On May 30, 2005 Annie the alpaca gave birth to her first
baby, a boy. The baby alpaca, which is called a cria was born prematurely
after about 320 days of pregnancy. The average term of pregnancy is about
The baby was warmed and helped to nurse by his owner but was unable to stand
and was soon presented to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Washington
The cria weighed 12 pounds and he was slightly
dehydrated. Blood tests were performed which showed septicemia which is an
infection carried through the body in the blood. Radiographs (X-rays) of the cria’s chest showed under development of the lungs which is common in
The cria was placed in intensive care; warmed and given oxygen therapy,
intravenous fluids, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, goat colostrum,
vitamins and a plasma transfusion from a llama. Later he was fed with his
mother’s milk by stomach tube and bottle and was re united with his mother
to nurse every few hours.
When the cria gained strength he was returned to the stall with Annie where
he was assisted with nursing when needed, and was taken outside for exercise
with his mom.
The cria gained weight and strength and was discharged with his mom from the
hospital on June 10.
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