Al­paca’s two feet tall now

The People - - NEWS FEATURES -

I’D de­liv­ered Olivia the young al­paca a few weeks ear­lier – it was a tough birth be­cause one leg was pre­sented in­cor­rectly. Now it was her legs caus­ing prob­lems again.

She was do­ing well but her carpal joints – sim­i­lar to our wrists – weren’t straight and gave way eas­ily.

“Do you think there is any­thing you can do, Ju­lian?” her owner Doug asked one evening.

I sug­gested bring­ing her in to the surgery. A baby al­paca – known as a cria – is eas­ily por­ta­ble.

Sturdy

And I thought it would be eas­ier to ex­am­ine the bandy-legged baby on my con­sult­ing ta­ble rather than in a field.

The other pa­tients in the wait­ing room – a labrador, bor­der ter­rier and a cat – looked a lit­tle sur­prised as Olivia sat on Doug’s knee.

I checked her limbs. As I sus­pected, the joints were slack. She needed sturdy splints to stiffen and sup­port her legs.

I ap­plied two ban­dages to each of her front legs. I was un­sure how she would cope but like Bambi in the Dis­ney film she strug­gled to her feet as if on stilts.

As she reap­peared – look­ing taller – in the wait­ing room the other pa­tients looked even more sur­prised!

The York­shire Vet is on Tues­day at 8pm on Chan­nel 5.

WALK­ING TALL: Baby al­paca with ban­dages

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