Snake bite on the farm

It has been one traumatic week and we are glad its over. One of our girls was bitten by a red belly black. This has never happened before and we usually encounter snakes all year round. It was just one of those ‘things’ that happened as our girl must have accidentally stepped on it.

Having never encountered an alpaca in so much pain, falling over, not walking, shaking, crying in pain, not eating or drinking, we kept her in our quarantine pen in the shade with a companion. First thing we did was process of elimination and ran down every list of what it could be;

  • Worm burden. Usually after a long dry period and then rain. Did the worm count and it was very low. The rest of the herd had no symptoms so we crossed that off our list

  • Grass poisoning or staggers. Usually after a long dry period and then after the rain comes fresh green shoots but really did not have much change to our paddocks.

  • Ticks but could not find anything. Plus back legs are the first to be paralysed is one of the first tick symptoms.

  • Snake bite. We had seen them close to the girls paddocks the last 2-3 weeks.

  • We did our ADE, 5:1 and worming as a back up. We ran a worm burden test and blood test. The most important thing we did was Vitamin C in liquid form and then the vet gave her a high dosage. Our girl struggled for a couple of days and I have to say, she really struggled, but once it passed it passed. She is now up and walking normally, eating and doing all the things that she should be doing.

    She is just a couple of months pregnant so we are not sure if this event will affect the pregnancy or the cria but I guess time will tell.

    We are keeping a close eye on Suki and very grateful that she is back with the herd. Let’s hope it never happens again.