Friday night, instead of sleeping and bonding with her son, Ailee was in need of a visit. She hadn't passed her placenta in a "normal" time frame. So, after talking with our sheep vet, Dr. Rob, over the phone, I made the decision for him to come out to give her the once over just to be safe.
It was 11 p.m. when the doctor arrived. His girlfriend had come with him as she's always wanted to see the Shetlands but Rob is afraid once she sees them, she'll want one. After checking Ailee over Rob decided she needed to be "flushed out" - a procedure I will not go into detail about here. Just use your imagination.
I could tell he was a bit disappointed in that the placenta still wouldn't budge. So, he gave her a shot of oxytocin to get some "action" going again, hoping it would do the trick. He left another dose of the medication with me to administer at 1:30 a.m. then left.
I decided to stay up knowing that if I did go to sleep it would be twice as hard waking up than just staying up 'til then. Good decision on my part. I was hoping to walk out and find that everything had passed. Nope. Nothing.
I gave her the shot and tried to get her to eat a bit of hay. I knew she was so tired. She must've had a long, difficult birth. It shown in her face and demeanor. She was worn out and no matter how many shots she got, until she had her energy back it was clear that nothing would happen.
Even feeling so badly she allowed her little (Heck, he was as big as the week-old in the jug next to them!)boy to nurse and kept him clean. She just didn't have much energy left for anything else.
Saturday the vet called and when told that the placenta still had not passed decided to have me come in and get a few more injections of oxytocin plus an antibiotic. He just didn't want her to have any infection. Probably, she would have done just as well on her own devices. Ewes who retain placenta usually only have it happen once and go on to be productive flock members. So no worries there.
Sunday in the late morning she finally expelled the nasty hanger-on and since then has been doing just fine. It's amazing to me how sometimes giving someone "time" is all that is really needed. I think she would have passed it anyway even without the oxytocin injections. Good Girl, Ailee!
There was a really odd thing that happen to me on my way back from the barn at 2 a.m. I was admiring the night sky and the stillness of the night. There even wasn't any traffic making noise on I17. You could have heard a pin drop. And the night sky was just gorgeous - something I wouldn't have witnessed had I been asleep in bed. It was then I heard a very soft noise just over my head. No...it wasn't aliens come to take me to the "Home World"...but what I did see astounded me. Above me, just out of arms reach was Bran! It is not normal for a raven to be out in the night, but here he was - seeing that I got home safely. He gently flew just above me until I got to the back door to go in. It was then he uttered a soft "caw-cluck" and he took off for home and his Mrs.
Had I not been up at that hour I would not have seen the beautiful stars...nor would I have realized how good a friend I have. Thanks, Bran!
PS: As of this entry, Ailee and her son are doing just fine. :)