the morning sitting waiting for me to bring food - carrots, small grapes, Alpaca mix, hay, sugar beet, apple . . . her appetite is not affected! She was moving around very little but could get up and down, scratch herself and walk, albeit with the clicking noise. I had spent some time sitting with her and she seemed fine in herself, very calm - lovely little alpaca.
Of course, as soon as Yohav arrived she turned into a green spitting, screeching demon and actually ran away when I went to catch her. At first I thought she had made another miraculous recovery as it actually took the rope to catch her. But, sadly, no - she had a dislocated hip and that is very bad. Phone calls are currently being made to try to work out the best course of action, she has had Metacam and after screeching her way through the whole time she was being examined and drooling out foul green spit she immediately had a carrot and calmed down once Yohav had stepped away (despite spit still dripping - she is the only alpaca I have who can eat and spit at the same time).
The options for Bert are now being considered. If she were a young dog, as I understand it, it would be manipulated back under anaesthetic and then strapped up to her body. Bert is at least 11 years but I am not sure if this is totally accurate as she was a Peruvian import. If it was strapped up she would effectively have only 3 legs for some time and I am not sure how she would cope with kushing with a missing back leg. It is apparently not as simple a job of popping things back together as I had hoped as there is also the likelihood that the socket will have 'stuff' in it which is a further complication. Another option is some sort of operation - but this involved breaking something and doing something else which I think is probably more than Bert could stand. Bert is fine as long as she is where she knows and with people and alpacas she knows - anything else and she gets very stressed.
A further option is just managing it with pain killers. We are at the consulting and debating stage.
And, although the problem is what I expected, I have spent the last few days pondering how on earth it happened - surely in order for a dislocation to occur a very strong force is required, like a high fall or car accident. Unless Bert has a secret life I know nothing about I really can't imaging how it happened. Maybe alpaca bones get weaker as they get older - maybe Bert has had a sort of postmenopausal osteoporosis (I know they don't have a menopause to look forward to but I have been thinking about this for days and am coming up with all sorts of unlikely ideas).
A better penning solution! - After a long "family illness" and a subsequent reduction of our herd, I am back to report a more recent enhancement to Easter-Wood. One of the problems we ...
3 months ago