Sunday, March 27, 2011
V - Day
My calendar said today was Big Animal Vaccination Day in big red letters and I was nervous. I had picked up my baggies of shots (that sounds funny, doesn't it?) from my vet clinic a few days earlier and had been stewing over them ever since:
While I've given shots on occasion to Chester, my donkey, and my goat boys, Pete and Reggie, I don't do it regularly enough to feel supremely confident about it. Here's Beau looking a bit concerned about the whole thing:
Bottom line, though, I was far less concerned about giving the donkeys their shots than I was about giving Kai llama hers.
You see, Kai and I came to an agreement many months ago: she approaches me and touches me whenever she wants to, but it is very much preferred that I do not touch her - under any circumstances - unless it is during the exchange of carrots. Today, however, was obviously not carrot day:
Fortuntately, my girlfriend, Lori, was very happy to lend me moral and physical support in my vaccination efforts this evening. Friends like this are invaluable, let me tell you :-) :
Because of Kai's tendency to rear up, spin and kick out when confronted with situations she feels uncomfortable in, we utilized the two green gates I have at the entrance of my barn to act as a sort of llama "chute":
The idea was that this would safely contain her, while protecting us and allowing me to easily inject her. Novel idea...until she kushed down and sat on her haunches:
But, a farm girl doesn't give up. A poke in my own thumb and a bent needle later, I managed to vaccinate my llama...while on my knees:
Next year, I think I will wait until after she has been shorn to try to do this. At least half of my battle was trying to weave my way through all her thick winter fiber to find her skin! Live and learn.
Phew! I think all of us here on Critter Farm can say we are mighty relieved to have B.A.V.D. (Big Animal Vaccination Day) behind us!
P.S. Just as an FYI...
The donkeys, Chester and Beau, received an "Equine 5-way plus West Nile Virus" vaccination. This shot is a combination of the 5 vaccines that are considered a must for all horses (and donkeys) in my area - Tetanus toxoid, Eastern Encephalomyelitis (EEE), Western Encephalomyelitis (WEE), Influenza and Rhinopneumonitis. It also contains the vaccine against the West Nile Virus. Kai received the standard CD-T vaccination which protects against enterotoxemia (overeating disease) caused by Clostridium perfringins types C and D and tetanus (lockjaw) caused by Clostridium tetani.