November 13, 2010


I'm not sure how many people know about Max, but he is an alpaca gielding that my Aunt and Uncle owns. I'm unsure of his age but he cannot be more than 10 years old. Over the past few months Max has been getting progressively more and more lame (for those horsey people reading my blog). He is now at the point and has been for a while where he can't even go out to pasture without a shot on banamine, which is a pain killer and anti-inflammatory.

On the 18th Max has a vet appointment and that day will decide what will happen next. Our options are to try bute (horsey product), an arthritis herbal mix, or putting him down. The bute and herbal mix will work if what is wrong with Max is mostly arthritis, but I was watching him today walk around after getting his shot and it looks like a joint problem, like as if he did something to his disk Also his butt is much more curved than it should be. It is curved under his body which makes me also think maybe some kind of spinal injury.

Max is my favorite alpaca in the whole herd. He was apart of the original 13 my Aunt and Uncle bought. He had a rough time a few years back because another male alpaca mounted him and had him pinned to the ground in an awkward position for a long time before my Uncle went down to do chores and saw what was going on. Since then Max has gotten worse. During the winters is when his arthrisits really kicked in and I started preparing last winter knowing he might not make it through the winter.

Please, no one get me wrong, I love Max SO MUCH, but a part of me hopes the vet, who happens to be a great friend of mine and my Aunt and Uncle's, decides that putting Max down will be the best option. Knowing what Max use to do as an alpaca, running and playing, to seeing him struggle just to get to the hay feeders breaks my heart every time.

Today while at the barn I sat next to Max and brought some hay over for him to eat. I also scratched his sweet spot which is under his chin and while doing this he looked at me in a certain way that I can't explain and I just lost it. He looks so tired of the pain and just tired in general.

Everyone has been telling me to prepare for the possibility of saying good bye and a part of me is ready but a part of me just wants to hold on.

I remeber when we had to put down a baby alpaca because he was born blind and had major respritory problems. The first time I ever saw him was when he was put down and I can't believe how much I cried that day, I can't imagine how I'm going to react to the day we have to put Max down. Weather it is soon or months or years down the road.

I have delt with pets dying. My dog, Ginger, died when I was in junior high after we had her since I was a baby, but I wasn't home when she died and I didn't know until a few days after. So I have been around death and I know it happens and has to happen, but it never makes it any easier.

Max, taken last year either during the winter or spring. 
 I love you Max, no matter what happens.


  1. He's adorable. I've always had a soft spot for alpacas, even though I don't know much about them. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. This must be so hard.

  2. Poor Max! I hope whatever the outcome is, you find a way for him not to hurt anymore...