Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Birdie update: patience and the goose is named

Birdie and My Grace this morning-still smiling
Birdie continues to improve, with some days of what feel like set backs, but it is all part of the healing process of nerves damaged by the nasty Menigeal worm.

Each time I talk to my vet, I seem to understand more about this dreaded parasite, and how different it is than other worms. For one, it does not leave the body when it is killed, like stomach worms do. Nerve damage recovery is a long process-only after a year will I assess what we have. I read about one llama that was much worse off than our Birdie, completely down every day, and a year later after the farm did everything they could for her, she simply stood up one day and lived to be 15.

If Birdie can get up on her own, that is the key. Even if she is permanently wobbly, it will be okay. If she were a working guard animal, it would be a problem, or if she were a breeder, which of course she isn't.

So when the vet was here to put down Rosie, we also had her assess Birdie [along with a Cushing Test and shots for The Teapot]. The vet and I were concerned that we had gotten all the worms in our first round of treatment. After that treatment, Birdie was doing well, but then two weeks later, her hind end weekend again and it seemed so sudden. So we gave her a different dewormer-a one time shot that the vet gave her-and we dosed her with something for anti-inflammatory via a shot. We also have switched her anti-inflammatory medicine because the one we were giving daily can cause ulcers in camelids. It means I'm giving Birdie six pills a day instead of one shot. I find she already accepts the pills pretty well, with my 'firm guidance'.

And the good news is, she has been standing every morning when I get to the barn which is a relief. And walking better, less 'drunken walk' some call it. She is eating well, and she has her goose nurse.

By the way, I have named the goose My Grace. If she doesn't lay eggs in spring, I guess she will be M'Lord!

So thank you to the many who are showing concern for Birdie. I don't wish this on any llama. I will do whatever I have to to help her through this, and remaining positive, even on the bad days. I must show her my intent each day-that we are in this together-and I know she is trying to.